25 January 2013

The Problem With Only Telling Good News

Telling good news, success stories, is the latest trend for many in the aid and development community.

Good stories especially need to be told about Africa, says Oxfam Great Britain, to document the progress being made amid all the problems

“In order for people to understand what’s happening in Africa, we’ve also got to tell the good stories, and there has been good news in Africa,” said Oxfam GB head Dame Barbara Stocking in an interview about the campaign for SkyNews.

Stocking contends the media and many charities tend to mostly focus on negative stories of conflict and suffering, neglecting the good news stories and creating a distorted view. Oxfam GB is the latest to change its marketing angle towards telling good stories based on the belief that people need to see evidence of progress.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation operates along similar lines, funding media to do success stories and recently launching a grant program specifically supporting communications projects aimed at showing that humanitarian aid is working.

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