Source description last updated: 2 September 2021
In brief: The New Humanitarian (TNH), formerly a part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) known as the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), is an institutionally- independent news agency focusing on crises and advocating for improving humanitarian response.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Articles (Media Report)
Covered daily on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-C.
The New Humanitarian (TNH), formerly called the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) (TNH website: About us, undated; TNH website: IRIN becomes The New Humanitarian…, undated), was established by the United Nations in 1995 (TNH website: About us, undated) and was part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and became an independent non-profit media association in 2015 (TNH website: IRIN becomes The New Humanitarian…, undated). The news agency changed its name from IRIN to The New Humanitarian in 2019 (TNH website: About us, undated).
“Our coverage takes a holistic view of humanitarian crises, from emerging conflicts to the human face of climate change, from refugee movements to disease outbreaks. We also cover the policy and practice of humanitarian response […]. We are there before, during and after; […] We are committed to keeping neglected crises in the media spotlight and on the policy agenda.” (TNH website: About us, undated)
“Through a network of more than 200 local and international contributors, a core staff of experienced editors, and an intimate knowledge of the humanitarian sector, The New Humanitarian provides unique multimedia coverage from more than 70 countries.” (TNH: Annual Report 2020, undated, p. 6)
“We deliver content designed with a specialist audience in mind, but accessible enough for the interested, globally-minded public. Our coverage informs the work of those who seek to prevent or respond to humanitarian crises at local, national, or international levels. They include policy-makers, aid practitioners, researchers and educators.” (TNH website: About us, undated)
According to a March 2020 audience survey, international NGOs (35%) and international or inter-governmental organisations (12.2%) made up almost half of TNH’s users (TNH website: TNH survey shows growing appetite for quality reporting on crises, undated).
TNH’s funding comes “from a mix of governments, foundations, international organizations and more”. Current donors include: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Swiss Lottery (Loterie Romande), Open Society Foundations (OSF), New Venture Fund for Communications (NVF), Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Belgium's Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs (FPS Foreign Affairs), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Service de la Solidarité Internationale (TNH website: About us, undated).
TNH’s income for the year 2016 was CHF 1.46 million with, while expenditure amounted to CHF 1.44 million (IRIN: Annual Report 2017, undated, p. 27).
For details on financial information, see the IRIN Annual Report 2017 (pages 39 through 41), accessible through the following link: https://assets.irinnews.org/s3fs-public/irin_annual_report-2017_web_v04.pdf
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas
Thematic Focus: Aid and Policy; Conflict; Environment and Disasters; Migration
TNH produces news items, feature articles, analysis, in-depth reports, opinions, investigation reports and multimedia reports (TNH website, undated).
TNH publications may be based on desk work by in-house editors (see, for example, TNH: Libyan power play, weather worries, and unhealthy eaters: The Cheat Sheet, 5 April 2019 and TNH: Rwanda, part 2: What humanitarians need to remember 25 years on, 8 April 2019) or on coverage by external contributors such as freelance journalists (see, for example, TNH: As casualties soar, Afghanistan struggles to treat civilians maimed by conflict, 4 April 2019 and TNH: Briefing: Needs mount in Colombia as peace commitments lag, 25 March 2019). While news articles, analyses and in-depth reports draw on secondary sources (see, for example, TNH: Libyan power play, weather worries, and unhealthy eaters: The Cheat Sheet, 5 April 2019; TNH: Rwanda, part 2: What humanitarians need to remember 25 years on, 8 April 2019, TNH: The Rohingya, 25 March 2019), feature articles may be written in reportage-style based on observations on the ground and interviews with affected persons and representatives of humanitarian organisations (see, for example, TNH: As casualties soar, Afghanistan struggles to treat civilians maimed by conflict, 4 April 2019, TNH: Building a market and a future after Boko Haram, 4 April 2019; TNH: Briefing: Needs mount in Colombia as peace commitments lag, 25 March 2019).
Opinion articles provide analysis by expert researchers (see, for example, TNH: Hurdles on the road to peace in the Central African Republic, 13 March 2019) and other experts (see, for example, TNH: The young are key to avoiding old mistakes in Central African Republic, 24 May 2021).
Language(s) of publications:
English, French and Arabic
Foreign Policy: Gag Order; Why is the U.N. censoring its own Syria news?, 14 January 2014
La Liberté: L'agence de presse IRIN à Genève devient The New Humanitarian, 9 April 2019
NiemanLab: The New Humanitarian (no longer an acronymed UN agency) wants to move humanitarian crisis journalism beyond its wonky, depressing roots, 21 March 2019
Scott, Martin, Kate Wright and Mel Bunce: The State of Humanitarian Journalism, University of East Anglia, October 2018
The Guardian: Humanitarian news agency faces closure as UN funding comes to an end, 10 April 2014
The Guardian: Irin humanitarian news service saved after private donor fills UN void, 20 November 2014
All links accessed 2 September 2021.
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