The BBC News Editors blog has an interesting post from Nazes Afroz, regional executive editor for Asia & Pacific at the World Service, explaining how the BBC has been covering the ongoing Pakistan floods, keeping victims informed through local radio partners and sourcing stories from people calling the radio stations.
He said that as the floods continue to devastate the country the BBC had to adapt its coverage to suit a more long-term model.
When the disaster struck a month ago, it became apparent that the story would be very big, affecting millions of people. As the story became bigger within the first few days, we made the decision to start a “Lifeline” programme with essential life-saving information for the flood victims. The broadcasts contain information like fresh flood alerts, weather reports, how to cope with diseases, how and where to get aid etc (…)
[The radio stations] also decided to use a toll-free phone with voice recording facility and asked the flood victims to call and record their stories.
After being taken on by the BBC Worldwide’s local partner stations, the service was able to be offered in Pashtu as well as Urdu, opening it up to an audience of between 60 and 80 million people. Their stories have provided first-hand accounts of events for the BBC’s overall coverage.