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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: Cooper, G. and Cottle, S. (Eds.), Humanitarianism, Communications and Change: 19 (Global Crises and the Media). (pp. 79-89). New York, USA: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781433125263

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.

Publication 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)
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14678
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