chapter  2
Development in the news
From iconographies of disaster to post-humanitarian communication
WithVokes Richard
Pages 48

The period between the end of the Second World War and the early 1990s saw a major trend develop in the way in which the issues and problems facing the developing world were represented via global media outlets. Some of outlets are newspapers, magazines, radio and television. To understand how and why humanitarian imagery came to dominate international media representations of the developing world, it is necessary to first know something about the longer history of humanitarianism itself, and of humanitarian 'visual economies'. A post-humanitarian campaign typically would instead invite viewer to reflect upon their own consumption habits, in ways that might improve the food supply for all human beings on the planet. Oxfam's GROW campaign is another good example of an appeal that used a post-humanitarian communication strategy. As a result of humanitarian organizations' media strategies, the image of a mother holding her starving child became one of the quintessential media images of famine.