SZABIST - Diploma in Disaster Risk Management (In Collaboration with ERRA)



Media Session of ERRA International Conference

Islamabad, 20th April, 2010: A session on ‘Role of Media in Post Disaster Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation’ was organized by ERRA today in the second day of ERRA International Conference. The session focused on an interactive panel discussion followed by a lively question and answers session, identifying lessons learnt and importance of media as a partner in post disaster scenario. The speakers represented various media organizations as Mr Reza Sayyah from CNN, Mr Muaffaq Zaidan from Al Jazeera, Mr Li from Xinhua News Agency, Mr Fahim Zaman Khan from Dawn News and Mr Adnan Shaukat from AP. Director News And Current Affairs Aaj tv Syed Talat Hussain.s
While commenting on the responsibilities of media in purposeful reporting during post disaster relief and recovery phase, speakers said that it has been observed that some sections of media are commercializing feelings of earthquake affectees which have a negative impact over the viewers. All speakers of the session agreed upon need of objectivity in reporting disaster related issues. They further stressed upon close collaboration between disaster management authorities and media for effective dissemination of information during disasters. They were of the view that emphasis should be on the human aspect rather than focusing upon statistics of casualties.
Representative from Dawn News Mr Faheem Zaman Khan, while expressing his views about responsibilities of media, said that gap lies between media and people as it cannot follow-up stories due to limitation of resources.
In response to criticism that media faces while reporting stories on disaster-related issues, particularly in context of media’s special focus on Margalla Towers rather than highlighting the miseries of Hazara Division and Kashmir during October 2005 earthquake, the speakers said that it is a general perception that media is urban biased and it is because a story becomes more worthy if it is easily accessible.
While answering a question, Director News and Current Affairs Aaj TV Syed Talat Hussain, said that there is cultural restraint in Pakistan which bounds female journalists to pursue stories in post disaster scenarios. The session was also attended by high ranking officials of ERRA together with representatives of NGOS, INGOs and leading Universities of the country.

Back to Home Page