In crowd management, media can play the following roles:
- Educational: media can play the role of educating public about the possible Crisis Situation threats, ways to prevent them and how to be better prepared in the face of a Crisis Situation.
- Critical: media can critically evaluate the Crisis Situation plans to highlight the gaps for correction.
- Suggestive: media can help generate, through debates/discussions, expert opinions on long term policies for Crisis Situation and relief measures.
Role of Media in Crisis Situation
In spelling out the role of the media, we follow the classification by SEEDS Asia in their presentation (2008): role of media before, during, and after a Crisis Situation(Sinha 2008).
Role of media BEFORE a Crisis Situation
- Analysis of sources of risks: media can help bring to the attention of the authorities the potential sources of Crisis Situation for proactive preventive measures. It can also play a role in preparing the community by training them and making them aware about do‘s and don‘ts to avoid such a Crisis Situation or during a Crisis Situation .
- Controlling law and order situation: media can keep a watch on anti-social elements and highlight suspected anti-social activities, which can help avoid crowd Crisis Situation. They can also assist the law and order machinery in restoring peace and harmony.
Role of media DURING a Crisis Situation
- Can play a vital role in broadcasting accurate information from the site of the Crisis Situation to the anxious public, which may help prevent rumours and hence panic.
- Can advise the public about Do‘s and Don‘ts to contain the effects of the Crisis Situation. For example, it can inform the public about the other potential secondary risk, and advise them accordingly.
- Can help the authorities and aid groups by highlighting the needs of the survivors. Can also help them in reaching out to those affected by the Crisis Situation, their families and friends to inform them about the relief measures being taken.
- Can help public contact their affected families and friends.
- Can facilitate resource mobilization (e.g., help raise funds and material through appeals) for the relief operations. It can inform public about the several modes of contributions.
Role of media AFTER a Crisis Situation
- Can inform the public on post-Crisis Situation rehabilitation efforts being made by authorities and aid groups. It can thus also help maintain a public pressure on the authorities to act sincerely.
- Can help investigate the causes of the Crisis Situation for the concerned authorities to help prevent it in future.
- Can help generate expert opinions through debates/discussions for better prevention of such a Crisis Situation or better preparedness in the event of a repetition of such a Crisis Situation.