Kathmandu, April 25: With Nepal ranked 11th in the world probe to earthquake risks, there have been a variety of programmes and interactions held in the past two years regarding the role of the media.
A programme organized by the National Society for Earthquake Technology in Nepal had stressed upon the need to have reporters specifically doing beats on natural disasters. During the interaction held in the year 2012 it was also stated that Kathmandu in particular faces a very high risk of earthquakes.
Facing the earthquakes
In several seminars held in Nepal it has been noted that the biggest reason why Nepal faced a risk of earthquakes was due to its geological structure. The entire Nepal falls in a high earthquake intensity belt.
It was recommended that earthquake resistant buildings ought to be built in a bid to reduce damages.
Media can help in controlling panic
There were various other issues that were debated which also included the role the media needs to play. The role of the media is considered to be the maximum in times of earthquake, the experts had said.
The media needs to have journalists covering natural disaster as a beat. Nepal is prone to floods, earthquakes and cold waves and hence journalists covering natural disasters could go great service in covering and also conveying messages.
The role of radio
In the year 2012, the UN Development Programme's comprehensive disaster risk management had said that radio is a very crucial medium of information. However it was also pointed out that radio broadcasters are extremely vulnerable as they are stationed in earthquake prone zones in Nepal.
There are 350 radio stations in Nepal and 36 in Kathmandu alone. Most of the buildings are not earthquake resistant and this made the situation extremely fragile.
Radio becomes the most important form of communication. There is a 44 per cent illiterate population and these persons rely on the radio for information.
The National Society for Earthquake Technology an NGO in Nepal had said that almost all look out for the radio for information at the time of an earthquake. They consider it to be the best form of communication.
The radio broadcasters are the ones who can convey all the important messages right from evacuations, warnings to relief works to the people. If the radio broadcasters themselves are vulnerable to earthquakes then it is a worrying situation, it was pointed out.