NGOs media and public understanding: 25 Years on an interview with Paddy Coulter former head of media at Oxfam

Cooper, G. (2015). NGOs media and public understanding: 25 Years on an interview with Paddy Coulter former head of media at Oxfam. In: G. Cooper & S. Cottle (Eds.), Humanitarianism, Communications and Change: 19 (Global Crises and the Media). (pp. 79-89). New York, USA: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781433125263

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Abstract

In 1989, Paddy Coulter, former head of media for Oxfam, trustee of Comic Relief, and the man who facilitated Michael Buerk’s first trip to Ethiopia, wrote a piece for the New Internationalist magazine, making a powerful attack on aid agencies of the time for their reliance on backward-looking‘starving children’ imagery. This pushed the idea of a passive developing world, and agencies whose intervention was cheap, easy, and risk-free and which failed to mention the indispensable work that local partners did.

The article, titled ‘Pretty as a Picture’, was a controversial one, particularly as it was written by an insider. Coulter ended with a plea for agencies to stop seeing fundraising as the dominant, if not primary objective, and to fulfil their responsibilities to educate the public.

To mark twenty-five years on from that piece, we invited Coulter to reflect on the situation then and now, and what developments and differences he sees now in 2014.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is the Author Accepted Manuscript, not the definitive, published version. Cooper, G. (2015). NGOs, Media and Public Understanding: 25 Years on an Interview with Paddy Coulter, Former Head of Media at Oxfam. In: G. Cooper & S. Cottle (Eds.), Humanitarianism, Communications and Change (pp. 79-89). Global Crises and the Media: vol. 19. New York, USA: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781433125263 (paperback) (https://www.peterlang.com/view/product/30733), reproduced with permission of Peter Lang.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: School of Arts > Department of Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14678

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