Media flights are really important in disaster response. They highlight what the real problems are.
Strategic media flights
Early on in a response, the media brings a disaster to world wide attention. The bigger press organisations are often the first to respond. They have the funds to put key reporters and cameramen in quickly.
These flights can be taxing for the pilots and crews. They want to get food to the people in need. They don’t want to make a visual record of how hungry or desperate people are. So it is often a good idea to mix a part load of food in with the press. This also allows the response to be seen across the world.
Reports to the UN in New York allow the release of central emergency relief funds. Media reports allow donor governments to target funds, key skills and equipment. Wider media reports allow generous donors to support. Like this.
Why not look at this early report on the response to Cyclone IDAI in 2019. Or this? See what we mean? If you want to help make this happen next time, why not donate now?
Operational press flights
Perhaps more controversially, flights of the press for operational reasons can show how the operation is going. They may create awkward moments for the responders. But they may show things that decision makers didn’t know about.
This may be uncomfortable. But if the operation is going well, then there should only be good news. If it isn’t, then the sooner people know the better. This sort of feedback can be very helpful.
Or these operational reports may highlight follow on disasters that may be looming. Like this? Cholera, exposure, malaria.
Have a look at this and see what you think?
After the operation has been running for some time, the media may wish to focus elsewhere. They may need flights to isolated areas to camp out for a few days.
These reports can focus on how quickly world attention moves on. They help remember that the response needs a completion. This report by Al Jazeera asks the awkward questions.
Pay for the media? What?
Why not donate now to help us get these key media flights funded in advance?
Yes we ask the media to pay for their flights. But it takes time for their monies to come through. And when they do we can use their money for other needed flights.
Still undecided? Check out or track record in our annual reports.
Or check what the Charity Commission website says about us. They are our government regulator.
Then take the plunge! Donate! Thank you!