The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was devastating, but people took advantage of new technology and new media to restore the broken country and pull Haiti out of its dire humanitarian crisis. In this TED talk and accompanying article, speaker Paul Conneally shows how international volunteers turned to social media and cell phones to call for international relief. For example, these “digital volunteers” tracked tweets to locate people who were stranded. Social media has more than just the ability to spread ideas and information; it has the capability to spread actions and physical change.
“Digital Humanitarianism.” Coffee Shop Communication. 21 February 2012. Web. 20 July 2012. <https://turnerbethany.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/digital-humanitarianism/>.
The CNN Effect: Mass Media and Humanitarian Aid
This senior thesis investigates the direct correlation between the media attention a crisis receives and the amount of aid allotted to each crisis. According to author Jared Bredeson, the more media attention directed to a humanitarian crisis, the more international aid and acknowledgment it receives. This link between media and aid is commonly known as the “CNN Effect.” This effect can obviously be used to raise funds and awareness for crises worldwide, but in reality, such benefits are limited. Given the fleeting nature of media reports, crises are frequently reported but follow-ups are rare.
Bredeson, Jared. “The CNN Effect: Mass Media and Humanitarian Aid.” Honors Program Liberty University. 2011. Web. 22 July 2012. <http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1248&context=honors>.