Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I've been up to
I've just had a piece published in Global Magazine "Lights, Camera, Public Reaction" about the ongoing relationship between the media and aid agencies.. (you have to register to read it); the magazine has a sidebar as well on Twitter etc.

Or if you want a bit of light relief: this on 1509 and all that: what would have happened if girls could inherit the throne ahead of boys for the Telegraph.

Meanwhile I'm re-reading States of Denial (Stanley Cohen), Reporting War (Stuart Allan) New Media, Old News (Natalie Fenton)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Back to school

I'm finally back on the blog as I restart my PhD at the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism on social media and reporting disasters. First seminar today. In the meantime I've been reading David Campbell's blog discussing photography and famine.
Campbell comments as follows on our understanding of famine
Few if any of us have direct experience of disasters, so we necessarily rely on mediated knowledge. That means our reality comes through representation. NGO officials understand this. As Don Redding once observed, “the construction of the event (the humanitarian emergency) becomes the event – for the purposes of public opinion and policy flow.”
One of the questions I need to look at then is how social media mediates representations of disaster - is there a difference?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Twitter and Iran/Disasters and the Media

Interesting piece on the Guardian today saying that Twitter's role in the Iranian protests was overhyped...
Also I've got caught up in a debate on disasters and the media on the ALNAP forums...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Woo hoo!

My piece on the blurring of NGOs and news organisations has just gone online at the Nieman Journalism Lab. What a great end to 2009 - and in a week where all my pre-Christmas planning has gone completely awry, a great break....

The Nieman Journalism Lab, a project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard is running a series on NGOs and the news at the moment so there's plenty of stuff to read there at the moment (and should speed up my next research considerably :)

Totally chuffed.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dispatches from Disaster Zones

I spoke on a panel at the Red Cross's Dispatches from Disaster Zones symposium earlier this week - Charlie Beckett's account here. Our panel was particularly lively thanks to provocative statements from Sam Kiley who wrote the following piece Do starving Africans a favour - don't feed them. He got into a debate with the DEC's Brendan Parry about whether NGOs had been misusing the word all got rather hot under the collar. Thoroughly good fun.

Meanwhile the Guardian has a really interesting piece here about how Africa is leading the west in terms of mobile phone journalism....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent resolution

After a bit of a break from blogging due to various life situations getting in the way, I'm hoping to start blogging again on the subject of new media, aid agencies and the like. First a very interesting piece by Charlie Beckett about MSF and multimedia work in the DRC here.

Second - from a month ago there is the special that I contributed to on Al Jazeera English on 25 years since Ethiopia. Great quote from Michael Buerk on why he didn't interview any of those who had come to Korem because they were starving - shows how much times have changed. So for those who inevitably think journalism has got worse, think again. Part one here, and part two (including Buerk) here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holding the aid agencies accountable

Interesting to see that Peter Gill is writing a book on famine reporting 25 years on from the Korem reports. He has done a piece for Media Guardian today reflecting on this - found here. The Dimbleby quote - how many skeletons - is all too believable (although the intro about Michael Buerk made me inadvertently laugh which I don't think was either Gill or Buerk's intention).
Gill puts his finger on it. The IBT's view that we should refuse negative images has its limitations. What is really needed is an examination of what aid agencies have done over the past quarter century. NGOs frequently complain they get a hard time in the media; I would disagree. Frequently they are not examined closely enough at all....