MMTC Again Urges FCC On Multilingual EAS
June 15, 2010 at 4:21 AM (PT)
The MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL's reply comments in the FCC's EAS proceeding reiterates the organization's position urging an update of the broadcast portions of the EAS rules to require multilingual emergency alerts.
The MMTC filed a proposal in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane KATRINA, to change the rules to require all Presidential-level EAS messages in both English and Spanish, and to establish "Local Primary-Spanish" and "Local Primary-Multilingual" designated stations. The NAB has opposed mandatory requirements on the format or content of EAS messages.
While the MMTC supports the proposal by FEMA to implement the Common Alerting Protocol, the organization said, "CAP, all by itself, cannot ensure that multilingual emergency warnings will reach those without access to mobile phones or other non-broadcast devices, since an emergency may silence a market’s only multilingual station. Further, CAP does not provide the comprehensive information people need in an emergency – how to seek shelter; where to find food; when it is safe to return; how to be safe upon returning; where to obtain medical assistance; how to find missing loved ones. Only local terrestrial radio’s regular programming is suited to perform that vital function."