Moral Economies: Interrogating the Interactions of NGOs, Journalists and Freelancers

Kate Wright


Using Sayer’s ideas about the moral economy, this article generates a new theoretical model for interrogating complex relations between journalists and their sources, especially nongovernmental organizations. It tests this framework using a case study about the production of a TV report about a Congolese rebel commander wanted for war crimes. This news story involved exchanges between Human Rights Watch, the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News, and several freelancers and was indirectly shaped by Amnesty International and Invisible Children Inc., the creators of Kony2012. In analyzing these exchanges and their mixed effects, this article refines notions of trust, news cloning, and information subsidies.


source, NGO, journalism, news, human rights, information subsidies, Kony, Africa

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