Emergency coverage by CCN TV6 broadcast journalist highlights key role social media can play in natural disaster reporting.

Nneka Parsanlal, a broadcast journalist working with the Caribbean Communications Network Television 6 (CCN TV6), effectively demonstrated the essential role of social media in reporting emergency situations when covering tropical storm Bret, which hit Trinidad and Tobago on June 19th.

Nneke Parsanlal at the PMA & UNESCO workshop in Barbados.

Nneka reported on the situation while actively participating in the PMA workshop to develop social media guidelines for media workers in the Caribbean, which has been taking place in Barbados for the past two days. The workshop is funded by UNESCO Caribbean Cluster Office and supported by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) and RJR Gleaner Group.

The workshop discusses the key role social media can play for journalists and news outlets as it becomes an integral part of the output for successful media houses, especially during times of crisis and emergency when people turn to social networks from their trusted media sources. In these instances, social media can provide them with potentially life-saving information, advice and live updates.

When storm Bret passed over Trinidad and Tobago, Nneka worked throughout the night from her hotel room in Barbados and coordinated the CCN TV6 social media coverage of the emergency, providing vital information to the citizens.

Nneka’s work is a striking example of how social media can provide an invaluable and timely information service in times of emergency and natural disasters.

Examples of Nneka’s work can be found on CCN TV6’s website and broadcaster’s Twitter profile.

Header image: Satellite image of a tropical storm. Credits: NOAA/Creative Commons