Will crisis reporting survive? *cancelled*

Will crisis reporting survive?
At a time of deep polarization, fake news, and serious global challenges like migration, climate change and the war in Syria, independent, quality journalism is needed to make sense of a complex world. Yet the media industry is in crisis. What consequences does this have for how people and policy makers think and act upon these topics? How can we support independent, responsible journalism about the most critical global challenges of our time?

Reporting about international issues has declined steadily in recent decades. A recent study from the Humanitarian Journalism Project found mainstream coverage of humanitarian crisis to be ‘selective, sporadic, simplistic and partial’. There is hardly funding to do thorough investigative reporting, giving space to the complexity on the ground. To ensures coverage of humanitarian crises, NGOs and journalists often become more dependent on each other, which raises risks around the independence of the journalism.

Join this debate on the ethics and viability of crisis reporting in a divided world, and how to support independent responsible journalism about some of the most critical issues of our time!

Heba Aly, director of The New Humanitarian, gives a keynote speech on the value of independent, qualitative crisis reporting. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Dutch journalists, funders and aid workers. What are the consequences of the lack of funding on how Dutch readers and policy makers read about and act upon conflict and crises? What is the role of journalists in reporting on humanitarian crises? And how can we make sure that crisis reporting remains independent of and critical on the work of aid organisations?

Organising parties: Humanity House & KUNO & The New Humanitarian


  • Heba Aly: Named by New African Magazine one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2018, Heba Aly runs The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News), an independent, non-profit newsroom reporting from the heart of conflicts and disasters. Her work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News and IRIN, among others, has taken her to places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chad and Libya; and she received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for work in northern Sudan. Her recent TEDx Talk – “Stop Eating Junk News” – drives home the importance of responsible journalism from crisis zones. Heba Aly is a regular commentator on media coverage of crises, as well as humanitarian aid policy, in her published work, in governmental briefings and at conferences around the world.
  • Joeri Boom is a Dutch journalist, specialized in conflict reporting. He has reported from the frontlines in Kosovo, Macedonia, Darfur, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. From 2012, he was South Asia correspondent for NRC Handelsblad based in New Delhi. And from 2014 Joeri he was also a radio and TV correspondent for the NOS in the region. He still returns regularly back to the region. In June 2011, Joeri won the Dick Scherpenzeel Prize for critical foreign journalism, with his book “Als een nacht met duizend sterren”, about his struggle with embedded journalism in Uruzgan. From the jury report: “He was one of the few who kept digging and did not give up. In this way Boom fulfills one of the most important tasks of journalism: controlling the government, which in the case of Uruzgan did not hesitate to temper with the truth.”
  • Cees van der Laan is the editor-in-chief for the Dutch newspaper Trouw.
  • Wessam Alessa is Iraqi journalist, who reported on the war against ISIS from the front line. From 2005 – 2015 has was a freelance journalist for English broadcasts such as BBC radio. Before that he was correspondent China for Central Television and chief correspondent for Press TV.
  • Tineke Ceelen is the director of Stichting Vluchteling, a Dutch NGO that provides humanitarian aid to refugees all around the world. Media attention is important for the organisation to bring public attention to neglected humanitarian emergencies.

About The New Humanitarian

The New Humanitarian is one of the world’s leading sources of original, field-based journalism about humanitarian crises. TNH amplifies the voices of those affected to inform more effective and accountable responses by the international community. Our journalists report from 70 crisis zones around the world about everything from conflict to natural disasters, from migration to pandemics to amplify the voices of those most affected and inform more effective and accountable responses by the international community. After 20 years as part of the United Nations, we spun off in 2015 to become an independent media non-profit, headquartered in Geneva.

Will crisis reporting survive? 5


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