Conflict and Disaster Reporting: Does the Public Still Care?

Talk Thursday 23 October 2014, 8:30 PM

This event is organised by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

On 23 October 1984, the BBC aired a landmark report on the famine in Ethiopia. Describing the crisis as a ‘biblical famine’, the report galvanised the public, spurred the UK government into action and prompted the creation of the infamous Live Aid concert.

Now 30 years on, is media reporting of today’s conflicts and disasters having the same effect on the public and has the nature of conflict and disaster reporting changed? How are journalists adapting to these changes?

How are humanitarian organisations working with media outlets to help generate interest and understanding of the crises affecting millions of civilians around the world?

Join the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) as they examine the current state of conflict and disaster reporting and how humanitarian agencies can work with the media to raise awareness and much-needed funds.

Chaired by Ben Parker who has worked in media and humanitarian response for over 20 years. He co-founded the IRIN humanitarian news service in 1995. As well as a reporter and editor, he has been an aid worker, most recently as head of UN’s humanitarian office in Syria in 2012, and as UN director of communications in Somalia.

The panel:

Juliana Ruhfus, senior reporter for the People and Power programme on Al Jazeera English, specialising in investigative work. Her journalistic work with Channel 4, BBC and now Al Jazeera has taken her to over 30 countries, including Somalia, Yemen, Haiti, Libya and Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Marc DuBois was the head of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) UK from 2008–14. He has worked in the front lines of humanitarian crises for MSF in countries including Sudan and Angola.

Jon Snow, Channel 4 News anchor since 1989. During his career he has covered conflicts in countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Angola as well as the Haiti earthquake and the recent crisis in Gaza.

Eva Svoboda, research fellow in the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute. She has worked for various NGOs and the ICRC in emergencies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

If you are unable to attend you can watch the event live, to receive a reminder register here.

Photograph: isafmedia

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