2020 has been a year like no other in recent memory. Despite the significant challenges facing everyone around the world – including our own staff – we knew we needed to ramp up our production to provide reliable information about the pandemic while ensuring that other critical stories didn’t get overshadowed by it.

Our coverage of COVID-19 shone a light on the impact of the pandemic on crisis zones, and our longform immersive diary of a Yemeni doctor’s efforts to fight coronavirus in his community won the One World Media Coronavirus Reporting Award. Our investigations uncovered sexual abuse allegations against Ebola aid workers in Congo, a data breach the UN tried to keep under wraps, and allegations of racism, abuse, and misconduct at a Catholic NGO. We launched new reporting series: from She Said, in which women offer glimpses of their lives from crisis situations, to Beyond the Bang Bang, offering reporting from the frontlines of peace. We introduced a podcast and a membership programme, and made strategic investments in audience engagement and outreach.

We did all this with a small team of committed staff who worked closely with a network of dozens of local and international correspondents around the world to produce hard-hitting, impactful journalism. 

Despite a pandemic that has been described as an “extinction event” for the news media, we have thrived in this difficult year: the doubling of our audience in 2020 reaffirms our belief that the pandemic has created an opening to bring our journalism to wider audiences.

After all, independent journalism about crises has never been more important. As a survey of nearly 1,400 humanitarian policy-makers and practitioners found earlier this year, mainstream media coverage of humanitarian issues is inadequate in both quantity and quality, leaving a chasm in reporting that we aim to fill.

Through 25 years of reporting, we’ve established ourselves as the only global newsroom specialised in covering humanitarian crises. We marked our 25th anniversary by launching our Rethinking Humanitarianism series on the future of aid and we’re proud that it has driven necessary conversations about ways forward for humanitarian response. 

We’re now thinking about what comes next. Will we see genuine change in how aid is delivered in 2021? What will the COVID-19 fallout look like? And how will drops in aid funding change the landscape? 

In 2021, our original on-the-ground reporting and policy analysis will focus on two areas that no other news organisations cover consistently: forgotten crises, and accountability and innovation within the humanitarian sector. We will ramp up our multimedia offering, seek out strategic partnerships to further our reach and impact, navigate what decolonisation means for a newsroom like ours, and take further steps into revenue generation. 

None of this would be possible without the support of our community.

From everyone here at The New Humanitarian, thank you for strengthening our drive to amplify the voices of people at the heart of crises. 

Special thanks to our members and our partners, including:

  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
  • Global Affairs Canada 
  • Humanity United 
  • H2H Network
  • IKEA Foundation 
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
  • Open Society Foundations 
  • Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
  • Pro Victimis Foundation
  • Service de la Solidarité Internationale, Canton of Geneva
  • Stichting Vluchteling 
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency 
  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

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