Media in DM – UPSC GS3

Write a critical note on the role of media in disaster management. (200 Words)

Media can play a major role during disaster. They can aid in information dissemination about help-line, aid-distribution camps, emergency phone number or the needs of the people. Further, they can also help in quashing rumours and prevent panic situation. Media can also help in mobilizing resources [money, volunteers etc.] from other areas.

Their impetus on disaster also forces government to upgrade Disaster management as a priority.
Also, they also have a role in disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation.
They acts as very effective channels for communicating disaster awareness [for e.g. recent media coverage on earthquake has heightened awareness among people] and steps to taken in course of disaster. For example, media can run short commercials or educational programs about cyclones and Tsunamis in coastal areas.
It can also make people aware about safe shelters, evacuation tactics designed by government, and better ways to build their homes and public infrastructure in coastal cities.
Further they can enforce government accountability by highlighting the government’s acts of commission or omission w.r.t. disaster management.
However, their role has come under severe criticism especially during Nepal earthquake. In their search for TRPs and sensationalism, media has ignored the journalistic ethics. They have resorted to exaggeration of ground situation and even interviewing people who are in distress. Further, as much they can quash rumours, they may also aid in proliferation of rumours. Also, at-times it has been seen that media tends to shift focus on non-important issues as was witnessed during Uttarakhand floods when the visits of politicians were given more space than the disaster management.
Thus, the need of the hour is to also involve a humanistic angle to journalism. Active media is the need of the hour but not at the cost of ethics and ethos of humanism



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top