There has been growing media criticism of the aid industry in recent years. Some of this has been ideologically driven and some opportunistic but it also appears that journalists are more insistent on holding aid agencies to account than they have been in the past.
This is a good thing but often the aid sector has appeared unduly defensive in the face of criticism.
This report seeks to understand what a broad range of journalists – both specialists and generalists – think about aid and the agencies that deliver it. The criticisms are wide ranging but several themes emerge. There’s a consensus that the aid sector as a whole needs to be more open and transparent. Since media reporting of the aid industry undoubtedly has a big influence on public opinion, it’s important that we take the views of journalists seriously.
A better understanding of what journalists really think will also enable those working in the aid sector to deal more effectively with media criticism.