‘Media can save lives during disasters’

‘Media can save lives during disasters’

TOKYO – The Japanese Broadcasting Corp., more commonly known as NHK, has highlighted the role of media in saving lives during disasters.

During a presentation for foreign journalists earlier this week, NHK executive controller Akinori Hashimoto stressed the importance of the continuous flow of information to build a resilient community, especially in case of emergencies.

“The government cannot do everything… Making the people know (that they have to be ready for disasters) is a role of the media,” said Hashimoto.

He said NHK, which is funded by reception fees paid for by residents in Japan, has continuously strengthened its disaster reporting to provide accurate information for its viewers.

Hashimoto said they have established a network that immediately processes the information released by government agencies to effectively inform the public of the latest disaster information.

“The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) provides all the disaster information online. Taking the information and utilizing this is the role of broadcasting,” he added.

Hashimoto said a well-coordinated information network is necessary, especially in cases of earthquakes, as the JMA has developed a system called the earthquake early warning.

The said system enables the agency to forecast the strength of a tremor seconds before it strikes.

The NHK official said the media should be able to immediately deliver the information as they only have a short lead time before the actual disaster.

NHK believes that information saves lives,” said Hashimoto. “It is good cooperation between the government and the media (that could) make a resilient society.” 

– Janvic Mateo