In a health crisis, the media has the power to save lives. Effective communication can help to prevent or reduce the spread of disease, and guide those affected towards health services and treatment. This manual provides tips for media practitioners on how to help audiences during health emergencies.

This guide covers:

  • What are public health emergencies?
  • How the media can make a difference 
  • How to save lives: guidelines for communication 
  • Sources of further information 

BBC Media Action has responded to major crises around the world, including man-made emergencies, rapid onset emergencies and epidemics. It often works in partnership with local media in affected countries, helping them create Lifeline programming for their audiences, or we establish emergency broadcasts on BBC World Service airwaves. 

BBC Media Action also provides capacity-strengthening to media, governments and aid providers on communication with communities. This guide was created by BBC Media Action for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as part of their Community Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness Programme.