Los riesgos geológicos en los medios de comunicación: el tratamiento informativo de las catástrofes naturales como recurso didáctico

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Prevention plays a vital role in the reduction of natural disasters. For this prevention to be effective, it must be consolidated through education and the dissemination of scientific knowledge amongst all citizens, besides other actions. Logically, divulgation of protection measures is one of the fundamental goals of formal education. However, due to their great potential audience and capacity for social impact, the mass media (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, cinema…) can also make a very important contribution by providing clear and rigorous coverage of natural risks. This paper analyses some of the most commonly observed problems involved in the media coverage of disasters: improvisation during the first few hours of the event, lack of scientific rigour, imprecise visual images, the tendency to focus excessively on the anecdotal, alarmist techniques as a counterproductive strategy and the relative lack of interest in protection measures. It also argues the case for the definition of a code of good informative practices in relation to natural disaster situations. Finally, certain educational resources are outlined that could be useful in the teaching of Earth Sciences ​
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