Nicola Harford contributed to the SBCC Summit Declaration with a reminder that the media is an important stakeholder and not simply a channel of communication for social and behaviour change:
I believe there needs to be explicit mention of the role of the media in the summit declaration: there was little reference during the summit itself to the media sector as an active stakeholder and partner in SBCC processes, or the potential for SBCC interventions to strengthen the media’s capacity to play that role. Instead it was largely assumed to be simply a conduit or channel to deliver public health or other development-related outcomes.
The media sector is of course multi-faceted and increasingly the SBCC community is investing in digital/social media as well as working with traditional media platforms to target audiences:as such the relationship between media development and SBCC deserves further examination. This is vital not only to enrich and make more impactful and sustainable the campaigns and initiatives we heard so much about during the summit, but also to recognise the wider role of media in shaping and reinforcing the behaviours and norms which are the focus of our attentions, and in providing platforms for citizen engagement.