During times of natural calamity and disaster, radio is the easily accessible medium.
The earthquake in Negros Oriental, Philippines this month sent shockwaves of panic amongst ill-prepared citizens and government agencies. Radio, was the readily available medium, since electricity cut off could no longer provide people access to TV or the internet.
Unfortunately, radio failed to keep people composed and informed. In Cebu City, a storm of panicked people rushed from the coastal area to higher grounds after hearing a “supposed” tsunami warning.
Radio stations broke the news, but was unsuccessful in calming the public.
When no words were heard from city officials, they could have initiated an confirming interview from the authorities.
For countries like the Philippines where natural disasters like earthquakes are prevalent, radio stations must be in the front line in providing informative content to its listeners about how to be prepared during such events.
To be fair, some radio stations were careful with what they broadcast, but misinformation and panic had overridden the thoughts of people, something which could have been prevented.