Summary: Information / Discussion
Media and Crisis Management
||17 July 2002, 18:00-19:30
Moderator(s):|| • Mr. Keith Hindell, United Nations Association U.K. and Former BBC (UNA)|
Presenters/ Participants:|| • Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs|
• Mr. Edward Girardet, Media Action International (MAI)
• Mr. Edouard Markievicz, Media Action International (MAI)
||Cosima Strasser (ICVolunteers)
||Media, crisis, management, action, OCHA, IRIN
The conference “Media and Crisis” focused on information policy in crisis management. After three interesting speeches, the sudden motion to a resolution caused
The first speaker of the evening was the representative of Media Action International,
Mr. Edouard Markiewicz. Citing Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights, he focused on the problem of the right to information during military conflicts. In his opinion, not only the governments involved in conflicts deny this right, but also international organisations often lack the awareness that people have to be informed about what is going on around them.
Markiewicz emphasised the need for information especially during a crisis situation.
He stressed that information should be an integrative part of every humanitarian mission and that field workers should be trained to communicate effectively with the victims of a crisis. As a matter of fact, this would grant a better transparency and accountability to the NGOs working in the field and furthermore enable the affected population to be more aware of their situation.
|Edward Girardet of Media Action International pointed out
that misinformation of victims during crisis situations is a consistent
problem: "Many refugees in refugee camps do not even know the names of the organisations that they are looked after
Mr. Edward Girardet, the Director of Media Action International contributed interesting aspects to the speech delivered by
Mr. Makiewicz. As an example of the misinformation of victims during crisis situations, he pointed out that a lot of refugees in refugee camps do not even know the names of the organisations that they are looked after by. He added, that the accountability of NGOs towards the affected population can also be an opportunity to make the action taken more effective. He described how Media Action International has tried to provide a reliable source of information e.g. in the former Yugoslavian republic by integrating an half-hour broadcast into the local radios‘
Ms. Elisabeth Byrs of the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) consented with the points brought forward by Mr.
Markiewicz and Mr. Girardet. She presented the IRIN initiative (Integrated Regional Information Network) that was established by OCHA. IRIN is meant to disperse reliable information on the humanitarian missions within a region affected by a political or natural crisis, either by Internet or by radio.
The workshop organised by WCSF with Media Action International and OCHA has come forward with six proposals to strengthen information in crisis management. The workshop participants took note of the following
- The necessity to add a strong information component in every humanitarian
- The importance to be transparent and accountable to the affected population by providing them information and explanations about the on going
- The key role of supporting local journalists training in the integration process of media as a humanitarian
- The special focus to increase donor support to adapt humanitarian action to the information society framework.
- The need to establish International recognizance of credible information provision, that corresponds to affected population needs and rights and is part of the Sphere Humanitarian Standards
- The need to educate the public in analysing the media.
The participants approve the proposal of the organizers and invite them to seek the necessary means to implement their proposal.
Mr. Edward Girardet, Director of Media Action International Foundation, email@example.com
Mr. Edouard Markiewicz, Managing Director of Media Action International, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), email@example.com
here for all available presenters' documents
here for all available summaries
read about the summaries