humanitarian comms

Media is for Peace, Love and Understanding?

There are different theories of what role the media should embrace. One of them is that the media should serve the audience and is responsible in seeking truth. With regard to conflicts this means that responsible journalism providing all relevant information can be a promoter of peace, love and understanding. But is “objectivity” in journalism even possible? And where does […]

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BBC, Al Jazeera and globalisation of news (guest blog)

  This is an edited version of an essay by Polis Summer School student Victoria Yates. The idea of globalization is not new, despite many of the modern connotations attached to the term. The creation of the printing press created much the same revolution in communication, connecting people for the first time in a wide manner beyond traditional dialogical contact.

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Living In A World Of Distorting Lenses (Guest blog)

By Chrysostomos Agapitos (Polis Summer School student, 2010) Some years ago, I came up with this naïve idea for a short story. The plot revolved around a group of people being locked up in a room whose walls consist of millions of distorting lenses. I never actually wrote that story down. But, thinking it over through the years, I kept […]

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A code for the road: the ethics of reporting Africa

I asked the Polis Summer School students to finish their 12 day course by giving me a code for the road. Tell me, I said, what should be the guiding principles for journalism about people who are suffering or are from other countries. Here are the ideas from different groups of students  for some ethical guidelines. For what it’s worth, my […]

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Depicting Icarus: empathy and journalism (guest blog by Victoria Yates)

“My son was nearly nineteen years old,” Mohammed said. “He wanted to be a doctor. There’s a photograph of him”-he waved his hand vaguely-“somewhere, wearing a stethoscope.” He made no move to get it, as though already discouraged by the effort. His wife begun to cry again. “Mysterious are the ways of God,” he said. There had been no warning […]

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