By Riya Saxena, Associate Asha Impact

I had the opportunity to share my views on the future of financing in the humanitarian aid sector at the 5th Humanitarian Congress in Vienna last month. A big shout out to the organizing team for curating highly engaging and meaningful discussions that incorporated views of stakeholders from across the spectrum. Here’s what caught my attention and really got me thinking:

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Media plays a pivotal role in shaping and defining how people react to humanitarian crises.

There is a concerning rise in the use of national media for spreading hate and prejudice which attracts mass audiences. Media company business models in present shape and form are not conducive to reporting independent and neutral news. They face high pressure to draw more eyeballs and TRPs which often leads to reporting only specific news items that may be partial, over- exaggerated and dramatized for grabbing public attention. Additionally, the cost associated with insurance, travel, and research in war-torn areas is very expensive, causing a dearth of stories from the field. To fill this gap, while social media has gained prominence in spreading news at the speed of lighting, it further re-emphasis the biases and discriminatory sentiments. The negative and hatred driven reporting narrative combined with the innate human tendency of turning away from a crisis that seems ‘too big to handle’ creates an atmosphere of ignorance and inaction. …


Riya Saxena

Associate, Asha Impact

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