Encouraging Audiences To Pay Directly For Journalism Could Help Increase Coverage Of Under-Reported Humanitarian Crises

Inter Press Service: Why Are so Many Humanitarian Crises Under-reported?
Martin Scott, senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia

“…[I]nternational news coverage plays a key role in raising awareness of and drawing attention to humanitarian crises, in order to secure the funding needed to help. … The main reason why few news organizations, and particularly commercial news outlets, regularly produce original coverage of humanitarian affairs is the very high costs involved. It is very expensive to fund on-the-ground reporters and the kinds of time-consuming research and travel necessary to explain the complex causes of humanitarian crises. … Given the inherent costs and challenges associated with funding humanitarian news, there are no easy answers to the question of how to increase coverage of under-reported crises. However, there is also some cause for optimism. … Perhaps audiences are more interested in humanitarian journalism than many journalists think. Some may even be willing to pay for it. … Encouraging audiences to pay directly for journalism they trust and value may ultimately be the only sustainable solution to the crisis facing humanitarian news” (1/22).