The role of the media in public communication of warnings

Inge Niedek
Chair IABM, ZDF German Television, Weather, P.O.Box 4040, D-55100 Mainz, Germany.
Tel.: +49-6131-706530, Fax: +49-6131-368743,
E-mail: inge.niedek@t-online.de

TV and Radio is the No. 1 means of communication for world-wide information-transfer to the public. Weather-departments are closely related to the news. Almost every other day there are news about a weather-occasion somewhere around the world which might require an adequate comment or background-story from the weather-presenter.

Any presenter of weather-information should be aware of the responsibility he has to assume and should have the best and reliable information possible in case of severe weather accompanied by an official warning handed out by a single source the National Meteorological Services respectively the government, because they have the most reliable information available and in most of the countries by law the responsibility to issue the warning. This requires a very close co-operation between the people presenting the weather-information to the public in TV or radio and the people deciding to issue a warning, which in many countries not yet established.