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Humanitarianism, Communications and Change

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Edited By Simon Cottle and Glenda Cooper

Humanitarianism, Communications and Change is the first book to explore humanitarianism in today’s rapidly changing media and communications environment. Based on the latest academic thinking alongside a range of professional, expert and insider views, the book brings together some of the most authoritative voices in the field today. It examines how the fast-changing nature of communications throws up new challenges but also new possibilities for humanitarian relief and intervention. It includes case studies deployed in recent humanitarian crises, and significant new communication developments including social media, crisis mapping, SMS alerts, big data and new hybrid communications. And against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized and threat-filled world, the book explores how media and communications, both old and new, are challenging traditional relations of communication power.
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Chapter Two: Media Futures and Humanitarian Perspectives in an Age of Uncertainty and Complexity

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← 38 | 39 → CHAPTER TWO

Media Futures and ­Humanitarian ­Perspectives in an Age of Uncertainty and ­Complexity

RANDOLPH KENT

Media have increasingly become a driving force in human development not only a Fourth Estate reporting on the activities of the government and society, but a dynamic and determinative force that shapes our politics, economics, culture and history. The information revolution increasingly puts the destiny of humanity in our own hands. (Hoffman, 2013, p. 234)

And, it is with this underlying assumption about transformations in the media noted by the eminent media analyst that this chapter suggests that the media’s importance needs to become ever more so as the impact of future humanitarian threats become increasingly more global, interactive, and complex.

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