Thursday, October 26, 2006
Great to meet Gordon Adam this afternoon, formerly BBC and now in the broadcast consultancy business, especially in developing countries. He runs Media Support out of an office in North Kessock, Rossshire in Scotland. He's just back from Afghanistan.
Gordon made an interesting contribution to several sessions and submitted a paper on the problem facing this part of the industry.
It is very difficult to find people who are suitably qualified for this type of work in communication for development. Journalists don’t understand development nor do they have the patience to grasp the research methods needed to show long term effects. Development people don’t understand how to communicate and the gang PR go for the hard sell which may work on the short term, but not in the long. The aid agencies understand how to communicate to donor countries to raise funds, but not how to organize camapaigns to help locals who are affected by disaster.
Many of the development agencies do not understand the skill set required to do this kind of job. They don’t want to hire people straight from university because they don’t have any field experience. The aid agencies need to hire more people with practical journalistic experience. There are so few universities that offer courses in this combined skill set.