The Reuters Institute is one of the supporters of the upcoming 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis Reporting, which will be held on 4-6 November 2015 in Luxembourg. Professor Robert G. PICARD, a specialist in media economics and policy and a representative of the Reuters Institute, will be the moderator of this Colloquium. He will also be the Editor-in-chief of the ASEF Media Handbook on Crisis Reporting that will be a collection of best practices on crisis reporting to be published for practicing journalists and media organisations. ASEF interviewed Prof. PICARD about his views on the role of Asian and European media in crisis reporting:

Q. What is one of the most important roles of a journalist in crisis reporting? 

Crisis reporting informs the world about emergencies requiring global attention and builds support for action by national and international governments and aid organisations. 

It is hugely important initial source information for aid organisations because reporters are often on the scene with communication equipment that is able to capture and convey the size and magnitude of the crisis. 

Q. How can the 10th ASEF Journalists Colloquium, which brings together Asian and European journalists, help in effective crisis reporting? 

The Colloquium is designed to help journalists learn from each other and exchange regional experiences and knowledge about covering crises. It will explore challenges in covering a crisis and identify better ways to address the causes, needs, and responses to crisis that result from natural disasters and man-made humanitarian emergencies. 

Although many journalists are well experienced in covering precipitating events of crises, such as earthquakes, typhoons, and floods, humanitarian crises often continue long after the initial dramatic events and many journalists are less experienced and knowledgeable about how to serve the continuing information needs of the public and responders. 

Q. As the Editor-in-chief of the ASEF Media Handbook on Crisis Reporting, how do you think such a resource can help crisis reporters?

Most journalists don’t cover crises often in their careers and are often not well acquainted with the underlying challenges and issues that develop during crisis and in the responses of international organizations and aid agencies.

The handbook is being designed to improve understanding of crisis assessment and response and convey best practices in reporting on different types of crises. It will provide information about resources and networks that can help improve their understanding of crises underway and thus strengthen their reporting.

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