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Media and peacebuilding: A guide

December 15, 2014

(via Global Peace Index on Facebook)

The media’s impact upon the escalation of conflict is widely recognised, perhaps never more perniciously than the hate media that fed the genocide in Rwanda. But if the media is capable of creating and amplifying divisions, it also has the potential to play a significant and effective role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.”

This “Insight on Conflict” blogpost lists seven areas identified by Search for Common Ground for media advocacy for peacebuilding:

  1. As an information provider and interpreter, the media provides people with important information regarding their environment and plays an increasingly prominent role in daily communication and entertainment
  2. As a ‘watchdog’ it can provide feedback to the public on local problems and bring hidden problems to the fore
  3. As a ‘gatekeeper’ it can set agendas, filter issues and attempt to maintain a balanced view
  4. The media has a large influence on policymaking, particularly as policymakers are both recipients of messages from the media, and can also use the media to get their messages across
  5. The media can be used to cover diplomatic initiatives and send messages back and forth between warring sides for which there are no direct channels of communication
  6. As a promoter of peace the media can be used at the start of negotiations to build confidence, facilitate negotiations or break diplomatic deadlocks to create a climate conducive to negotiation
  7. As a bridge builder it can promote positive relationships between groups, particularly in conflicts over national, ethnic, or religious identity

See the full SFCG report: http://www.sfcg.org/articles/media_for_conflict_prevention.pdf

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