Members of the media at the workshop this morning

An initiative by the Public Relations & Education Sub-committee of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO), has sought to better equip media personnel with the methods and procedures associated with Disaster Reporting.

The half-day workshop, facilitated by Disaster Risk Management Specialist Cecil Shillingford and Senior Meteorological Officer (Ag.), Sheryl Etienne-LeBlanc this morning, was aimed at making members of the media be better able to report on matters relating to disasters of all types as well as understanding the terminology used in meteorology.

Leblanc said that NEPO thought it fitting that since Dominica is in the hurricane season, the need existed for such a workshop.

“NEPO saw the importance of media persons during disasters and in particular during the hurricane season, since media persons are the one who bring the information to the public, we saw that it was necessary that we bring them together to try to better understand the terminologies that we use in various hazards and to build the relationship between the media and disaster personnel,” Leblanc said.

Currently, in the event of an emergency, dissemination is channeled through the Government Information Service, which is responsible for furnishing the other media houses with the information. Leblanc, however, points out that some media houses are not receiving the information in a timely manner and that the organization is taking that into consideration. She also mentions that there are plans for further training workshops in the future.

“The committee agreed to have another such workshop at the end of the hurricane season where we would evaluate the season, how we did and how the media persons used the information presented here today. At that work shop we would feature another hazard, whether it’s volcanoes or tsunamis and look at some of the other terminologies associated with those,” Leblanc concluded.