The role of Zambia national broadcasting corporation (ZNBC) and times of Zambia (TOZ) in reporting disasters: the case of Misisi and kuku townships in Lusaka

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Kapungwe, Sylvia
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University of Zambia
The study was aimed at finding out the role the media plays in communicating on disasters, particularly floods with the publics in Kuku and Misisi townships of Lusaka. The study was a result of the authors‘ attachment to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit of the government and a research by the student assessing the public‘s views in the two townships. The research used a combination of exploratory, descriptive and analytical research designs. This was to improve the quality of data, which could be limited if only one approach was used. The study adopted a triangulation approach involving quantitative and qualitative research techniques. The use of this approach was important because it helped to capture a more complete, holistic and contextual portrayal and, it revealed the varied dimensions of the coverage by given newspapers on disaster messages. The findings showed that there are lapses in information flow on disaster related information in that there is no continuity in reporting disasters, and the subject is only treated largely when there is an event or floods. There are no follow-ups as to what action has been taken after a crisis. Further, it was revealed that collaboration between the media and disaster managers was only cordial and systematic during times of disasters, but distant or non-existent during other times. It is recommended that, in line with the Agenda setting theory, the media should engage in more sustained coverage of disasters so that there is a constant flow of information on disaster related information. If this happens, the dwellers of the two areas will then be blessed.
Media roles---Disaster management