If indications of the lack of crisis planning among the media and the dearth of understanding among local government leaders about the vital role of the media in times of disaster are true, newsrooms across the country are ill-prepared to respond to the informational needs of their viewers in the event of another terrorist attack.
To help media organizations and local communities prepare, the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, the National Academies and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will produce 10 workshops to provide guidance to journalists and public information officers on potential terrorists threats and how best to respond to the informational needs of the public.
The “News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis” workshops will feature a scenario exercise, tailored for each session, in which a small group of journalists, government officials and experts react to a simulated chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear terrorist incident. The day-long program also will include useful scientific information, self-protection advice and disaster planning.
Each workshop will involve about 100 participants, including journalists and news managers in radio, television, cable and print; public information officers; science and public health experts; emergency managers and other officials. Participants will gain knowledge, resources and contacts that will prove invaluable if their communities are attacked.
Workshop dates are: