Cater's Choice

Nick Cater casts his eye over this week's charity-related gems from the media and beyond.

Television 

Unreported World

Most television might be trash, but charities need to line up to defend the dwindling range of factual TV and radio strands, such as this offering from Channel 4, which does not rely on celebrities, millionaires or freak show case histories to explore vital concerns and needs, here and overseas.

In the strand's Honduras: War on Children on 12 October, reporter Jenny Kleeman examines claims that there is a conspiracy of silence over police death squads that execute hundreds of young people every year. She claims they do this at the behest of businesses that want to clean the central American country's streets of those who are already victims of poverty, family break-up, drugs and oppression.

It says it all that ITV's listings for tonight's Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2007 puts the programme under the 'entertainment & comedy' heading. An evening that is about real people's endeavour and achievements is stuffed with celebrities, led by Carol "wanna loan?" Vorderman.

Event

Tonight's When to Collaborate and When to Compete? is another of the talks organised by Professor Ian Bruce at City University's Centre for Charity Effectiveness in London. Ian Williams, chief executive of Concern Universal, explains how collaboration has been a means for his agency to compete in the marketplace with the giants of the sector. Pity the talk's description damns cooperation with the faintest praise. "While collaboration is an appropriate charity value, it can be time-consuming and complicate delivery and campaigning," it says. Details: www.centrefor charityeffectiveness.org.

Launch

Turn2us

This "new service for people in financial need", which offers guidance on benefits and charity grants for individuals, launches tomorrow. But perhaps it needs to consider when to collaborate and when to compete. Given existing alternatives, not least the fantastic online, print and face-to-face services offered by Citizens Advice, Turn2us seems a confusing and costly illustration of the way charity competition leads to diversion, distraction and duplication. Why does backer Elizabeth Finn Care think this needs £1.5m a year of pump-priming?

- Contact Nick Cater at catercharity@yahoo.co.uk.

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