What people feel and know, or think they know, about people in other places largely comes to them through media, traditional and new. In the field of international development this is problematic: powerful forces often have an interest in the suppression or distortion of information.
DEV research asks questions that may help improve the quality of information in the field of international development. How are media freedom and rigorous, independent journalism best protected when economic and political factors militate against them? How is humanitarian news produced, what are its contents, what gets focused on and why? How can it be improved so that some groups of suffering people are not invisible to the world? Do the media serve as an outlet for the voices of marginalised people such as the refugees in the camps on Europe’s borders? When awareness is raised of people’s need, such as in the fundraising campaigns of Oxfam, Christian Aid or Comic Relief, are the images used respectful and representative? What do the intended beneficiaries who are thus represented think of these images?
In asking these questions, DEV researchers are a critical friend to journalists, humanitarian news organisations, international NGOs, and the international Media Freedom Coalition.