In the World Radio Day-2016 UNESCO Kathmandu Office is planning to organize a national conference along with the radio broadcasters from earthquake affected districts and key stakeholders to discuss on the “Role of Radios in the Post Disaster Phase in Nepal”
Radio is a powerful medium before, during and after an emergency or a disaster. Radio helps to provide dignity to survivors and vulnerable people, including in refugee camps.
Key Messages to explore on or around World Radio Day
- In times of emergency and disaster, radio remains active and close to the people most affected. It provides a unique way of reuniting loved ones and can help alleviate the concerns of people affected by a disaster in real time.
- Emergencies and disasters weaken people and break social links. Populations tend to believe in various unverified rumours about looting, social unrest and lawlessness, which radio can rectify or exacerbate. A disproportionate emphasis on social disorder by media can reinforce the discourse calling for greater control and restriction of basic freedoms.
- Radio aids humanitarian workers and decision-makers by framing the disaster authentically and fostering informed attitudes to such interventions.
- Respecting people’s privacy and dignity remains paramount for ethical media coverage.
- Pluralistic reporting of major crises or disasters is vital to respect thedignity of survivors, maintaining their spirit of equity and justice – wherever or whatever the disaster is, all human lives are equal. Hate speech has no place in the covering of emergency situations.
The immediate accessibility of radio frequencies is essential to saving lives. These frequencies should be protected in times of emergency.
Key messages to explore on or around World Radio Day, 13 February 2016:
- Radio frequencies and their accessibility during times of emergency and disaster must be secured and assured. The blocking of essential radio frequencies can harm lives and prevent radio’s ability to disseminate vital information.
- The frequencies dedicated to radio broadcasting in an emergency should remain free and accessible.
- Radio broadcast frequencies can also become vulnerable in times of emergency. States should have protection plans in place for emergency radio frequencies.
Radio is powerful in times of emergency and disaster. Radio has the ability to raise awareness to the greatest number of people in the quickest possible time. On its own, social media plays an important part, but when it is linked to the institution of a reliable radio service, its impact can be far more effective.
Here are some key messages to explore on or around World Radio Day, 16 February 2016:
- Radio can assist in the quick mobilisation of people to ensure a strong and coordinated global response to an emergency.
- The messages heard on radio can turn people from passive listener to active citizen, especially in times of emergency and disaster. Radio interactivity is a power feature.
- Radio is an important partner for government and non-government organisations to help ensure a coordinated response.
- Community radio is a vital local resource in disaster and emergency, usually highly efficient due to their knowledge of local resources, infrastructures and actors. However, community radio stations can also be vulnerable – their reporters and technical staff can be affected by the situation. Ongoing support for local community radio stations and ensuring they have a sustainable future, is important as it is too late to create their infrastructure when disaster and emergency strike.
Radio is a powerful medium before, during and after an emergency or a disaster. Responding to emergencies is easier and more transparent when there is freedom of the expression and journalists can do their work while remaining safe.
1. The impact that radio has in emergency situations is crucial. Without proper information, citizens are left to rumour on social media and their own judgment of the situation, which can be fatal.
2. During emergencies, journalists can:
- Impart accurate news and credible information;
- Provide educational and empowering content;
- Help implement plans;
- Expose corruption around disaster aid and policy failures and
- Give a voice to those affected by the emergency.
3. States should act tirelessly to ensure that when a crisis hits, laws that restrict freedom of expression are long since repealed, so that citizens can fully be informed.
4. Radio can make the right to seek and receive information possible. This is a practical way to facilitate the right to information (RTI) (also known as the right to know, or the right to access information).
5. The right of journalists to keep secret their confidential sources of information is to be protected even in times of emergency and disaster.
6. Access to information and localities for journalists is vital during emergencies and disasters, so they can freely report the latest news. Access to information for people saves lives.
30 Jan 2016, Diamundialradio