8Media Access: Meet the Needs of the Media and Remain Accessible

Best practices of crisis communicators are based on principles of effective communication with a variety of groups, communities, and stakeholders, including the media. The media—radio, television, and print—is a primary way to reach the public. During a crisis, the media is obligated to report accurately and completely. Social media can provide very direct communication during a crisis and we recommend social media be part of any crisis communication plan. Traditional, or what is sometimes called legacy, media includes journalism. According to the American Press Institute (2017), journalism is “the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information” (n.p.).

During a crisis, reporters strive to tell the story of what is happening, report the facts accurately, and be sensitive to the people who are harmed by the crisis. There are many cases where news reporting was very important in helping crisis decision makers and individuals affected by the crisis understand what was happening. There are many cases where reporters have risked their lives to report on crises. During a crisis, journalists are sometimes aggressive in trying to get the facts, and crisis managers sometimes see them as adversaries. The term “fake news” has been used as a way to call into question the accuracy and credibility of journalism. Reporters working for established media are usually trained professionals who work ...

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