Asia Pacific

Post-tsunami videoconferences for senior editorial staff

March-April 2005

APJC, with support from AusAID and the Danish NGO International Media Support, organised two international videoconference discussions for senior editorial staff in the nations directly affected by the tsunami. The goal was to discuss important issues relating to the 26 December 2004 tsunami. These included sharing information on death and injury to staff and families, the destruction of news media infrastructure, and the effect on journalists of reporting trauma. They also included the on-going challenge of how to report the reconstruction process.

The first videoconference took place on 23 March and involved 40 participants attending videoconference sites in Jakarta, Colombo, Chennai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Canberra. The theme of the discussion was Review and recovery: situation on the ground and current condition of news media in tsunami-affected nations.

Key presentations were given by:

Mr Michael Elmquist, Deputy to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, and Head in Indonesia of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Relief, Jakarta, Indonesia
Mr Santoso, Director Radio 68H, Jakarta, Indonesia
Mr Uzair, News Editor of Radio Prima, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Mr Bharatha Malawararachchi, Daily News, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ms Rasheeda Bhagat, Associate Editor The Hindu Business Line, Chennai, India
Ms Shahanaaz Habib, senior reporter, The Star, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The second videoconference took place on 20 March and involved 33 participants attending videoconference sites in Jakarta, Colombo, Chennai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Canberra and Melbourne. The theme of the discussion was Reconstruction and accountability: challenges ahead for newsrooms in covering the tsunami reconstruction effort.

Key presentations were given by:

Mr Kamal Kishore, UNDP Regional Disaster Reduction Adviser, New Delhi, India
Mr Terje Skavdal, Head of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Asia Pacific region, Bangkok, Thailand
Ms Rungtip Hongjakpet, Editor, the Phuket Gazette, Phuket, Thailand
Mrs Jennifer Arul, Chief of News Bureau, New Delhi Television, Chennai, India
Dr Kerry Green, (Ass. Prof.) and Head, School of Communication, University of Canberra, Australia
Mr James Ensor, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad’s Director of Public Policy, Melbourne, Australia
Mr Rod Curtis, The Age, development aid specialist, Melbourne, Australia