Voluntary Sector: Greenpeace gains top spot

Three recent campaigns ensure Greenpeace achieves widespread media coverage.

Greenpeace has shot to the top of September's NGO Watch after not featuring at all last month.

The NGO received coverage on three fronts: for its criticism of the continued deforestation of the Amazon, its approval of the Conservatives' high-speed rail proposal and its protest against government plans to construct a coal-fired power station in Kent.

Greenpeace's executive director John Sauven was quoted praising the Tory idea of abolishing plans for a third runway at Heathrow and instead building a high-speed rail link across the country. He said the Tories had recognised that making such decisions now 'will make or break our chances of tackling climate change in the future'.

Lawrence Ampofo, senior researcher at Infonic, which compiles NGO Watch, said Greenpeace benefited enormously from the Conservatives' focus on green policies: 'The organisation's strong support for a new train link attracted widespread online media attention.'

Next on the list came Age Concern after media focus on the organisation's report into how rising living costs are adversely affecting the elderly.

Age Concern also generated coverage when its challenge to the Government's retirement laws at the European Courts of Justice failed.

The RSPCA, in its lowest spot for months, was featured across the media for its latest comments about Crufts. The charity announced it would withdraw backing of the dog show after a BBC documentary accused the breeding process of badly affecting the welfare and quality of life for thousands of dogs.

The British Heart Foundation ranked highly for its comments on a Cambridge University report that said that statins can prevent the premature ageing of arteries. The NGO called it 'an exciting breakthrough'.

NGO Number of articles
Greenpeace 181
Age Concern 174
British Heart Foundation 112
RSPB 104
Macmillan Cancer Support 103
Red Cross 85
Friends of the Earth 79
Royal British Legion 76
September 2008 - Source: Infonic

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