Friday, June 30, 2006

Doctors without Borders Podcast Creates Connection

I got a press release this week (I feel so alternative media), announcing that Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres has started podcasting (yay!). The podcast, Frontline Reports will feature emergency updates from Doctors without Borders projects all over the world.

I just listened to the first podcast. It was a little over 10 minutes long and talked about medical needs in Sudan, the ongoing challenges in Colombia and how people with HIV/AIDS in the developing world are being denied access to new "second-line" AIDS medicine. (My advice to the podcast's producers is to put in some success stories too, or listeners will suffer compassion fatigue after a while and stop listening).

The quote provided in the release by Executive Director, Nicolas de Torrenté, encapsulates, I think, why podcasting and blogs are such important tools in a nonprofit or NGO's communication plan:

Podcasting provides us with a new tool to inform the public about critical humanitarian issues often ignored by the media. By hearing a patient's voice or a doctor's explanation of the profound challenges that go along with working in a refugee camp, listeners will be connected much more directly with today's critical, and largely unacknowledged, humanitarian and medical crises.

Foundations need to see nonprofits and NGO's having a podcast or blog, in addition to traditional communication tools, as part of the nonprofit or NGO's mission. Not only are they creating social change by providing services and programs, but through educating as many people as possible about critical humanitarian issues often ignored by the media and using blogs and podcasts so that listeners will be connected much more directly.

It is the direct connection that is key. Why do you think Senator John Edwards has every kind of blog imaginable, including a video blog that encourages viewers to send in videos of themselves asking questions and a podcast that asks listeners to send in audio questions.

Real or imagined, it's all about a sense of connection in a world where so many people feel alone, disempowered and unheard.

Photo via wayfaring stranger's Flickr stream. It has a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

1 comment:

  1. Another great way to support the group Doctors Without Borders is through the website: Here you can shop at all your usual stores and pay your usual prices and a percent of your sale will go to the nonprofit of your choice. Choose Doctors Without Borders and help raise extra funds for a group doing exceptional relief work around the world!


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