The way the news was shared about last week’s Titan disaster in the North Atlantic is a textbook case on how to handle the flow of information in a crisis.
The back story here relates to how Canadian public officials handle crisis information. Ranging from poor to weak, they hide behind weasel words like ‘privacy’ or fears of damaging a subsequent court case.
Interestingly, the Americans generally provide plenty of details in real time and for some reason they don’t seem to lose any court cases on the grounds of too much information disseminated to the public too early.
But Canada sits at the other end of the spectrum. The Nova Scotia shootings is a good example. It was so bad the public report two years later called for the RCMP Depot in Regina to be closed, misusing information for political purposes.
But last week the world received constant updates about the search for the submersible destined for the Titanic. And the details came – not from public officials – but from the Explorers Club. Basically, the public kept the public informed while publicly-funded agencies came up lacking.