Why is the news media considered such an important asset to emergency preparedness public education efforts? Are other sources more effective? Why or why not? Cite a source or sources in support of your position.

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Please respond to: Jessica


The news media is considered such an important asset to emergency preparedness public education efforts because it helps aid in the mission of effective disaster communications strategy to provide information efficiently and effectively to the public during all phases of emergency management; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Traditional media (TV, radio, and print) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) both play a vital role in communication efforts to the public for emergency preparedness and response. Though, traditional media has declined in consumers’ daily lives social media has become vastly popular as the new outlet for information to be delivered to the public. This is a critical asset because, “No government emergency management organization could ever hope to develop communications networks comparable to those networks already established and maintained by traditional and social media outlets (p. 323).” These outlets allow the government to deliver real time, honest, vast information to the public and keeps them informed before, during, and after major events.

1 Reply Reply

Respond to Leroy:

Simply put, the news media alerts the public of emergency situations and preparedness. In the past, television outlets and radio broadcasts were the primary sources of “real time” information regarding emergency situations, as was the case with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. An article from 2005 mentioned that those hurricanes “…have focused renewed attention on the nation’s dependency on a frail and vulnerable information infrastructure” (Hurricane Katrina Represents A Failure to Communicate, 2005). As important as the news media was then, to get the information out to the public in terms of emergency preparedness, it wasn’t exactly getting the job done at a realistically efficient level.

Since then, social media outlets have obviously taken over as the lead sources of providing emergency information. “Social media provides the platform for real time two-way dialogue and interaction between organizations, the public, and individuals…” (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2018, p. 333). Facebook and Twitter are by far the best sources of information; Facebook is the most used of the social network sites, and Twitter usage and popularity has risen significantly while providing individuals a chance to immediately impact the “where-withal” of other users in rapid fashion.

References:

Bullock, J., Haddow, G. & Coppola, D. (2018). Homeland Security: the essentials. Butterworth-Heinemann

Campen, A. (December 2005). Hurrican Katrina represents a failure to communicate. Retrieved on 19 February 2018 from https://www.afcea.org/content/?q=hurricane-katrina…

 
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