Swedish Aid and Risk-taking in a Mediatized Society

High quality journalism that goes deep into the subject matter is a corner-stone of democratic societies. It is important that Swedish aid is put under scrutiny and subjected to critical inquiry by journalists. Media reports do not, however, simply reflect specific events, organisations and individuals; the way in which they portray such stories also has a normative effect on future decisions and priorities. In particular, the importance of media tends to have consequences for risk assessments made in relation to priority setting in the aid domain. This means that media coverage might contribute towards legitimizing decision making that primarily seeks to avert risks. Aid that does not take risks has little prospect of becoming either effective or appropriate.

The objective of this study is therefore to contribute with knowledge about the mediatization of aid and its consequences for aid management and decision-making. Questions that the authors pose are for example: What expression does the mediatization of aid take? How do images of aid effect decision-making and management? How does mediatization influence the way in which decision-makers relate to assessments of risk and actually taking risks in aid delivery?

Authors: Maria Grafström and Karolina Windell

Chair, reference group: Gun-Britt Andersson

Project manager: Mats Hårsmar

Expected delivery of report: Second quarter 2019