Write a feedback response of 100 words each for the following questions.
1) Problems with the MediaMy job is not to sell accurate news, my job is to sell newspapers. This was the answer I received almost ten years ago when I asked a major news editor why his information was always different from my agencies press releases. Then, I was a young Public Information Officer (PIO), naive and unwise to the different roles the media could play in the incidents that kept a municipal police department busy.Simply stated, today’s media has to be correctly utilized by responders when dealing with major catastrophic events such as a terrorist attack.
The biggest value media brings to major incidents, is the ability to reach a significant number of people quickly. Reaching a large amount of people is especially helpful when important instructions need to be relayed to the public in a short amount of time. Examples might include, evacuation routes, protective measures, or other important directives that promote the overall safety, health, and welfare of a population.Because the media has a job to do, it is important to face the harsh reality that the media will do it’s job with or without inclusion by responders and incident resources. A number of problems can be substantially compounded if the media is isolated and left in the dark.
First and foremost, in events such as a terrorist attack, the media can actually add to the spreading of fear and pandemonium if unchecked conclusions are made based on nothing more than uninformed deductions. Moreover, the media can also be problematic when sensationalism replaces fact based reporting. Sensationalism exaggerates reality which can be inherently dangerous. Both uninformed conclusions and sensationalism can equally contribute to negative outcomes perpetrated by the media. According to Newman and Clarke, “This is why major disaster-management centers maintain close links with the media: to make sure that the coverage is accurate, that it does not exaggerate the disaster, and that it does not add to the problems faced by first responders” (p. 124). The solution to these problems and more is actually pretty simple.
Instead of isolating them, the media should be manipulated and utilized in the restoration of order through the careful release of appropriate information by incident resources (Newman and Clarke, p. 132). By bringing the media to the table, so to speak, need to know information can be funneled through the media to the general public. This does two things. First, coordinated accurate information can be delivered to the public thus preventing a jumping to conclusions epidemic by the public. Second, it keeps the media busy! If reporting is inaccurate, catastrophic events can be subjected to more disaster created by the media (Newman and Clarke, p. 132).
Some media outlets are more naturally positioned to be extremely helpful. Examples according to Newman and Clarke, include social media and agency websites (p. 132). Currently, the municipal police department where I am employed uses Facebook, Twitter, an agency website and a program called Nixle. By using a proactive approach of constantly informing our jurisdiction of community information we are able to provoke a cause and effect reaction by the media. This helps to set the media up to ask the right questions! Additionally, social media should not be “neglected” (Management Today, 2012).
Public Information Officers can also be key in preventing problematic press through relationships (Newman and Clarke, p. 132). The advantages of developed relationships between members of the press and an agency PIO is huge. For starters, good relationships provide a deterrent in preventing inaccurate reporting. Especially if the PIO has thrown the media a bone in the past. Contrary to popular belief, members of the media are generally not interested in burning bridges. “Positive media relationships built during normal day-to-day activities will be valuable during emergency situations” (FEMA, p.6).
Today, more than ever, it is important to realize the important role media can play in something like a terrorist event. Used properly, the media can provide assistance in successful mitigation of catastrophic problems and in providing needed information to the public. Used incorrectly, the media can bring disaster to an already unstable environment.
2) Understanding medical assessment and the subsequent treatment protocols that can affect patient care is an important aspect of emergency management. Managers must have an idea of the innumerable potential injuries, exposures, contaminations and infection control issues that could potentially affect their population base. By understanding these aspects, managers and their response teams can make educated assessments and estimations of personnel needs, equipment and supplies. Preparation and planning remains key. Responders must have the training and supplies to accomplish the mission goals. Besides treatment protocols, appropriate medications need to be stockpiled and EMS providers trained in their use. (Zachera, 122) Having the knowledge and ability to understand and manage patient care protocols is paramount to the emergency management team. A team that can anticipate the needs of the incident such as transportation of patient’s, hospital destination decisions (based on type of injury and quantity of patients) or even pharmaceutical demands keeps the team ahead of the curve… Imagine finding yourself responsible for the mitigation and outcome / recovery from a biological attack. If there was no advanced planning and coordination with emergency medical services, hospitals and pharmaceutical suppliers, the event could literally kill scores of patients as a result of ineffective and inefficient planning. Would you or “we” be partially responsible? I think so.
Consequence management is the key and the terminology we use to describe our needed or intended actions. FEMA defines consequence management as measures to protect public health and safety, restore essential government services, and provide emergency relief to