In This Review

The News Media, Civil War, and Humanitarian Action
The News Media, Civil War, and Humanitarian Action
By Larry Minear, Colin Scott, and Thomas G. Weiss
Lynne Rienner, 1996, 123 pp

This book breaks little new ground in surveying the interlocking roles of the media, governments, and nongovernmental organizations in responding to humanitarian crises. In some cases the media leads the other institutions; in others, it distorts priorities and messages. From case studies briefly covering Iberia, northern Iraq, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, and Rwanda, the authors conclude that the three need to work together more closely. Much more useful, at this point in the discussion, would have been a study of cases like Sudan, Angola, and Afghanistan that received relatively little media attention despite the gravity of their humanitarian problems because they were inaccessible, dangerous, or passe.