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THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION DOES PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT DEVELOPMENT MATTER? Astrid Zweynert Deputy Editor AlertNet www.alertnet.org Romanian Development Camp,

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Presentation on theme: "THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION DOES PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT DEVELOPMENT MATTER? Astrid Zweynert Deputy Editor AlertNet www.alertnet.org Romanian Development Camp,"— Presentation transcript:

1 THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION DOES PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT DEVELOPMENT MATTER? Astrid Zweynert Deputy Editor AlertNet Romanian Development Camp, September 2009

2 IT’S ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION –Development efforts are not fulfilling the promises made in the Millennium Development Goals - why is progress so slow? –“Failure to recognise that open, inclusive, participatory communication and information processes are prerequisites for successful, sustainable development” (Panos Institute/DFID) –Communication challenge for governments, NGOs and journalists – show, don’t tell

3 WHY DOES COMMUNICATION MATTER? Fabric of civil society woven from ongoing communication and exchange of information Information and communication "public goods“ Public right to know and to understand Ad hoc, fragmentary approach fails to put information into context People involved and engaged in discussions more likely to change their attitudes and behaviour

4 MEDIA - A VEHICLE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE Aids and HIV - the most successful communications strategies go beyond top-down mass media campaigns Soul City in South Africa (soulcity.org.za): TV soap opera and accompanying programmes and materials on radio, youth newspapers and outreach activities, reaching 70 pct of population Truly engaging people in discussions and talking about HIV has brought about social change – reducing HIV and Aids-related stigma

5 NEW GLOBAL CIVIC SOCIETY HUNGRY FOR INFORMATION “Second Gutenberg revolution“: explosive growth in information technologies transforms ways people access information and communicate Internet, social media, mobile Web provide exciting new opportunities for information providers to reach and communicate with their audience One-way communication a dying breed – public engages through social media (Twitter, Facebook) Media provide forum for debate and accountability, help shape social attitudes

6 TWITTER AS A TOOL TO SHARE INFO

7 TWITTER AS A TOOL TO ENGAGE PUBLIC Invitation to pose questions to key aid and development players via Twitter World Bank’s Robert Zoellick, UNICEF chief Ann Veneman, UN disaster risk reduction chief Margareta Wahlstrom

8 THANK YOU FOR LISTENING


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