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Can journalists and aid workers trust each other?

Time (GMT +01) 12:00 13:15

Jean-Michel Piedagnel, Executive Director, Medecins Sans Frontieres UK
David Pratt, Foreign Editor, The Sunday Herald
Martyn Broughton, Editor, Reuters AlertNet

Marian Hens, Freelance Journalist


We work together in difficult circumstances in the same complex environments, but are there for different reasons. Media and aid workers rely on each other – for information, access, profile and support. But in the hunt for a good story, do journalists put aid workers at risk? And do aid agencies just treat the media as a marketing tool? In this fast-paced media world of web-based dissemination, rolling TV news coverage, and burgeoning radio stations, how is the environment changing for both groups? Are we on the same side, or just in the same place at the same time? And who are we each answerable to?

At this ALNAP, HPN, ODI and Reuters AlertNet event, journalists and aid workers discussed the main issues and shared experiences. The panellists all have direct experience of working in crisis contexts and include David Pratt, an experienced print journalist; Jean-Michel Piedagnel, the head of a humanitarian agency, and Martyn Broughton, the editor of Reuters AlertNet, which bridges the worlds of media and humanitarian relief.

Jean-Michel Piedagnel became Executive Director of MSF's UK office in April 2001 after six years running MSF's emergency programmes in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burundi and Montenegro.

David Pratt
is Foreign Editor of Scotland's Sunday Herald newspaper. He has covered wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, and across Africa, including Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Sudan and Somalia.

Martyn Broughton has been the Editor of Reuters AlertNet since November 2006. Previously, he spent six years as Head of Communications for MSF UK. Before that, Martyn worked for more than 20 years at the BBC World Service as a producer and editor of current affairs and feature programmes.

Marian Hens, currently freelancing for the BBC in Madrid, specialises in international politics and current affairs. She has worked in production and reporting for the BBC in Morocco, the Middle East and Europe.