JMSC@NYC Day Four: Human Rights Watch
After leaving ABC, our last stop in New York was activist group Human Rights Watch, which provided us a different perspective into the news industry. As Media Director Minky Worden had said, one can think of NGOs like HRW to be “news suppliers”.
Employing many former journalists, HRW is engaged in its own field reporting and generates its own constant stream of media and research reports on alleged human rights violations. Operating from the Empire State Building (for rental prices have gone down much since the September 11 attacks apparently), HRW has many bureaus outside USA which are staffed by a good number of local residents, said Worden.
View from the top: Looking out from HRW’s Empire State Building office
Which is good, I suppose. After all, I would think local residents would be able to better handle the nuances of cultural differences in their reportage, theoretically-speaking. Regardless of location though, HRW adopts the same approach in trying to influence governments, including trying to talk directly to policymakers, as well as naming and shaming governments in their reports. This definitely got some of us thinking about the efficacy and effects that negative reporting, versus that of positive reporting, might have on societies and governments.
The visit to HRW was a great point of view to have after three days of exploring the heart of the evolving news business from within. While short, it was a great reminder about how the relationship between external news suppliers and news outlets is symbiotic. Yet, while activists –and other organizations and corporations for that matter- take on forms familiar to journalism, perhaps their biggest difference is that activists have clear agendas in their reportage, while journalism is still steering clear of trying to impose opinions… Ideally, that is.
And with that, we ended the tour of the media hub that is NYC, leaving us with much more insight into the world of American broadcast journalism.
(Written by: Liyi. Picture by: Pip)