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Reporting on natural disasters

By Riazul Islam

Bangladesh flooding

Photo by 'uncultured' / flickr

Natural disasters like cyclones and floods are a regular phenomenon in my native country Bangladesh.

As a result, the media there frequently reports on natural disasters. But working on these types of stories requires a special approach, two journalists working in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka told me.

Mustafizur Rahman is a journalist from New Age, a daily English newspaper published in Dhaka. Iftekhar Mahmud works for Prothom Alo, the leading Bengali newspaper in Bangladesh. They shared their experiences and opinions on what preparations journalists should take before and while covering a natural disaster. Mustafizur and Iftekhar say a reporter faces many challenges when going to cover an area hit by a natural disaster. Before departing to the region, a journalist should of course be sure to check his equipment. But there are other key issues to remember when writing a report on the affected area and its people.

Date

2012-08-29

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Nepali media and Japanese disaster

By Shyam Rai, Kathmandu, Nepal

Radio Nepal news editor Shyam Rai writes that the Nepali media covered the disaster in Japan from the very beginning. The first reason for this is that the incident itself was huge and newsworthy.

The second reason is that sometimes even small incidents taking place in Japan (which might not get space in other countries’ media) are reported by Nepali media because Japan is one of Nepal’s major donor countries and contributes greatly to its development.

At first the media focused primarily on casualties and losses caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Some broadsheet newspapers and radio stations carried the incident on the front page and as a top story respectively whereas some included it in their international segments.

All of them focused on casualties and the destruction followed by damages caused to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima.

Date

2011-03-28

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Japanese tragedies stir nuclear debate in Indonesia

 

By Permadi Kencono Wulan

From Indonesia former DW-AKADEMIE trainee Permadi Kencono Wulan writes that almost all of the country’s media have been covering the events in Japan from the moments they began. Focus has been on memories of the tsunami that happened in Indonesia, the strength and fortitude of the Japanese people, the impact of the damaged nuclear reactors and on Indonesian eyewitnesses who had been living in Japan, alongside interviews with celebrities who have lived there.

News also stirred about Japanese adult film star Miyabi who had gone missing after the tsunami. Much news space in Indonesia was devoted to coverage of the evacuation and the impact of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima.

 

The impact of an exploding nuclear reactor

Permadi, who is head of new media at RRI Indonesia, highlighted early reports by Indonesia’s Metro TV on the impact of a nuclear reactor that exploded and the possibility of radiation. It communicated how this concerns the world community at large and Indonesia in particular because of the effects of radiation that might spread due to wind, sea water, birds and migrating fish.

Date

2011-03-28

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Khmer coverage of Japan’s tsunami

 

By Raksmey Meas

Raksmey Meas, assistant lecturer at the Department of Media and Communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, reports that Japan’s catastrophe involving the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami has yet again taken center stage in the world media’s attention.

 

Particularly in Cambodia, news related to Japan and its disaster racked up on front pages for more than a week following the initial shock on March 11th.

 

Regarding the focus of Cambodian media on this tragedy, news angles seem to be anything on the updates of the situation – death toll, possible nuclear explosion and rescue efforts, etc.

Date

2011-03-27

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Japan through the news lens of Bangladesh

 

By Taufique Ahmed, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Taufique Ahmed, BangladeshBangladesh is shocked by what has happened in Japan. People here have closely followed the news to get the latest updates from newspapers, TV, radio and online. 

It’s very tough for the media to handle what’s happening in Japan, as there is also another big issue that the people of Bangladesh worry about very much. Many people here are still taken aback by the latest events in Libya, because many Bangladeshis live and work there and have now become victims of the uprising in this North African country.

Japan's tsunami and earthquake are still important news in Bangladesh, as this country is also one of the sufferers of climate change. Nonetheless, Japan's nuclear crisis is also getting attention in the newspapers and at TV and radio stations here as the situation worsens.

Date

2011-03-26

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