Why so many humanitarian crises are forgotten, and 5 ideas to change that

Martin, S, Wright, K, and Bunce, M.
Publication language
Date published
16 Jan 2023
Accountability and Participation, Funding and donors, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles

Every day, journalists and editors make decisions about which events to cover. They generally prioritise those that are easy to explain, culturally familiar to the audience, and taking place in larger economies. This is why many of today’s crises are simply overlooked by mainstream media coverage. 

For humanitarian journalists, decisions on news coverage are guided by journalistic principles of impartiality and objectivity but also by humanitarian principles – such as humanity and alleviating suffering. They don’t view themselves as advocates, but do believe that all lives have equal value – no matter where they live. 

The blog offers five ideas, drawn from an analysis of the political, economic, and social forces that shape the work of the humanitarian journalists the authors studied for their recent book, Humanitarian Journalists: Covering Crises from a Boundary Zone.