The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News)
What they do
The New Humanitarian puts quality, independent journalism at the service of the millions of people affected by humanitarian crises around the world. They report from the heart of conflicts and disasters to inform prevention and response.
As the trusted news source on humanitarian crises, they deliver the authentic, inside story. Their reporting gives insight to policymakers, practitioners and others who want to make the world more humane.
Who they are
The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News) was founded by the United Nations in 1995, in the wake of the Rwandan genocide, out of the conviction that objective on-the-ground reporting of humanitarian crises could help mitigate or even prevent future disasters of that magnitude.
Almost twenty years later, they became an independent non-profit news organisation, allowing them to cast a more critical eye over the multi-billion-dollar emergency aid industry and draw attention to its failures at a time of unprecedented humanitarian need. As digital disinformation went global, and mainstream media retreated from many international crisis zones, their field-based, high-quality journalism filled even more of a gap. Today, they are one of only a handful of newsrooms world-wide specialised in covering crises and disasters – and in holding the aid industry accountable.
Why their work counts
The number of people to whom the UN delivers aid has more than tripled over the past decade. Climate change, population growth, volatile markets, water scarcity, sectarianism and the burgeoning of armed groups and extremists are pushing more and more communities to the edge. The unprecedented number of concurrent emergencies has exposed serious weaknesses in the current international emergency aid apparatus: financing is unsustainable; local communities do not have enough of a voice; and needs are not adequately met. It is a critical time of change for the multi-billion-dollar international humanitarian sector, which is under pressure to reform the way aid is delivered.
New challenges; a new name and brand identity
It’s in this context that in 2019, they changed their name from IRIN to The New Humanitarian to signal their move from UN project to independent newsroom and their role chronicling the changing nature of – and response to – humanitarian crises.
The New Humanitarian speaks to the profound shifts impacting their world today.
The drivers of humanitarian needs are changing, thanks to new threats like climate change, longer-lasting conflicts, and a geopolitical landscape that makes the resolution of crises at the international level more challenging.
The impacts of humanitarian crises are changing too, becoming more global in their repercussions. The exodus of refugees from Syria is one of many examples.
Traditional forms of humanitarian intervention are bursting at the seams; new approaches and players are emerging to fill an increasing gap between needs and response.
Tackling the world’s crises is no longer the exclusive domain of governments, “Big Aid” and the United Nations -- nor is it only about disaster relief and aid delivery. In many ways, the whole conception of humanitarianism is changing, evidenced by the private sector’s response to refugees; high school students marching for climate change; and local communities reclaiming agency in shaping their own futures. Today, a new generation of humanitarians is redefining the way the world responds to crises – demanding a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation.
They remain the trusted news source for policy-makers and practitioners in humanitarian response, but The New Humanitarian is expanding to reach this wider audience of people who want to better understand their complex world, in order to change it for the better.
How they work
Working with on-the-ground correspondents in dozens of countries and analysts and editors with intimate knowledge of the sector, The New Humanitarian reports from the heart of humanitarian crises and global policy and donor hubs. Their reporting informs humanitarian need and response, amplifies the voices of those on the ground and holds the sector accountable to itself, its funders and the communities it serves.
Their coverage takes a holistic view of humanitarian crises, from emerging conflicts to the human face of climate change, from refugee movements to disease outbreaks. They also cover the policy and practice of humanitarian response, from local responders to the particular needs of women and girls to the responsible use of technology and data to the financing of aid work. They are there before, during and after; providing early warning when a crisis is brewing and sticking around long after most camera crews have packed up and left. They are committed to keeping neglected crises in the media spotlight and on the policy agenda. Their work always includes a multiplicity of voices, first and foremost those on the ground, be they people whose lives are uprooted or those trying to help.
In addition to their daily multimedia news reports, they curate in-depth topical collections of their coverage and feature diverse voices in opinion essays, Q&As and interviews. They highlight their work in newsletters, webinars and special events.See more