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Emergency planning - examples of good practice

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Examples of good practice in emergency planning for radio stations . A presentation made by Janey Gordon at the 2015 Community Media Conference.

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Emergency planning - examples of good practice

  1. 1. Janey Gordon Principal Lecturer University of Bedfordshire CMA 2015 Planning on-air content for an emergency situation
  2. 2. Community Radio  Globally, community radio plays an important part in reporting of conflict and catastrophic events  Earthquakes in New Zealand and Haiti  Sumatra-Andaman tsunami  Hurricane Kathleen  Conflict - both positive and negative broadcasts.
  3. 3. Community Radio -UK Our ‘Key Commitments’ usually suggest that we will tell our listeners about significant events in their area. How will national or international incidents impact on our listening communities?
  4. 4. Emergency planning for :- • An internal station emergency (power outage, fire, flood?) • An unpredictable event (an accident or a serious crime?) • A natural disaster or incident (flooding, bird flu?) • A ‘predictable’ incident (the death of a national or significant international figure?)
  5. 5. Community Radio UK - current practices  Examined three recent events  Contacted community stations in the area  How did they cover these events?
  6. 6. Glasgow – bin lorry accident
  7. 7. Glasgow – bin lorry accident 18 September 2014 - Scottish independence referendum 23 July 2014 – Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games 29 November 2013 - Glasgow helicopter crash
  8. 8. Glasgow – bin lorry accident “…it was sad and a news item but it didn't effect our community directly other than our compassion and heart felt thoughts. This came across on one or two shows, maybe some more.” Javed Sattar, Awaz FM
  9. 9. Glasgow – bin lorry accident “The Glasgow bin lorry tragedy, we covered in our news…we have news from IRN and we read newspapers for our listeners….. we never did any special programming around that….. Our topical speech programming would be more about accessibility issues… we do things on crossing roads generally. Right now we are are supporting a campaign run by the RNIB about street clutter.” Stuart Barrie, Insight Radio - community of interest station for those with a visual impairment; on Freeview nationally)
  10. 10. Murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby – 22 May 2013
  11. 11. Murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby – 22 May 2013 “Our news team were all over it, bulletins, updates and so forth…[But] in the aftermath our focus was, what advice are the military command giving to their people?…What to do, what not to do… the wearing of uniform, the not wearing of uniform [or] identifying things like the Help for Heroes T-shirt.” Chris Pearson, BFBS Community Radio, UK
  12. 12. Flooding of the Somerset Levels winter 2013–14
  13. 13. Flooding of the Somerset Levels winter 2013–14 “It was out of our area of coverage but obviously of concern so we : •Promoted volunteering opportunities down on the Levels as help was needed over several months- done via a couple of weekly shows •Promoted the Somerset Emergency Volunteers organisation that arose and interviewed several people involved with that during the key point and afterwards. •Used social media occasionally to highlight their key messages I think that was all we managed.” Allan Trinder, Glastonbury FM
  14. 14. Forward planning? Death of a member of the Royal Family?
  15. 15. Forward planning? Death of a member of the Royal Family? • Obituary procedure is well defined. • There is a physical folder of instructions. • The main concern is that social media will break a story erroneously and a presenter will rebroadcast without checking its validity. • The instructions are cascaded through the organisation.
  16. 16. Forward planning? Death of a member of the Royal Family? “We have a very loose plan for a royal death in that we have a folder with a plan in it and have some appropriate music in the playout system ready to go. We haven’t rehearsed it, but probably should. …Our plan would be to play music and take what we can from any national feed – as most small ILR’s did in 1997.” Richard Berry Spark FM, Sunderland
  17. 17. Forward planning? Death of a member of the Royal Family? “We have a pre-recorded hour of “solemn music” in our cart system and as soon as we have a confirmation from the BBC that this is really happening we will default to this and then, in consultation with the BBC we opt into BBC Radio Lincolnshire who’ll be opting into Network. ….We opt back to local programming as I decide is right and at the appropriate level.” Andrew David, Siren FM, Lincolnshire
  18. 18. Forward planning? “We don’t have a formal disaster plan, although I think we should. I have tried to get Spark bundled into the University’s disaster planning…That move was prompted by a flooding threat a year or so again. The Environment Agency warned that the Wear might burst its banks, so the University decided to evacuate the halls and our building. We attempted to argue that staying on the air was more use than getting out …hopefully this idea has now taken root.” Richard Berry, Spark FM, Sunderland General Emergency?
  19. 19. Forward planning? General Emergency? “We are part of the emergency plan for the city and county and do this in collaboration with BBC Radio Lincolnshire and the Lincolnshire County Council…. We are also used by the Emergency Services for their emergency training events and provide real-time reporting experience for Emergency Service personnel. We also are on standby for emergency events that may happen at the various RAF bases in the county.” Andrew David, Siren FM, Lincoln
  20. 20. Forward planning? “Thankfully, there have been no major incidents in the city. It is something that I do worry about…partly as we are so reliant upon volunteers with no experience of what to do when the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop.” Richard Berry, Spark FM, Sunderland Volunteers?
  21. 21. Forward planning? Volunteers? “We have a range of contingency plans but they all revolve around the ‘refer this upwards’ approach in an emergency and it all refers directly to me and I then delegate through my volunteers.” Andrew David, Siren FM, Lincoln
  22. 22. Emergency planning- Good Practice- considerations • The ‘plan’ will be needed unexpectedly • The incident will need verifying • The incident may be distressing • The ‘plan’ will be needed unexpectedly!!!
  23. 23. Emergency planning- Good Practices • Have a physical folder detailing the agreed procedures and instructions • Stress that verification is essential (are reports of the incident true?) • Have a clear hierarchy of decision making, with contact details. • Have a rehearsal occasionally
  24. 24. Janey Gordon Principal Lecturer University of Bedfordshire CMA 2015 Planning on-air content for an emergency situation

Examples of good practice in emergency planning for radio stations . A presentation made by Janey Gordon at the 2015 Community Media Conference.

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