Best practices for disaster reporting

 Best practices for disaster reporting

During the time of disasters, it is imperative to provide timely and credible information so that an immediate response is taken followed by effective rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery, and mitigation. During such times several humanitarian agencies aim at providing information to the stakeholders but sometimes it leads to biased portrayal of information and affects the credibility of the whole process. Therefore, it is necessary that effective practices and guidelines must be followed while reporting disasters so that timely rehabilitation and recovery decisions be made. Some of the best practices for disaster reporting include:

Provide every detail

The information provided must be concise and to the point. Every detail must be provided in descending order starting from the most important ones to less important news. The basic questions must be addressed like what was the event? Who were the victims and survivors? Where the event took place? When and why did it happen? Besides this, the impact of the hazard and likely recommendations must be provided.

Ensure clarity

The reporting must be clear and must be in accordance with the audience identified. Based on the audience, suitable background and technical details must be provided with a clear explanation. Apart from that, the numbers and the technical information provided must be consistent.

Rely on credible sources

The story you are telling to the people about the event must be balanced by adding reviews from multiple aspects. Credible sources must be used so that the authenticity is not challenged. Both national, local, and international government officials must be consulted to understand the background and likelihood of the disaster. Besides this, additional sources must be consulted including doctors, police, military, and eye-witnesses. Proper flowcharts and illustrations must be used so that disaster-related linkages are effectively provided to the readers.