Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
How much does fake coronavirus news affect people’s real-life health behavior?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 17, 2010, 10 a.m.

The Milton Wolf Seminar: NGOs, media, and diplomacy

For the next couple days, I’ll be attending a seminar on how changes in the media landscape are affecting diplomacy. The event, the Milton Wolf Seminar, will include a series of panels and discussions with leaders at international NGOs, journalists, and members of the diplomatic community — a group I’m excited to meet and interview and whose thoughts I’ll be sharing with you here.

The seminar is put on by the American Austria Foundation, the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, which is sponsoring my trip.

The seminar builds on themes from the series we ran here at the Lab, in partnership with Annenberg, on the changing role of international NGOs in the media ecosystem, with newspapers and TV cutting foreign bureaus and coverage abroad. As the introductory post asked:

What happens when news making and journalistic functions are increasingly outsourced or claimed by other actors with no original training in this field and its editorial standards? How central are new media to the alterations and growing distortions of the traditional journalistic sphere and how, if at all, can they be harnessed?

One session at the conference will address that issue directly, looking at how large NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Medecins sans Frontieres are using social media to produce and spread an incredible amount of their own content. One of the panelists, Simon Cottle of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies wrote an essay in our series on how NGOs bend to the needs of new organizations in the battle for coverage:

NGOs have become increasingly embroiled within a “media logic” that is far removed from the ideals and aims of humanitarianism. This is demonstrated in how aid NGOs seek to “brand” their organizations in the media in response to an increasingly crowded, competitive and media-hungry field; how they pitch and package stories in ways designed to appeal to known media interests, deploying celebrity and publicity events; how they regionalize and personalize media coverage of humanitarian work in the field, marginalizing if not occluding local relief efforts and the role of survivors; and also how they expend valuable time, resources and energy to safeguard their organizational reputations and credibility against the risks of media-led scandals.

It should be an interesting couple of days — keep reading.

POSTED     March 17, 2010, 10 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
How much does fake coronavirus news affect people’s real-life health behavior?
And what about Trump’s hydroxychloroquine and bleach proclamations?
An open letter to the new CEO of The New York Times
Meredith Kopit Levien, everyone seems to agree, is the right person to lead the Times into the 2020s. But here’s hoping she’ll view her mission more broadly — including the state of local news in America.
Newsonomics: The New York Times’ new CEO, Meredith Levien, on building a world-class digital media business — and a tech company
“Engineering now is the second largest functional area at the New York Times, only behind journalism, and the largest function by far on the business side.”