ICRC opens humanitarian blog to tap new audience

20th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2007, GENEVA (AFP) - The International Committee of the Red Cross has opened a blog hosted by the website of French daily Le Monde to focus on humanitarian issues that receive little coverage in the local media.

20 September 2007

GENEVA (AFP) - The International Committee of the Red Cross has opened a blog hosted by the website of French daily Le Monde to focus on humanitarian issues that receive little coverage in the local media.

The French language blog run by the ICRC's office in France is aimed at highlighting broader concerns about armed conflicts and will draw in other relief agencies and actors, the Geneva-based agency said on Wednesday.

"I just think existing, mainstream media have limitations in what they can cover," said chief ICRC spokesman Florian Westphal.

"Something like a blog gives us an additional way of communicating, with people we don't normally reach," he added.

The ICRC already has an extensive website, but Westphal said it was interested in exploring the interactive element of the blog and feedback from visitors.

One of the blog articles this month explains some of the less direct language used by the agency, which prides itself on its neutrality in trying to reach victims of war and keeps public criticism of warring sides as a last resort.

"When we say the ICRC is 'extremely concerned', that means the humanitarian situation is serious, very serious," the ICRC's blogger Frederic Joli wrote.

"That's the situation, for three weeks, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which is again the centre for fighting," he added.

Westphal said the agency was keeping an open mind about expanding the venture in other languages.

AFP

Subject: French news

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