Presentation on theme: "Mainstreaming communications in development Guy Berger, Rhodes Univ Presentation to Oxfam, 9 October 2008."— Presentation transcript:
Mainstreaming communications in development Guy Berger, Rhodes Univ Presentation to Oxfam, 9 October 2008
Typically, development planners and agencies all but ignore the role of media and communication.
Development paradigms Old thinking: “inform passive developees enlighten them, change their cultures, individual attitudes”. Dependendista thinking: Upward- flows are vital. “Gimme national shelter”
Development paradigms Participatory thinking:To have upflow, you need horizontal comms amongst developees (eg. Community radio) And to have all-round comms, you need to think all vehicles and esp mass-media.
To make impact… Bounce energy into the public arena. That means strategies to engage with journalists. This is a media-centric position, but: Africa does not lack rich experience of development and replicable practical projects. What we’re short of is something else.
Missing link Public comms are what can fuse Oxfam development efforts with national, continental and international policies. To make a really powerful intervention, we need to mainstream the media into our thinking.
Don’t dodge politics Change of policy and actions do not just flow out of good development projects. Instead, they are profoundly political. Not to say we should all pack up and become politicians! But it is to shout out: we really need to punch in the public sphere if we want to make really significant difference.
Hence we need: Communications that are vertical and comms that are horizontal A buzz of information & communication. And: entertainment, education, information AND journalism. Mass media platforms serve to magnify and multiply it all. ICTs can help output content for mass dissemination (and input as research)
Appreciating media The role that journalism plays is to: Put our issues on the public agenda; Prime the policy pump; Frame the treatment of the topic; Highlight projects that should be taken into account; and Network stakeholders.
THE ACTORS: the media the public policy people public opinion
1. Propaganda picture MEDIA COVERAGE i.e. Government is the originator, circuit incomplete eg. media coverage pleases govt, ignores public GOVT INITIATES 1 2
2. Media centric model CIVIL SOCIETY MEDIA COVERAGE GOVT RESPONDS i.e. Media coverage is active source of public opinion eg. Exposure of child abuse 1 2 3
2. Media centric model MEDIA COVERAGE GOVT RESPONDS i.e. Media coverage is active source of public opinion eg. Exposure of child abuse 1 3
3. Democratic model MEDIA COVERAGE CIVIL SOCIETY GOVT RESPONDS i.e. The public is the active source of public opinion eg. Aids activists win coverage, affect govt 1 2 3
Thank you: May the “oxygen” of development invigorate your work