Covering Poverty in an Indifferent World

30 Nov 2012

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"Why Poverty?" is an international multi-media campaign that seeks to answer some of the most pressing questions about the systemic causes of poverty through documentaries. As part of the series, the Frontline Club in London hosted a panel discussion this week about how to improve the media’s coverage of poverty in a world that seems largely indifferent to the problem. Related to this issue is the role of public figures in anti-poverty campaigns. An important question that the panel tries to address is how to get an "events" driven media to focus on a "situation". This discussion is also worth watching for a fascinating presentation on new media and new forms of solidarity.


Paddy Coulter, a specialist in media and development with over 25 years professional experience. He is director of communications at the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at Oxford University's Department of International Development, he previously worked as Director of Studies at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.


Jamie Drummond, co-founder and Executive Director of ONE, a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs.

Andrew Hogg, head of media at Christian Aid. Previously he was news editor of The Sunday Times and the Observer, and he was editor of The Sunday Times Insight investigative unit. He was also that paper's Africa and Middle East correspondent.

Paul Vallely, a writer and activist on Africa and development issues. He is an associate editor of The Independent where he writes about ethical, cultural and political issues. He was the The Times correspondent in Ethiopia during the great famine of 1984/5. Vallely ghost-wrote Bob Geldof's autobiography, Is That It? in 1985 and travelled with Geldof across Africa to decide how to spend the £100m raised by Live Aid. He was later involved in the organisation of Live 8.

Lilie Chouliaraki, Professor of Media and Communications at LSE. She has published extensively on the mediation of suffering, including the books The Spectatorship of Suffering, The Soft Power of War and The Ironic Spectator.

© Frontline Club

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