The author of this paper shares many of the concerns of the proponents of humanitarian values, not least the concern to preserve, in the general case, the impartiality and neutrality of humanitarian aid agencies. The focus of this paper is the reporting role played by humanitarian agencies. It examines their role in the sphere of political communication; specifically how certain agencies influenced the struggle over how the events of war were to be represented in mass media in the West. This paper will first elaborate a historical analysis of the Bosnian crisis and its international response. It then briefly outlines an argument about the critical role of Britain and its (TV news) media in the development of Western policy over Bosnia. The role of senior officials of UNHCR and the ICRC is then critically assessed in the context of the wider developments in the mediated conflict itself.
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