Metro-TV:The News Media in a Disaster


A high magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Banda Aceh on December 26, 2004. Indonesian government calculated the victims and the result was 129775 deaths, 38786 missing and 504518 tsunami-displaced persons in Aceh Province (Anon, 2005 cited in Doocy, Gorokhovich, Burnham, Balk, & Robinson, 2007). The impact of this catastrophe affected multiple communities, destructed structural and social widely, and interrupted public services simultaneously. According to these impacts, a review of the emergency management and its actors, especially the news media in Indonesia, will be important to discuss.

Emergency management can be described as “the discipline and profession of applying science, technology, planning and management to deal with extreme events that can injure or kill large numbers of people, do extensive damage to property, and disrupt community life” (Drabek, 1991, cited in Lindell, Prater, & Perry, 2006). The person who conducts an emergency management usually called an emergency manager. He or she identify, anticipate, and respond to the risks of catastrophic events in order to reduce to more acceptable levels the probability of their occurrence or the magnitude and duration of their social impacts (Lindell et al., 2006). Moreover Lindell et al. (2006) emphasis that hazards, emergencies, and disasters afflicted human societies much longer than academic disaster research has existed.

There are four phases or principal functions of emergency management: hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, emergency response, and disaster recovery (Lindell et al., 2006). Of the four phases, mitigation is the only one that is conducted before the disaster event while the other stages all occur just before or after the disaster (Godschalk, Beatley, Berke, Brower, & Kaiser, 1998).

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