How to create ethical & effective online social campaigning communications for development

How do you campaign for a cause in an age when there is so much competition for people’s attention and when the challenge is to get people to do more than click their support? It’s vital that anyone doing advocacy – especially online – understands the wider media context and the specific conditions of digital networks. This article was written […]


Pictures of suffering – do we have to choose between impact and dignity?

Is showing a tragic portrait of people in the developing world the only effective strategy to call for action and  funding from people in donor countries?  Can’t we change the perspective toward victims in crisis? Polis reporter Asuka Kageura gives her response to the Polis Media Agenda Talk by Brendan Paddy, Head of Communications at the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), who […]


If you have more women in media, do representations of women improve? Report from UN Media & Gender Forum

One of the assumptions we have made in media and development in the past is that you will get better treatment of women by the media if there are more women working in the industry. Yet as LSE student Emily LeRoux-Rutledge reports from the UN Global Forum on Media and Gender in Bagkok, it’s not that straight forward. It’s the first day […]

December 2nd, 2013|Development, Media|0 Comments|

What is the point of studying at the LSE when my friends are being killed at home? (Guest blog)

This week we were able to give a small but vital Silverstone Scholarship grant to one of our MSc students, Eman Eltigani, a journalist from Sudan. She was thrilled to get the financial support, but bad news from her homeland soon changed the mood. Here she reports on what it’s like to be a journalist studying abroad while people struggle […]


Connecting to the World: launch of report on online campaigning and the new media environment

The internet presents huge opportunities but also huge challenges for campaigners dealing with global issues.  On November 7th, we’ll be launching a new research report written by me for the International Broadcasting Trust that looks at how UK NGOs campaign online about aid and development and, how, in the wake of the Kony 2012 campaign, they could be much more […]


How to tell development stories – Bill Clinton at LSE

If all those books about political communications are to be believed then it should be easy to be as effective as Bill Clinton with the help of some speech writers, spin doctors and image consultants. Yet what is remarkable is how few politicians master the art of effortless, instinctive, impactful (sorry Robert Jay) speech.

July 11th, 2012|Development|1 Comment|

Insight from the Other World- A Marketing Professional Speaks on NGOs’ Communication Challenges

What happens when you bring together a commercial marketing man with a group of communications, fund-raising and marketing officers from a selection of the UK’s international aid charities? Polis Intern Paula Myers reports on a recent Polis report launch. “What’s the idea we can use?” Giles Hedger of the commercial marketing agency Leo Burnett shared his perspective on the challenges […]


Who Cares? Challenges and Opportunities in Reporting Distant Suffering (new report)

On June 27th at 5.30pm, Polis will launch a new report exploring the challenges and opportunities in reporting distant suffering. The report written by Dr Shani Orgad based on research by a team  from LSE and Birkbeck College will be of interest to NGO’s and Journalists working within marketing and media coverage of disasters, human rights and development.

Speakers at […]

June 13th, 2012|Development, Media|1 Comment|

How did Kony2012 Go Viral and Should We Copy It?

In this short draft extract from a much longer paper I argue that what made #Kony2012 go viral was not the slick content or the Invisible Children brand – it was its focus on networking as an end in itself.


Kony2012 and the digital challenge to the public sphere (new research paper)

This is a short early draft extract from a much longer paper I am writing for the International Broadcasting Trust on the future of the ‘public sphere’ in the digital age. In other words, how does our ability to communicate about international issues around development, human rights and justice change in the Internet era? In this short extract I look […]