Conference with Ray: Why don’t the media care about development?

Published: 06 December 2010

When one young reporter asked Catherine Ray why the media does not care about development, and what she planned to do about it, Catherine Ray was visibly puzzled.

She suggested that putting on events like the European Development Days (with a hefty price tag of 2 million euros) and inviting 500 members of international media was one way to get development into the news. However the question remains- after the event ends, how much lasting impact will the event have on how much the media report on development issues?

The concept of sustainability has been reinforced throughout the seminars we have attended so far. However this "sustainability" and "solidarity" does not seem to be reflected in the media policies adopted by press as there remains to be very little information about development available.

The success of the European Development Days hangs in the balance, as Ray admitted that very little would be announced at the conferences which was not already known. "That is not the nature of the days" she said.

What then, would motivate international and national press agencies to attend and report on the events, particularly if the interest of the general public remains typically low?

Ray attempted to pin the blame for this on others, stating "It is up to people nationally to create events", and "It is down to you as journalists".

I think the fact that the European Development Days have not even made it into the Daily Telegraph (UK) today perhaps suggests that the 2 million euros could have been spent better elsewhere.