Media Trust urges charities to take a more populist approach

A new guide by the communication charity the Media Trust, featuring contributions from 'lads' mag' Nuts and celebrity weekly Heat, urges the sector to "embrace media not traditionally associated with charities".

Communication for the Next Generation was launched yesterday at a Media Trust seminar held at Channel 4's headquarters in London. It also includes contributions from CosmoGIRL!, MySpace, Friends of the Earth and Oxfam.

Pete Cashmore, senior writer for Nuts, admits in his contribution that interesting his magazine's readers in charities "is a difficult thing". But he adds: "Our readers are interested in charity if it relates to them. If you can make them feel part of something significant, then you have their interest."

Mark Frith, editor of Heat, emphasises the importance of celebrity endorsement. "Looking at the charity pictures in Heat, the main thing they've had in common is that they are celebrities as you wouldn't normally see them," he writes.

Kenny Campbell, editor of Metro, encourages charities to personalise stories. Referring to the case of Ali Ismail Abbas, who lost both his arms in the Iraq war when he was aged 12, he writes: "This was a story about an individual boy, not a cause; a story with a face, not a logo."

The guide can be downloaded at www.mediatrust.org/youthmedia.

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