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Humanitarianism in a World without Shadows Dan Brockington University of Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "Humanitarianism in a World without Shadows Dan Brockington University of Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 Humanitarianism in a World without Shadows Dan Brockington University of Manchester

2 Couldry et al: 2007: 412. N = 1006, conducted June 2005 Public Responses to Celebrity Advocacy

3 ‘I don’t even know who Bono is.’

4 Public Responses to Celebrity Advocacy

5 Belief in Celebrity

6 ‘You also might be able to get a hearing on Capitol Hill because one of those testifying would be a celebrity.. That happens all the time.’

7 ‘Celebrity is a proxy for public engagement even though in pretty much all cases they, the public, were not engaged initially.’

8 ‘The fewer the better. If we could do all that without the bother of reaching out to millions of people we would do so. Its cheaper and easier.’

9 Post-Humanitarianism Chouliaraki: ‘prioritises the ‘authentic’ emotions of celebrity and our own connectivity towards her, it encourages the narcissistic disposition of voyeuristic altruism rather than a disposition of commitment to the humanitarian cause.’ ‘voyeuristic altruism that may intensify connectivity with celebrity but does not necessarily facilitate a move to action’ (Chouliaraki 2012: 17)

10 A Shift in the NGO Sector


12 Field Trips ‘If we can get someone to the field and work around their interests and availability, without a doubt most people find it’s a really moving, engaging and inspiring experience’. ‘there are just so many examples that I could give you of the difference that a trip like that makes to a celebrity and just in terms of really engaging them and really cementing the relationship.’

13 Field Trips in Celebrity News Production ‘We are often approached by charities about certain treks and we might use that as an excuse to try and get a particular celebrity so we will look for them to chase a certain celebrity for us for a specific trek.’ ‘get access to a celebrity who would never normally have time for us at that particular time as well if they are not promoting something.’ ‘Nowadays... there seems to be quite a few different publications will be allowed to do one trip, whereas perhaps in the olden days it would be like, no, one person wanted an exclusive, whereas nowadays we sort of split it between non- rival publications or we split the celebrities and we try to organize it with more than one celebrity on the trip. ’

14 Reporting Field Trips ‘when you go on these trips you are basically covering the celebrity highlighting the issue that they are going to cover.’ ‘You are not dictated by having to focus on a celebrity with perhaps what is going on in the background. Your central point of focus isn’t the celebrity. [Without the celebrity you] don’t have to focus on getting the celebrity into every single picture... It makes your job a lot easier’

15 Reporting Field Trips ‘You photograph the whole package in a very positive light.. there are no shadows in the world of celebrity; everyone looks beautiful. It is not about creating an interesting photograph with moody lighting, it is about creating the happy world.’

16 Reporting Field Trips ‘You do get some really great celebrities who really get involved and get their hands dirty and really want to take in what they are seeing. And I would say that that is a huge majority of them... [But] it’s not always what the PR wants... A celebrity has a PR. The celebrity to that PR is a product. They do not want their product viewed that way.’

17 Reporting Field Trips Q: ‘Has any figure said great photograph... but I don’t like that because it points too much to me rather than the issue? A: ‘God. That would be nice wouldn’t it. I don’t want to say any more on that. Wouldn’t that be nice.’

18 Authenticity ‘Authenticity.. can mean several things. Have you seen the problem? Have you been there, do you go there regularly? Do you have empathy with the issue and with the audience – e.g. if its a story about children, are you a mum or dad? Are you concerned with issues of injustice?’

19 Authenticity Expert Authority Experiential Authority Affinity Empathy Sympathy

20 Thanks to The ESRC and Univ of Manchester Lisa Richey; Bram Büscher; Katja Neves; Martin Scott; John Street; Mark Wheeler; David Hudson; Mike Goodman; Cheryl Lousley; Lilie Chouliaraki; Jim Igoe; Jo Littler

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