PhD student at the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University; writer; mother
The debate you mention and link to between the BBC journalist David Shukman and me (Dominic Nutt) took place several years ago now; but essentially little has changed. The crux of the issue remains: aid agencies are desperate for media coverage and journalists still fail, for the most part, to cover consistently and in depth, the reasons why disasters happen and why they hit the poor harder than anyone else. Somethings have change, of course. 9/11 has certainly shifted the political parameters of the debate. Government aid, specially US aid, can often be targetted at those who are 'for us' (US allies) as opposed to given to beneficaries selected purely on the basis of need - which is the moral paradigm on which most aid agencies strive to operate.And aid agencies have got even slicker in their media operations. I find it hard to call whether this is a proper, Darwinian prosess that will lead to more, better and more efficient aid and aid delivery, or whether it is a zero sum game between the 'rival' aid agencies.
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