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Monday 04 March 2013

Is it a disaster if the cameras are not there?
Is it a disaster if the cameras are not there? A Sri Lankan woman walks where her property once stood before the Tsunami hit the East coast of Sri Lanka, January 2005.

Inspired by ShelterBox's emergency disaster relief work, the Frontline Club is holding a panel debate on how the media covers disasters with journalism specialists and disaster experts on 5 March in London, UK.

'Is it a disaster if the cameras are not there?' is the topic of discussion at this exciting event, chaired by Clive Jones CBE, Chair of the Disasters Emergency Committee, the umbrella organisation that unites all the UK’s leading aid and humanitarian agencies. He also is a trustee of the ITV Pension Fund and a Professor in Journalism at Cardiff University. 

Other members on the panel include Mike Thomson, a BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Sky News' Head of International News Sarah Whitehead, Dylan Winder, Head of Humanitarian Response Group at the Department For International Development (DFID), and ShelterBox International's Head of Operations Ross Preston MBE. 

The expert panel will delve into topics such as how journalists are selected, briefed and operate, what the true value of their coverage is, what constitutes a 'disaster' in the eyes of a news agency, and what criteria determine whether coverage occurs. 

'We will also be able to explore the experiences of aid workers and examine what differences may occur in the field when the media are, and are not present,' commented Ross. 

Established in 2003, the Frontline Club is the London hub for a diverse group of people united by their passion for quality journalism and dedication to ensuring that stories that fade from headlines are kept in sharp focus. With its history rooted in the freelance video news industry, it exists to promote freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work. You can watch it live from 7pm on Tuesday 5 March here
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