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UNISDR, UNESCO Convene Journalist Training on “New Approach” to Disaster Reporting

25 October 2012: The UN International for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convened a training session for 20 journalists in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on 22 October 2012, on the topic “Towards a new approach to disasters from consequences to causes – Covering disasters from a disaster risk reduction (DRR) perspective,” on the sidelines of the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR.

According to UNESCO, the media training focused on how to report about disasters before they actually occur, thus contributing to reducing the impacts of disasters. UNESCO says the training recommended avoiding technical jargon and scientific complexity, and highlighted the need to appeal to the communities and readers most affected by disasters.

Root causes for disasters in Asia were identified as climate change, rapid and unplanned urbanization, poverty and environmental degradation.

A key outcome of the training was the adoption of the “Media Statement on DRR at the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR.” The declaration acknowledges the active role of media in promoting DRR policies and in advancing the agenda at national and local level. It also highlights the role of media in the early warning chain, and as partners in educating communities and the most vulnerable groups. [UNESCO Press Release]