In June 2018, Alliance members Avoid Accident and the Indian Federation of Road Safety organized training for print journalists in Hyderabad entitled “Shout Out for Road Safety—Responsible Reporting.” The training was organized in association with the Transport Department and Road Safety Authority in Telangana state. Its purpose was to enable journalists covering transport, mobility, and road safety to ask pertinent questions when they cover a road crash story.
Media is well-placed to influence and enable government action and citizen participation and holds potential to drive a reduction in fatalities and injuries on the road—demonstrating that road fatalities and injuries are not “inevitable accidents” but “avoidable crashes.”
The event offered a two-way opportunity. Journalists completed a short survey about their experiences of reporting on road incidents. The organizers found that journalists got much of their information from informal social network sources such as WhatsApp groups and from official sources including the traffic police department. It was hard for journalists to do in-depth coverage of individual crashes because of the emotional sensitivity. Heartening was the desire of journalists to play a proactive role in bridging the gap between government and the public in road safety.
The two NGOs are in the process of translating WHO’s manual for journalists into Hindi, Punjabi, Telagu, and Tamil and plan to hold a further workshop. Read more about Avoid Accident HERE and the Indian Federation of Road Safety HERE.