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Humanitarian communication in a post-truth world

Bunce, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4924-8993 (2019). Humanitarian communication in a post-truth world. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, 1(1), pp. 49-55. doi: 10.7227/jha.007


When people look online for information about humanitarian crises, they increasingly encounter media contentthat blurs the line between reality and fiction. This includes everything from rumour and exaggeration to partisanjournalism and completely invented stories designed to look like real news (so-called‘fake news’). This articleshows that disinformation is causing real and serious harm to those affected by humanitarian emergencies; it canundermine the ability of humanitarian workers to provide relief; and it has exacerbated conflict and violence.Disinformation is also making it harder for journalists to report on the humanitarian sector, and hold the powerfulto account, because it undermines audience trust in information more generally. The article concludes byconsidering interventions that could address the challenges of disinformation. It argues for more support ofquality journalism about humanitarian crises, as well as media literacy training. Finally, it is crucial that aidagencies and news outlets commit to accuracy and fact checking in their reporting and campaigning.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article published under the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence
Publisher Keywords: disinformation, fake news, humanitarian communication, international journalism, truth
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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