Michael – your point about the media sometimes being helpful, but sometimes harming disaster response is an interesting one, especially when they chose what the public hear. When it comes to donations – I can see how an imbalanced representation of the needs of people would cause issues (on a side note – Vanuatu still has containers of unwanted clothes donated after TC Pam. Unfortunately this is racking up a massive shipping port bill for the government, even though they never requested the goods in the first place!)
Relating that to your last statement: “Effective media engagement would appear to be instrumental across the entire DRM cycle.” I can agree with that but in addition, perhaps if the messaging that the media put across also had a focus on Recovery, even if the majority of the media attention was during the response – this might impact funding priorities and therefore a better Recovery? I realise this would require a more cohesive and consistent voice from the Responding community (governments, NGOs, UN, communities etc) to make sure that Recovery was prioritised as well as response.