Rapid response: Media in crises
During instability, the media can be a double-edged sword. They can help defuse tension by providing the public with accurate information; politicians and warring factions can also misuse the media to fuel intolerance and hatred.
International Media Support’s Rapid Response mechanism is the organisation’s ability to provide urgent support to local media caught in emergencies and conflict.
The Rapid Response mechanism is global and flexible; it entails interventions which are context-specific, targeted, and limited in scope as well as duration. Our focus is on assessing the needs of media and main actors in the media environment working for positive change in the midst of a difficult situation.
The aim is to enable media to continue to operate and do so safely while producing reliable and accurate conflict-sensitive information for the public. Some initiatives contribute to the prevention, management or resolution of conflict.
In 2016 – 2017, IMS carried out the following interventions:
- Turkey: Support to selected independent online outlets following the crackdown on media in the wake of the 2016 coup attempt.
- Nepal: Targeted support to local radio stations enabling them to report on accountability and governance in the recovery and reconstruction efforts following the April 2015 earthquake.
- The Gambia: Support to an inclusive and locally-driven media sector reform process following the peaceful transition from dictatorship to democratic rule in 2017.
- Ghana: Build media actors’ capacity to cover the 2016 national elections in a safe and professional manner.
- Colombia: Help improve the safety and capacity of local journalists in their coverage of the challenges surrounding the peace process, including through competent fact-checking.
- Burundi: Support the establishment of a radio in exile and contribute to the daily subsistence of exiled journalists living in Rwanda following the protests and violence that started in 2015.
- Desk studies and missions aimed at assessing needs of media facing conflict, emergency, or political transition. Recent work includes Bangladesh, Cuba, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.