Whilst working on my blog for my MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change, I have also been commenting and reading various other blogs by students on the course. All of which are very interesting and contain examples of many campaigns from across the UK and world that outline a struggle against social norms, situations and for the improvement of conditions and so forth.
Further, after a recent lecture on Professionalism and Ethics in campaigning, it was noted that there was no unifying Institute of Campaigning or any professional body to improve ad share best practice, professional values, ethical practice and other things such as training.
Fix the debt!
It therefore made me fascinated to read about a campaign called “Fix the Debt“, a US based campaign that seeks to drive and create awareness for the huge US deficit. So far, so good.
The reason it piqued my interest is that it again reminded me that campaigning is seemingly never straightforward. Say we had such a professional body called the Institute of Campaigning, one would assume that any member would be campaigning for positive social change.
However, on closer inspection it transpires that this Fix the Debt campaign is actially backed by large US corporates who actually are more interested in their own profits. An article pointed this out, read more here, and explained the hypocracy of the whole campaign.
This raises a smaller, but equally as important question if we consider who is behind and who buys in the campaign (simply, the stakeholders) , as they too might believe or consider this campaign tthe provide social benefit or improvement of conditions. And rightly so, who is to say that they are wrong?
My conclusion on this is simply that though professionalism was discussed in our lecture in early December on the MA course, campaigns such as Fix the Debt in the US demonstrate how “social change” could mean something different in certain contexts. This, therefore, poses a problem if we were ever to form a national or internation Institute of Campaigning – where do we stop ethically? Who do we include? Should people be excluded?
*This blog has been written as part of my Media, Campaigning and Social Change MA (Part time) at the University of Westminster, for more information about this course please view: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/MACampaigning.