More nimble, more human, more efficient : A case study of how the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement relates to alternative journalism in disaster and conflict operations

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Avdelningen för medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap


Different forms of non-traditional journalism play an increasingly important role when it comes to informing us about what´s happening around the world.

By the use of one case study—the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement—this essay aims to research the following problem: How does the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement relate to alternative journalism during disaster and conflict operations?

The question is explored from theory on alternative journalism and its alleged empowering potential and as an alternative in cases where traditional journalism fails. Through individual interviews with participants from the organization including one focus group interview, the study gives an overview of how these professionals relate to alternative journalism and how it is incorporated into the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement´s (hereafter RCRCM) activities.

Conclusions include that: RCRCM is increasingly using information from alternative journalism to monitor and listen to different audiences and as sources for operational purposes. Alternative journalism comes with opportunities such as; closer dialogue and feedback, credibility and accountability to the sector as well as empowerment. 

Direct Movement organizational benefits include helping to mobilize communities to participate in operations through for instance becoming members and volunteers and contributing to fundraising efforts.

However there are challenges, in particularly in view of adhering to the RCRCMs fundamental and key operational principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.

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