Published on March 14th, 2013 | by EJC0
Report – ‘Connecting The Last Mile: The Role Of Communications In The Great East Japan Earthquake’
It’s been exactly 2 years since Japan, the island country in the Far East, found itself in the middle of a mega-disaster in March of 2011.
On the occasion of the two year anniversary of this triple disaster, Internews Europe, a leading, international media organisation recently published a report entitled ‘Connecting the Last Mile: The Role of Communications in the Great East Japan Earthquake‘ to which the European Journalism Centre partnered as the lead contributor. With support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the report investigates how communities in the most disaster affected areas (i.e. the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures) were informed about the earthquake and tsunami, and looks at what communication channels were used the most for gathering information pertaining to everyday life, getting situational updates, and confirming the safety or death of people’s loved ones. The goal of the report is to identify what worked well and what did not during the 3.11 Japan quake. It also aims to give recommendations that international humanitarian communities and media organisations can keep in mind when preparing themselves for future natural and/or man-made disasters.
There are five main focus areas of this report that should not be ignored:
- The Early Warning System that is operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency
- Coverage of the mainstream media outlets, with a particular focus on nation-wide TV and newspapers
- Local initiatives including community radios, (hyper-)local newspapers and camp newsletters
- Digital media and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Ustream, Google’s Person Finder, and crisis mapping
- Post-disaster projects aiming to preserve the memory and identify the lessons learned from the disaster