City Research Online

“Our Relationship? It’s the Odd Mucky Weekend, Not a One Night Stand”: Journalists and aid agencies in the UK, and the current challenges to sourcing in humanitarian disasters

Cooper, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-2367-8626 (2018). “Our Relationship? It’s the Odd Mucky Weekend, Not a One Night Stand”: Journalists and aid agencies in the UK, and the current challenges to sourcing in humanitarian disasters. Journalism Practice, 12(8), pp. 954-965. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2018.1513813

Abstract

In humanitarian crises, the sources that journalists employ have always helped determine which stories achieve a high media profile, as well as play a part in framing the story. In particular, aid agencies acted as powerful gatekeepers to disaster zones, providing flights, transport, fixers and translators to journalists–and more recently, text, images and resources for the social web. Questions have been raised around transparency and objectivity in such reporting as a result. This paper draws on 40 semi-structured qualitative interviews with UK national journalists (broadcast, print and online) and aid agencies belonging to the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee. As a result, this paper builds on journalism studies looking at boundary (re)negotiations in journalism and the source-media relationship to show the current patterns in what has been described as a “mutually exploitative” relationship. It compares and contrasts what assistance journalists say they accept from aid agencies and what aid agencies report. It examines how both sides are often unwilling to acknowledge the close association. It will also look at how the increasing professionalisation of NGO operations including the employment of former journalists and producing their own content may be affecting the power dynamics. Finally, it asks whether the slow emergence of scandals means this relationship has not only affected stories that are covered but those that are not.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Practice on 11 Sep 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17512786.2018.1513813
Publisher Keywords: NGOs, aid, journalists, boundary negotiations, user-generated content, budgets
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20704
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 11 September 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

To request a copy, please use the button below.

Request a copy

Export

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login