Humanitarian communication in a mediatized, post-factual world

Joint seminar Danish Institute for Study Abroad & ComDev New Media, ICT & Development course, 08 February 2018


  1. Tobias Denskus, DPhil., Senior Lecturer Communication for Development, Malmö University, Sweden
  2. Michael Krona, PhD., Senior Lecturer Media and Communication Studies, Malmö University, Sweden
  3. Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen, Denmark (founded in 1959)
  4. Development & humanitarian communication is changing...

  5. ...from the early days of technical assistance
  6. "Through a magazine that represented its public face, the WHO introduced, mixed and blended, used and instrumentalized humanitarian narratives to enhance its authority and legitimacy (...). Humanitarian narratives promoted technical assistance; they gave it a human face: that of the expert, of the nurse, and of the international health worker, of the doctor and of the recipient of aid" (Rodogno & David, 243)
  7. contemporary advocacy campaigns in 2014...
  9. From the academic macro view...
  10. "Mediating the visual power of this imagery is to recognise the unruliness of its potentialities, this study demonstrated, inviting fresh thinking about how to best perform a curatorial role, one consistent with professional standards and procedures while, at the same time, benefiting from the news value associated with the emotive, visceral immediacy of first-hand, eyewitnessing of human suffering. While seeking to engage people and stir responses through empathetic forms of visual communication, we also heard interviewees reaffirming commitments to upholding ethical guidelines and editorial processes shifting the visualisation of suffering away from ‘victims’." (Dencik & Allan 2017)
  11. the complex realities of daily news...
  12. “When things are familiar, like the back of an ambulance, it brings the event right up to our nose. When we focus on a detail, we can process it. This photo isolates a moment. One moment that we are shocked by because of its stillness. He is not looking at anything. He is in shock. It is almost worse that he does not appear seriously injured. What it says is that he was pulled out of hell and that others were not. He experienced something that did this to him. Not tears or screams but shock. No response. It is personal. There is no cultural barrier, no space between this boy and us. At the same time, he is a symbol. We know he is not unique, that there are terrible things happening all over.” (NYT Insider)
  13. Refugees, journalists & activists in Idomeni at the Greek-Macedonian border, March 2016
  14. ...your first trip to "Africa"/Africa...
  15. How To Get More Likes On Social Media