Media as a Form of Aid in Humanitarian Crises

thomwithoutanh's bookmarks 2016-08-15




Maaly Hazzaz, a UNESCO media development project officer, worked on community radio initiatives in northern Jordan for young people, refugees, and the host communities to help build greater dialogue and understanding about their concerns. Even after the programs ended when funding ran out, the dialogue continued for a while on Facebook, along with requests to bring the programs back on the air. Hazzaz, who is from Jordan and worked as a radio, TV, and print journalist before joining UNESCO, explains that radio allows affected communities to hear their concerns voiced in safe and anonymous ways while providing psychosocial support and guidance, including dispelling abundant misinformation and rumors. “We would have Q and A’s from listeners, and we would announce it beforehand, and some would send questions on the Facebook page or SMS,” says Hazzaz. “They also provide psychosocial support experts, whether it is children in trauma or related to family issues or early marriages. People would feel more secure on the radio rather than on TV or appearing at a center.

This is news and information often produced and delivered by engaging affected communities to provide input about the information they seek. It serves as a bridge between humanitarian relief providers and available services while providing greater audience engagement than in the past with the help of digital media. It’s more micro than the macro news and information of traditional media, using platforms including community radio, public service clips, online videos, and bits or streams of information crowd-sourced on Facebook or WhatsApp groups.


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Date tagged:

08/15/2016, 10:55

Date published:

08/15/2016, 06:55