UN Dispatch Among the Top Sites Where Humanitarian Professionals Get Their News

Forgive thine own-horn tooting, but we wanted to flag a new study by a team of researchers in the United Kingdom about the news consumption habits of aid workers and humanitarian professionals. The report identifies UN Dispatch as one of the most popular sources of news and analysis for decision makers and influencers in the aid industry.

Martin Scott of the University of East Anglia lead a group of academics that teamed up with the news site IRIN to conduct a survey of over 1,600 respondents. This included “individuals working for International NGOs (28%), the United Nations (9%), academia (9%), national or local NGOs (8%), government organisations (8%) and in the corporate sector (5%). A majority of respondents were either mid-career (32%) or senior professionals (41%) and had either ‘some’ (34%) or a ‘significant’ amount (30%) of decision-making authority within their organisation.” (emphasis added)

Among the questions asked in the survey was what sources the respondents turned to their news and analysis?* This included both mainstream and specialized sources, and it was in this latter category that UN Dispatch ranked high.

It is gratifying to see that so many aid professionals consider UN Dispatch a valuable source of news and analysis. We promise to keep at it!

Do read the entire report. It is brief (only six pages) and includes some valuable insights about the kinds of news that humanitarian professionals value. One of its key findings is that the aid community finds the mainstream media’s coverage of humanitarian issues to be “selective, sporadic, simplistic and partial.” So, they gravitate to specialized sources like UN Dispatch, among others.

The full report can be found here.

*As the report explains, IRIN is over-represented in this result because IRIN readers accounted for over half of the survey respondents.