Charities and the Media
Media reports about charities shape the public’s attitude towards our sector. A few negative headlines about a handful of organisations have the potential to cultivate negative attitudes and pre-conceptions about charities.
News coverage of current affairs is predominantly negative. Studies suggest that most people have an inherent bias towards negative news, and that journalism may be shaped by this "negativity bias". A survey of 1,000 Irish adults conducted in April 2018, found that media coverage influenced 59% of people’s views on charities. The majority of respondents (41%), said that media coverage worsened their view of charities, while just 18% reported that media reporting improved their attitude toward charities.
That is not to say that all media coverage of charities is negative, and there plentiful examples of positive and constructive media coverage of the sector's work.
What are we working on?
The Wheel works with media professionals to encourage accurate, balanced and fair media reporting of our sector.
We do this by:
- actively monitoring the media;
- amplifying positive media coverage about charities;
- challenging erroneous and unbalanced reporting;
- briefing journalists and making good quality information available to media professionals;
- issuing regular press releases;
- partnering with publications to publish special features;
- writing opinion editorials for the national press; and
- providing media training to nonprofit organisations.
The community voluntary and charity sector has many positive stories to tell and practical solutions to offer. However, this is not always reflected in the media. We encourage our members, and indeed all nonprofits, to engage with the media in a positive and constructive manner. Our team is on hand to offer, advice training and guidance.