Affected communities need information during disasters. What has happened? What can be expected? Where are the safe places? Who should survivors contact? What should they do? What should they not do?
There are many questions that people need answers for, and the timely dissemination of information is important to save lives, reduce trauma, and facilitate smooth relief and rehabilitation works. Good communication is also required to enhance the relationship among the government, national and international organisations, and the civil society—before, during, and after a disaster. In all this, the news media play a crucial role.
The importance of disaster journalism in Nepal, hence, cannot be overstated. Situated in one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas, the nation is particularly vulnerable to calamities. As the 2015 earthquake showed, it is also ill-prepared. Enhancing the disaster preparedness of news media personnel is therefore of great importance to lessen the impact of future events.
This book, a joint effort between Bournemouth University (UK) and UNESCO Kathmandu, is written with that purpose in mind. Arising out of a larger project to strengthen the disaster communication landscape in Nepal, it seeks to present actionable knowledge and practical solutions to journalists, media educators, and media organisations. In keeping with our objective of reaching a cross-section of Nepali journalists and communicators, this book is bilingual.
The book was launched 16th September 2019 at UNESCO Kathmandu Office, Sanepa, Lalitpur.