Advocacy and awareness raising

Educating audiences around the world on FAO's mandate

11/10/2019 - 

The media plays a vital role in creating awareness of the challenges we face. As partners, they can take the lead in communicating to their audiences issues that are central to FAO's work, such as food security and nutrition, agricultural productivity and livelihood resilience.



In collaboration with: News and media outlets worldwide

Timeframe: Since 2012

Benefitting: The general public

Geographic coverage: Global

Contributing to: 



Since 2012, FAO has established a total of fifteen media partnerships, with the goal of increasing visibility for areas of its mandate and the goal of Zero Hunger. These partnerships bolster the Organization’s ability to inform, explain, engage and mobilize resources to foster a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems that leave no one behind.

FAO’s media partners include top-tier news organizations that increase the Organization’s ability to engage with audiences around the world. Through a variety of media which includes print, digital, radio and video, these partners help to ensure that topics related to FAO’s work receive coverage in a variety of languages, including all six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

Thanks in part to these collaborations, the total number of FAO mentions in online media articles increased by nearly 630 percent from 2006 to 2018. FAO’s partnerships with the media take many forms, depending on the activities and strengths of the partner. Three examples include the collaborations with El País, National Geographic, and Thomson Reuters.



El País is the Spain’s largest newspaper, with more than 65 million readers across all its editions and an online version that receives nearly 34.6 million visits per month. FAO’s partnership with El País helps to ensure visibility for FAO’s work with Spanish-speaking audiences, and the content created through the partnership serves as a reference for other Spanish media outlets.

Since 2016, FAO and El País have collaborated on a variety of activities, ranging from the regular publication of opinion pieces by FAO’s Director-General and other senior officials, to interactive reports on issues of food security and nutrition, to coverage of FAO field projects and regional conferences. Thus far, the partnership has generated over 400 news pieces on topics related to FAO’s work, which are featured in El País online and/or on Planeta Futuro, a web portal created by El País and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on issues of sustainable development. 

In 2018, FAO and El País launched a joint collection of publications called ­the State of the Planet. The series aims to raise awareness of global challenges including climate change, rising rates of hunger, malnutrition, water scarcity and sustainable management of the world’s forests and oceans. Richly illustrated with graphics and photographs, the books are based on the latest findings of key FAO experts in each of the thematic areas. The series was available on newsstands in Spain from April to July 2018.



The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest scientific and educational organizations, dedicated to promoting environmental and historical conservation and the study of world cultures and history. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, is published monthly and available in 40 languages. The magazine has a readership of 60 million people, while the Society’s digital media platforms receive more than 27 million visitors a month.

FAO and National Geographic partnered in 2014, and together produced a series of in-depth articles entitled Future of Food, based on food and agricultural statistics and trends sourced from FAO’s statistical service FAOStat. The series addressed topics such as feeding megacities in a world of changing demographics, reducing food loss and waste, and global forestry issues. Future of Food later became a travelling photo exhibit hosted at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.



Thomson Reuters, a multinational media conglomerate, is one of the world’s biggest news and information providers. It has received a number of awards in recognition of its work across multiple sectors and media. With 75 offices around the world, Thomson Reuters disseminates news to hundreds of media outlets globally, reaching an estimated daily readership of 1 billion people.

In 2014, FAO partnered with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a non-profit wing of the company. The partnership created a new section of the foundation’s web portal, dedicated to delivering news content on hunger and food issues. Topics include food production, food security and safety, food waste, agriculture and land use, undernutrition and malnutrition, and food affordability. All stories that appear on the portal are also carried on the main Reuters newswire and made available to other news outlets for republication, free of charge. The partnership also arranged for a dedicated food security correspondent to be based in Rome. In 2019, the reporter, Thin Lei Win, was awarded the silver medal of the UN Correspondents Association’s Global Prize for her work.   


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