Media plays an integral role in disseminating disaster risk reduction initiatives. Its continuous efforts can bring about behavior changes and influence decisions of policymakers, legislators and communities in reducing and responding to disasters. Recognizing media as an important stakeholder, the Nepal Preparedness Partnership (NPP) network came together to strengthen capacities in informed reporting in disaster situations.
The 3-day national training on Reporting on Disaster Mitigation and Prevention (RedMap) for Nepali journalists began in Balthali village in Kavre with participation of 27 journalists. The training is aimed towards shaping journalists’ understanding of the importance of disaster reporting and how they can adopt disaster reporting practices in the context of Nepal.
Joined by Mr. Kedar Neupane, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) spoke in detail on Government of Nepal’s initiatives related to disaster risk reduction and how journalists could contribute in advancing these initiatives through their reporting work. Mr. Umesh K. Dhakal, Under Secretary in MoHA followed it up with an orientation in the recently enacted legislation of Nepal- ‘DRR & Management Act 2017’ to make them understand the nuances and key elements of how institutions and legislative framework operates in the country.
Media professionals from all 7 provinces representing national media channels from Networks, Radio, TV, print and online came together for the first time to learn and unlearn concepts on disaster reporting. Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) has designed and conducted media trainings for journalists on reporting disaster mitigation and preparedness in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia and Mongolia. With support from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) familiarized local journalists on understanding and breaking jargons, camera techniques, covering news and stories and developing media plans before and after disaster events.
Through various sessions during the three-day intensive training, Ms. Vidya Rana from ADPC walked the journalists through DRR jargons, understanding concepts and reporting challenges in disaster situations. Participants reprised the roles of producer, cameraperson and director to create news packages with minimum equipment at their disposal. Traces of damage to houses during the 2015 earthquake were still visible in the Balthali village. Each group interacted with communities to capture resilience stories and coping mechanisms in the aftermath of the earthquake. Through focused sessions and group work, ADPC equipped them with techniques to cover stories and disaster events as one-person journalist to respond to the critical need for reliable and immediate information needs in times of emergencies.