Destinations and organisations were advised to respond quickly in crises situations to ensure journalists have the information they need.
Claire Irvin, head of travel editorial at the Daily Telegraph, told the annual International Travel Crisis Management Summit last week that the newspaper will hold its first news conference at 8.30.
“We will reach out to journalists and contacts in the industry. It helps if those who have something to say are getting in touch with us then. It does not help to get to 3pm and say my chief executive has a comment that’s been signed off. We will want to go to the source before then.”
BBC News cameraman Stephen Adrian said the first consideration is is it safe to send out to cover a disaster or crisis. But he said today people on the ground are likely to get footage on air before established news outlets and that news crews are increasingly looking to tell a different story from a different angle.
He said faked images and footage are a concern but that the BBC has teams of people looking at User Generated Content to check its reliability.
Independent journalist and explorer Sarah Begum told the conference that news journalists tend to only be interested in covering the immediate story so a lot of destinations are turning to influencers like her to give a more authentic take and reflect the stories of the people involved.
“I like to really immerse myself in the situation, like to really get involved in their culture and taste their way of life and understand what they go through. I do have the luxury of time to do that. I quite often gain their trust, gain that access, and tell a much more authentic and positive story about what’s happening.”
Irvin said after last year’s Hurricane Irma the immediate focus at the Telegraph was how it could continue featuring the Caribbean while also communicating the impact of the storm. “We took the view that there were areas [of the Caribbean] that needed our help. This is one of our readers’ favourite places to go to. So we got them to donate and fundraise.
“But our immediate focus was how can we continue to cover the Caribbean. It’s not seemly to have a Caribbean cover splash the week after something like that has happened.
“Behind the scenes we were working with people who send lots of people to the Caribbean like the cruise industry and operators like Kuoni to let the world know that the Caribbean was still open for business.
Last year we upped our Caribbean coverage because we knew our readers would be interested in these areas and we wanted to support. We have a duty to do that.”
Gallery: ITCMS 2018
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