It is rare that a news bulletin or a newspaper's international section will not contain a story on at least one of the many humanitarian crises that are playing out around the the world today.

Whether its the devastation of an earthquake or tsunami, the spread of a deadly disease, or the refugee fallout from a country at war - bringing stories of human suffering to global audiences has been one of the major parts of the journalist's job description ever since the first correspondent crossed a border into a foreign land.

Now, it might appear from the coverage that news organisations have a reporter in every humanitarian hotspot but that, increasingly, is no longer the case - another symptom of shrinking budgets for foreign reporting. More and more you will find that it is NGOs (non-governmental organisations) that are filling the gap.

Communication has always been part of their work whether it is for fundraising or to use public awareness to bring about political pressure. But the relationship between journalists and the NGOs that provide access, footage and sometimes even in-house produced packages - a relationship that some call symbiotic - is one that deserves a closer look.

The Listening Post's Will Yong takes a look at the implications of the symbiotic relationship between NGOs and the news.

Source: Al Jazeera