Ensuring civilians have access to life-saving information

For millions of people including those fleeing war, the lack of reliable information is part of the impact of hostilities. People need to know what danger to avoid or where to go for medicine, food, shelter and other. When all around is shattered down, broadcasters ensure that civilians have access to life-saving information and debunk disinformation and rumours.
Journalists working from a bomb shelter

However, military operations and escalation of violence represent a major threat for media. Be them local or foreign media, the impossibility or difficulty to access the studios, the destruction of media equipment and the obligation to hide affect their capacity to deliver information to the population - and demands they adapt to precarious means.

Journalists need to know how to adapt to the situation and continue broadcasting with limited equipment. Producing content in the event of emergencies was precisely the theme of the 2021 Remote Radio Week organized by UNESCO. “Smartphones put a whole studio in the pocket of not just video journalists but also radio reporters“, said Corinne Podger from Digital Skills Agency, while revealing the best 10 applications for mobile journalism.

During this UNESCO online training programme, experts from around the world explored solutions, techniques, technologies and best practices that allow radio stations to remain reliable or change the way they operate within emergency situations. A focus was also given on tools for mobile journalism that “gets to places old fashion radio can’t reach”, as explained by Lawrie Hallett, Senior Lecturer in Radio & Journalism at the University of Bedfordshire. These remote radio resources are published by UNESCO on a dedicated page to support journalists and media professionals. Feel free to tap into them.

On 2 March 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted by a majority of 141 against 5 adopted the resolution on Aggression against Ukraine, demanding abidance by international law. Following this resolution, on 3 March 2022 UNESCO recalled that free and independent media are critical for ensuring civilians have access to potentially life-saving information and debunking disinformation and rumours.

For additional information, please contact:

  • Mirta Lourenço, Chief of Section for Media Development and Media and Information Literacy
    +33 (0)1 45 68 20 17