Honig call for multilingual EAS DH


Natural disasters don’t care what language its victims speak, making it all the more necessary for the nation’s communications system to take into account non-English speaking communities when disasters strike. At an EAS summit in Washington, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Executive Director called for a system of "designated hitters" — stations broadcasting in a language spoken by significant portions of the local population. Advance plans would name a DH for all such groups. This would be part of a multilingual universal emergency broadcast plan, or UEB. Additionally, Honig would not wait for the President or a Governor to activate a local EAS system — rather, a UEB coordinator would be named at the local level with the power to activate a local EAS system without waiting for a situation to get the attention of authorities far from the action. Honig suggested such plans should be drawn up voluntarily by local broadcasters, for FCC certification, but would have the FCC impose such a system if necessary. "Multilingual emergency broadcasting isn’t rocket science or inter-carrier comp, and it isn’t expensive," he concluded. "For our part, MMTC will help you meet the challenge of multilingual emergency broadcasting. Just apply the same can-do spirit that the broadcasting industry has shown in efficiently transitioning to DTV, in avoiding indecency fines, and in preventing the FCC from proposing onerous localism regulations. Oh wait."