The Case for Localizing Aid Stories

From A View From The Cave Mon Feb 18 2013, 08:30:00

How do you get the average Joe to care about or even watch a story that is related to aid? Lawrence Haddad makes the case for telling more accessible and real stories in his blog. He writes:

The story the media frequently tells--aided and abetted by the development industry which needs to raise funds--is centred on disaster, deprivation and disease. This sells newspapers and helps charitable giving. So why try to change it? Because it doesn't reflect the reality. Fatigue and cynicism will set in. Trust will be broken. And most importantly, it is a misrepresentation.

So how to make development interesting to viewers in the 6-7pm television news slot, preferably the local news slots which have even higher ratings than the national news ones? Not easy. First, think like a regular viewer. Why should they be interested? Find some stories that penetrate the lives of busy people who have no professional interest in development. Second, write like a regular person. Don't use jargon. Third, develop a relationship with media professionals (not only those converted about development)--get to know how they think and what they need. Finally, tell the real story--authenticity will win out.

Localising global stories is not easy, but it surely can be done. We have to change the conversation on development before it is too late.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!