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Humanitarianism, Communications and Change


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 Four: Digital Humanitarianism


← 60 | 61 → CHAPTER FOUR

Digital Humanitarianism


I remember standing on the roof of the Ministry of Justice in downtown Port-au-Prince. It was about two meters high, completely squashed by the violence of the earthquake.

For those of us on the ground in those early days, it was clear for even the most disaster-hardened veterans that Haiti was something different. Haiti was something we hadn’t seen before. But Haiti also provided us with something else unprecedented. Haiti allowed us to glimpse into a future of what disaster response might look like in a hyper-connected world where people have access to mobile smart devices.

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