Break-out session: Friend or foe: representation of aid interventions in the media

Representation of aid and disasters in the media is challenging, especially during current criticism on aid effectiveness. On the panel: Hans Ariëns, editor in chief at OneWorld; Marjolein Hammink, press officer at ICCO; Hans Jaap Melissen, freelance journalist.

Moderator: Talitha Stam. Break-out round 1

The session started with a 15-min film about a food security project of ZOA in northern Uganda. The film raised questions regarding the issue of portraying aid interventions in such a way that both positive as well as negative implications of the program were portrayed.

The discussion on aid representation led to two main conclusions:

  • First, there is an audience for more balanced reporting on conflict and aid (e.g. forgotten crises),
  • Second, NGOs can/should be more open now: the public demands a realistic, honest story.

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