By: Karole L. White
The MAB has launched a resource page on its website for stations and their reporters on COVID-19 the Coronavirus. This web page gives broadcasters up to the minute information coming out of the State Emergency Communications Center and articles about reporting on pandemics and health emergencies from some of the national leading authorities from the Poynter Institute. It also includes best practices for reporters. It is our role as broadcasters to provide this important information to our audience. We want to do it in a factual way but also put the report in perspective so as not to frighten the public and cause greater interruption to their daily lives and the economy at large.
It is times like these that the public can better understand the importance of local radio and television. The audience believes their local anchor, their local radio personality wakes them up every day of course these trusted individuals will give you the real truth. Local audiences trust us and we will not let the public down. The audience needs clear information. We all need to impart common sense and simple caution to our audience.
According to Captain McGowan, Commander of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, “Governor Gretchen Whitmer Issued a State of Emergency, that however only means a heightened state of awareness.” Because MAB coordinates the Emergency Communications System for the state, we are involved in the state emergency response plan.
We need to know what plans you have made to keep your stations on the air in the event that an unusual number of key employees were to become ill and not be able to come into work. We would like to create a best practices list of preparedness ideas.
Send your ideas and plans to Dan Kelley, MAB Director of Technology, at [email protected].
We will be updating the page as more resources become available to help you serve your community better. Visit the page here.
The NAB has also launched an effort to help broadcasters and a link to the free NAB Coronavirus Toolkit and PSA’s for Broadcasters is on the MAB page.