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22.12.2004 Disaster

Don't let disaster news create more disasters - Media told

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Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - Mr Edwin Barnes, Chief Director of the Ministry of The Interior, on Wednesday urged Journalists to be more abreast with disaster issues in order not to misinform and or create needless panic for other disasters to occur.

He said the lack of knowledge and sensationalism in packaging news on disasters could in itself create disaster.

Mr Barnes, who was re-launching the Journalists Club for Disaster Prevention (JOCDIP) under the auspices of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said if Journalists would focus on timely reportage and sensitised the public on early signals for disasters, many lives and properties could be protected.

He said disaster management was critical to the overall management of the country's internal security, therefore, every collaborative effort from the relevant agencies must be well coordinated to achieve the desired impact.

Mr Barnes called for a proactive move to disaster prevention and management and urged Journalists to look out for precursors to disasters and use their medium to constantly sensitise the public.

Brigadier General Joseph Odei (rtd), National Coordinator, NADMO, noted that due to lack of information and understanding of the process and functions of the organisation, the Media had not been able to project a very good image of the Organisation.

"NADMO has sometimes been bashed for the negligence of other institutions simply because of this ignorance and consequently, it is assumed that NADMO should have enforced the appropriate action to forestall disaster," he said.

Brig. Gen. Odei urged the Media to offer positive criticisms to put the nation and its institutions on their feet to enhance development.

Mr Roland Affail Monney, President of the JOCDIP, called for a renewed commitment from members and urged them to consider the issue of knowledge acquisition in disaster issues as crucial for the effective discharge of their duties.

He, however, said it was unfortunate that developmental stories like disaster prevention and management in the country were considered less marketable than politics and sports and, therefore, given little prominence.

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