Many international NGOs value those parts of their work that are suited to media representation: campaigning, advocacy, projects that produce the right sort of images. In this article I make three points about this change. First, those parts of the NGO most reliant on media – such as the campaign desk – may be becoming more powerful. This can change the internal dynamics of NGOs. Second, the increasing use of media means that NGOs, like other organisations, hold themselves accountable in new ways. Third, NGOs may appear to look more and more like media organisations. These changes have received relatively little attention in the literature on NGOs, though they reflect a broader set of debates about the role of media in society. Using a case analysis of an international NGO, I suggest that the concept of mediatisation might be a useful way to understand some of the changes observed in the NGO sector.
- The Guardian