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Re: East Coast Earthquake 8-23-2011 - comment and a bit of a Christchurch Telco report :)
From: Mark Foster <blakjak () blakjak net>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 22:05:54 +1200 (NZST)

On Thu, 25 Aug 2011, Mark Foster wrote:

Radio - That was very interesting to observe. Clearly radio stations don't have disaster broadcast plans in place for content. When you're crying out for information about what's going on, the very last think you want to hear is an inappropriate advert break. The number of stations that kept broadcasting adverts for 'exciting things in Christchurch' was un-nerving. It's my view that media news desks also need to remember to listeners who are in the middle of the disaster area and are hanging on every word of their 'emergency radio'. To hear that my city is 'devastated by a MASSIVE earth quake and hundreds of people have been killed' every 10 minutes in the 'over hyped' news reader voice gets very alarming.

Commercial, nationwide-broadcast radio stations are not going to (by their very nature) broadcast disaster-information on a continuous basis as a significant proportion of their listener base may not be directly affected, and dont necessarily need the trauma. There's a psychological hit in this, and value in keeping up the norm as much as is reasonable.

On the other hand I expect that Radio New Zealand was one of the better transmitters involved, and to a lesser degree any radio station whos focus is talkback is going to be better value than someone who plays pop music.

I neglected to mention that Radio NZ's IP data volume exploded during and in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch quake, and a substantial amount of the load was international - friends and family, and folks out of town, wanting to check up on the situation and unable to receive local TV or FM broadcasts. If you host a broadcaster on your network, be warned....

(For little ol' NZ, International Bandwidth is the expensive bit...)


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