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A Relationship at Stake: Media & Aid Organisations

Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies
Training date
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The relationship between aid agencies and international/local media is often ambivalent yet vital for public and operational outcomes. This course aims at exploring the theoretical and practical issues and implications of this challenging relationship. The course programme analyses the two sides of the interaction: the first part examines public communications by aid agencies in a changing media environment and includes media training for operational purposes. The second part explores the principles of humanitarian journalism and crisis reporting, questioning the media’s agenda, the newsworthiness of humanitarian contexts and the impact of media coverage.

Objectives of the course:

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the media landscape (global & local) and the opportunities and challenges it presents to humanitarian organisations
  • Analyse the impact of the digital media revolution
  • Analyse the limits and constraints of relations between the media and humanitarian organisations
  • Use the media as a strategic communications channel to support humanitarian programmes and operations
  • Prepare and give an effective media interview (broadcast, print, online)


Around 50 hours of work for the whole course, including:

• Approximately 20 hours of face-to-face teaching (lectures, media training)
• Approximately 30 hours of self-study time (readings, reflexive analysis)

Structure of the course

• International media landscape and challenges
• The use of digital media at field level
• Journalists- aid actors interaction
• Traditional media: Between independence and instrumentalization
• Making of humanitarian news: Media training

Fee information

The course fees are 1,500 CHF. This does not cover accommodation or living costs.

How to Register

Applicants need to apply via the Centre's platform. All information can be found at