A stark warning has been issued to shipping industry by the former BBC presenter Nik Gowing on the perils it faces from social media in the event of a casualty. Gowing a Visiting Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, Kings College London, warned over 250 leading shipping executives at the Danish Maritime Forum.
He said, “It is not about the media, it is about a whole different set of challenges to you. It’s ruthless and uncomfortable”.
A few examples such as Sewol and Costa Concordia casualties were cited by Gowing on how the capability to instantly record, send and upload video has restructured the media landscape. He emphasized the proliferation of cameras in the case of Sewol.
He added that “ This has caused enormous challenges for the current (South Korean) President and the shipping industry because everything could be seen.”
Also, Gowing has pointed out that the recent huge explosions in the Port of Tianjin, footage was available online from at least four different drones, despite it having happened in China.
Gowing persuaded the companies to revert immediately to any of the major crisis and take the high ground. Besides he made a mention that “You’ve got to be seen to enter this space. Your mindset might be you have 24 hours to respond – I’d put it you have 24 minutes.”
He cited the Germanwings airplane crash and the reason behind it as a good example to respond to a crisis. He stressed that the company’s CEO was very quick to get into the social media space and respond on the airplane crash.