Broadcasting is key communication medium in emergencies
ITU Report to highlight role of terrestrial radio and TV in disseminating
Geneva, 29 November 2013
ITU held a Workshop on Emergency Broadcasting to highlight
the importance of international cooperation needed to enhance the reach of
broadcasting in emergency situations, such as in the Philippines, which was
recently devastated by Typhoon Haiyan and the cyclones that have battered the
coastal districts of eastern India.
A new ITU Report on Emergency Broadcasting
on the essential role of terrestrial radio and television broadcasting will be
finalized by April 2014 and made available online free of charge. The Report
will be compiled by co-Rapporteurs to
Study Group 6, Lynn Claudy (National Association of
Broadcasters, USA) and Gary Stanley (Babcock International Group, U.K.).
“Emergency broadcasting plays a critical
role in the rapid dissemination of information to the public, and is a key
element in helping save lives in the aftermath of natural disasters,” said ITU
Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “The ITU Report on Emergency Broadcasting
will provide broadcasters, first responders and the general public important
information on how to prepare for natural disasters and their aftermath.”
For many decades, radio and television
broadcasters have been the primary source of critical information to the public
in the event of disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, snowstorms,
earthquakes, tsunamis, and even terrorist attacks and industrial catastrophes.
Due to their wide coverage, broadcasting services are more likely to survive
such events than other communication networks.
Radio and television broadcasting provides
reliable point-to-multipoint delivery of essential information and safety advice
to the public as well as to first responders and others via widely available
consumer receivers, both mobile and fixed. Even in cases where electricity and
mobile-phone base stations are no longer available, reception of broadcast
signals is still possible with battery-operated receivers in cars and in
hand-held devices such as mobile phones equipped with a radio or TV receiver.
“The Workshop addressed key issues related
to broadcasting as a means of communicating to the public during emergencies and
how it fulfils these requirements most reliably and effectively,” said Mr
François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau.
“With the number of natural disasters and
other large-scale emergency situations on the rise around the world, as we have
seen with the devastation caused by the recent Typhoon Haiyan, it is absolutely
essential that the public is provided the necessary emergency information
quickly, comprehensively and accurately,” said Christoph Dosch, Chairman of
ITU-R Study Group 6 (Broadcasting service). “Terrestrial television and radio
broadcasters provide the fastest, reliable and most effective means of
delivering information to the public in these critical situations.”
A Video interview is available on ITU’s
For more information, please see
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information - ITU
Communication Officer, Radiocommunication Bureau