ROLE OF MEDIA IN PEACE BUILDING
UNIVERSITY OF BUEA
FACULTY OF LAWS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT
Academic Year: 2019/2020
Written and Submitted by By Tangwa Suzzy Nyuykighan
As previous events have demonstrated, the media can instigate violent behaviour. Through his use of the media, Hitler fostered an atmosphere that encouraged hatred toward Jews, homosexuals, and other members of marginalised groups. The RTLM radio station in Rwanda encouraged its listeners to use machetes to kill what they called “the bugs” they saw on the streets. Local communities in the Balkans were split to the point where it was acceptable to use violence to settle disagreements due to the influence of Balkan radio. Unfortunately, more individuals are aware of how the media contributes to the escalation of conflicts than are aware of how it contributes to the construction of peace.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon to hear experts argue that given how strongly the media influences conflict, its influence on promoting peace must be signed in order for it to be worthwhile. On the other hand, this direct relationship should not be taken for granted. It should be subjected to close scrutiny if we want to use the media in the most effective way possible to prevent and resolve conflicts. (Wolfsfeld, 2004)
Throughout the past half-century and a half, there has been an increase in understanding of the impact that the media has on the global stage, notably it is capacity to either exasperate existing conflicts or defuse new ones. For example, Julius Streicher, who never held an official position within the Nazi party hierarchy but was thought to be among the top individuals who bore a tremendous responsibility for the Holocaust that killed more than six million Jews, was one of the defendants during the Nuremberg trials, which were held by the allied forces after Germany and her allies were defeated immediately after the Second World War. The allied forces held the Nuremberg trials after Germany and her allies were defeated. Julius Streicher was one of the defendants. Over 25 years, Streicher “educated” the German people in hatred, pushing them to persecute and exterminate the Jewish race. During the approximately 25 years that Streicher served as editor of “Der Stuemer” and, later, numerous other regional newspapers, he was primarily responsible for disseminating his propaganda through the medium of his newspaper.
Edmund Burke first used the phrase “fourth estate” in the 17th century to describe how the media became more influential when only three social classes controlled most of the wealth and influence (Carlyle, p. 392). Burke is credited with saying that “there were estates in Parliament, but in the reporter’s gallery yonder, there sat the fourth estate more important than four than they all,” although it is still contested as to who used the phrase first. He was referring to the three estates of Parliament that have historically existed: the Commons, the Lords Spiritual, and the Lords Temporal.
Throughout the previous half-century, advancements in technology have led to a corresponding rise in the impact of the media. In the beginning, there was the telegraph, then radio, then newspapers and magazines, then television, and now there is the internet. In today’s world, many people put all their faith in the ability of communication and knowledge to keep them on the correct path. What individuals read, hear, and hear significantly impacts their day-to-day activities, such as employment, entertainment, healthcare, education, interpersonal connections, and travel. These factors all contribute to their overall quality of life. Because of advances in communication technology, such as mobile and video phones and laptop computers, journalists can readily obtain information from many regions of the world and share it. In addition, as a result of the digitisation of the news industry, which has produced a compression in both time and space, we can view photos of protests, riots, and coups in the news just minutes after they occur in the streets.
In addition to enlightening audiences worldwide, these photographs may also inspire new initiatives to address the issue of domestic violence. The practicalities of running a business as a newsgathering organisation have also affected how conflicts are reported (Wolfsfeld, 2004). Due to the higher cost of news gathering in remote areas and the West’s geopolitical and economic superiorities, conflicts that take place closer to major metropolitan areas receive more coverage than those that take place further away in less developed parts of the world. This is done at the expense of those conflicts that take place further away in more underdeveloped parts of the world. According to a study examining how major news organisations worldwide reported on conflicts in the year 2000, the conflict between Israel and Palestine received significantly more coverage than the next most-reported conflict (Hawkins, 2002). According to Virgil Hawkins, who was the researcher who conducted the study:
On the other hand, the conflict in Africa, which, in the world that followed the end of the Cold War, has been responsible for up to 90 per cent of all war deaths globally, has been the subject of a nearly total media blackout. The massive battle that was taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which claimed the lives of over one million people in the year 2000, received almost no notice from the media. (p. 231).
Because large worldwide media giants control the agenda for international news, it has become imperative to construct and strengthen local media to maintain a diversity of viewpoints. This is because major global media giants dominate the international news agenda. As the media in many developing nations, including Kenya, the transition away from state control and toward private business, the local media must establish its own identity and standards for professional conduct. During the war, a well-developed media system staffed by highly qualified journalists typically acts as a virtual communication channel that benefits viewers nationally and internationally (Hackett & Carroll, 2006). There are two perspectives to be found in the media.
On the other hand, there is another aspect of the media: “it can be an instrument of conflict resolution when the information that it presents is credible, respects human rights, and represents varied opinions” (Wolfsfeld, 2004). When messages of intolerance or deception are spread with the intent to manipulate public emotion, it has the potential to be a terrifyingly effective weapon of violence. The kind of media that enables members of a community to make informed decisions—the cornerstone of democratic government—is the kind of media that society has access to
It is a type of media that helps to reduce violent conflict and increases individual safety (BBC policy briefing). Reliable, accurate, and objective media—whether mainstream or alternative, traditional or non-conventional—can help prevent and resolve conflict by responsibly disseminating information, advancing awareness and knowledge, encouraging participatory and transparent governance, and addressing perceived grievances. Similarly, unintentionally or explicitly propagandistic media can aggravate conflicts and inflame emotions, leading to genocide in extreme circumstances, such as Rwanda. (Thomson, 1998).
The term “media” can refer to more traditional forms of communication and more modern methods. The term “modern media” refers to all forms of print and broadcasting, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. The term “new media” refers to using newly developed communication technology for mass and self-mass communication. Examples of new media include mobile devices that can access websites and blogs and produce and transmit messages via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Whatsapp. The convergence of computer, microprocessing, computer, and telecommunications technologies has resulted in a rise in the number of sources and channels accessible for communication between individuals within a nation and those outside it. The modern communication media recognise and appreciate the significance of the new media technologies, and they have integrated these new technologies into the practice of professional journalism. Networks of global citizens have emerged as a result of the potential that these new technologies have given viewers all over the world. These networks have the effect of drawing individuals together around issues of interest that they have in common. As a result, the spread of peaceful messages through the media is accelerated.
Examples of initiatives that contribute to the construction of peace include education for peace, communication for peace, education for transitional justice, and reconciliation. To facilitate the peaceful resolution of contentious issues, it is necessary to encourage conditions of nonviolence, equity, justice, and respect for the human rights of all people. The development of democratic institutions, the growth of trust, and improved interpersonal communication are also required. (Hackett & Carroll, 2006) The United Nations Agenda for Peace draws a line of demarcation between three different facets of the concept of peace: preserving peace, fostering peace, and constructing peace. Keeping the peace requires the participation of third parties in a conflict, most notably a war, and typically implies employing military force to end hostilities and establish the prerequisites for peace talks. “Peacemaking” refers to diplomatic efforts that involve third parties mediating between the authorities that represent the parties in conflict. These efforts aim to end the violence that has been erupting as a result of the conflict and to make progress toward a peace agreement. Building peace is a process that occurs after the violent conflict has subsided, ended, or been resolved in another way. Even though the conflict is still going on, attempts to construct peace might start with the purpose of preparing the public for life after the battle. According to Broome (2004), the process of building peace “attempts to establish confidence and trust between enemies, facilitate communication across conflict lines, and foster the growth of partnership and peaceful coexistence.” (Galloway, B. P. 2011)
The proposition that the media are nothing more than reflections of consumer preferences, elite interests, or reality itself (as in the positivist claims made by some journalists that they merely report “the way it is”) needs to be refuted in order to demonstrate that the media do play a significant role in society. It is common knowledge that outlets for the media should provide their audiences with a “map” of the social and political landscape of areas outside of their immediate vicinity. This discovery about the complexity of modern society gives rise to several different notions regarding the power of the media, such as agenda-setting, the spiral of silent priming, and nurturing. (Hackett & Carroll, 2006).
The interaction between the media and various anti-war organisations is a facet of the impact of the media that is thought about less frequently but is significant nonetheless. In states that are primarily democratic and where there is little to no dispute amongst elites, these kinds of movements might be the most powerful civil society bulwark against war. However, an asymmetrical relationship exists between social movements and the media. Movements are significantly more reliant on the media than the media are on movements to rally support, validate their political presence, and attract new members. (Gamson & Wolfsfeld 1993). Contradictory but essential functions are played by the media at each step of their growth, beginning with their infancy and continuing through their rise to prominence and organisational self-sufficiency. For instance, when political and foreign policy elites come together to support a particular war program, the dominant media are more likely to stigmatise or make light of anti-war dissent. (Gitlin 1980; Hackett 1991). Some academics argue that the media’s ability to define agendas has become more prominent since the advent of real-time, 24-hour, internationally broadcast television news. This view is particularly prevalent in the context of conflict. Bernard Shaw and Peter Arnett’s reporting for Cable News Network (CNN) from Baghdad during the Gulf War in 1991 is the most well-known example of this phenomenon. The so-called “CNN effect” is said to amplify political uncertainty and incompetence, quicken the pace at which politicians must respond to crises and foster expectations and feelings that could persuade governments to intervene (or disengage) in conflict situations in opposition to their initial inclinations. These effects are said to be caused by the acceleration of the pace at which politicians must respond to crises. People commonly point to the so-called “humanitarian” intervention that the United States carried out in Somalia as an example. (Spencer, 2005).
Arnold (2005) contends that the mass media played a crucial part in transmitting the United States government’s foreign policy goal by recasting imperial military activities as humanitarian interventions to enhance democracy and freedom worldwide. The media has paid attention to the United States government’s foreign policy as a direct result of the competition between worldwide television and radio networks such as the BBC, CNN, FOX TV, and Channel 4 over who receives the relevant information first. Consequently, there was a significant demand for Western media even in countries that are not considered Western.
There have been several different efforts in Africa to make use of the media in order to forward the cause of peace. Radio for Peace-Building Africa (RFPA), initiated in 2003 by the international charitable organisation Search for Common Ground, is an example of one of these projects. Among the countries in which the RFPA is active are Burundi, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. Also included in this list is Togo. The Radio Federation for Peace in Africa (RFPA) seeks to educate journalists on ways to promote peace, mediate disputes, and act on shared interests by assuming that radio is the most widely available medium for mass communication in Africa. According to their accomplishments, the RFPA had more than 3,000 members in 2010, representing more than 100 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. In addition, they have conducted more than ninety workshops in which they have trained staff members from community radio stations. (Radio for Peace-Building Africa, 2011).
Suppose the media have played a significant role in the spread of violence. In that case, it makes perfect sense to study the potential for the opposite perspective, good media contributions to putting a stop to violence and building peace throughout Kenya. In addition, it has been discovered that the media frequently encourages forces that fuel violent conflict; however, it is also true that the media has the potential to influence actions taken to advance societal peace. This is even though the media is frequently found to encourage such forces. Although media have played a significant part in every post-Cold War crisis (Prince and Thompson, 2002; Allen and Seaton, 1999), their contribution to post-conflict societal development and peacebuilding needs to be clarified.
In other parts of the world, on the other hand, recent evidence has been sufficient to support the idea that the media can be helpful in the process of promoting peace. For instance, there is evidence that post-conflict rebuilding programs have been accomplished thanks mainly to the media’s role in Bosnia, Burundi, Cambodia, Croatia, Israel/Palestine, Macedonia, and Rwanda. (McGoldrick, 2006).
Additionally, the RFPA has, over the previous seven years, strengthening the levels of cooperation that exist in its operational areas between the government, the media (including TV stations and newspapers), and civil society. It has also expanded the public’s access to information on policies, improved the capability of radio stations to identify the underlying causes of war and conflict, and employed the media to foster dialogue between decision-makers and the civil society in that state. (Radio for Peace-Building Africa: Achievements, 2012).
Terrorism is a harmful act conducted by radicalised individuals who are seen as a threat to society, both from the perspective of experts in the field of national security and the general public. The activities of terrorists and rebels are widely reported in the media. This coverage has two purposes: first, it informs readers about current events; second, it fulfils the watchdog duty of the media by indicating that society has a problem that must be solved. The general people can obtain information on terrorist attacks through several forms of media. The media contribute to the formation of an image and personality of terrorists through the reporting and analysis that they produce. For example, except for the region known as the North East, the primary source of information and understanding of Bokoharam is the media.
However, the modern media are not the only sources of information; anyone who has access to information and communication technology and knows how to utilise it can also supply fast news about terrorist actions. Consequently, people now have access to a greater variety of sources. Despite this, modern media outlets remain essential sources because they provide knowledge to report the news. It is possible that people who utilise news media don’t respect concerns about the truth, impartiality, and the presenting of information in a neutral manner, which continue to be significant issues. Consequently, the modern media play an essential role in disseminating information concerning terrorism across a broad audience while also serving as a forum for online discussion. The United Nations Development Declaration highlights that it is necessary “to maintain the freedom of the media to perform their critical duty and the right of the people to have access to information.” This requirement has been emphasised since the United Nations sees it as essential. The capacity of the media to disseminate information has been called into question. When insurgency operations are publicised in the media, both the media and the terrorists benefit
The insurgents benefit from increased publicity for their goals and interests, while the media gains from the number of listeners, viewers, and readers it attracts due to insurgent news. Even today, when new media technologies are readily available to the general public, terrorists continue to rely on current media to further their goals. However, it is essential to remember that the attention they receive may not always work to their advantage. This is something to keep in mind.
The media is progressively depicting insurgent actions in an unfavourable light, which helps to organise public opinion against them. One way the media accomplishes this is to portray insurgents as devils, devilish/evil, and criminals. People frequently band together to not only oppose them but also join vigilante organisations to confront them because of the negative results of their operations, which include killings, the displacement of people, the annexation of territory, and the imposition of extremist forms of Islam. This is because of the destructive results of their operations, which include killings, the displacement of people, the annexation of territory, and the imposition of extremist forms of Islam. This is the answer received in the North East, particularly in the states of Borno and Adamawa. BH has levelled accusations of biased reporting against the Nigerian daily This Day, which it says is responsible for the allegations. As mentioned above, this indicates that unfavourable media coverage may result in a backlash against journalists or the organisation they work for. The activities of insurgents, as well as the responses by society, security organisations, politicians, and religious leaders, are all beneficial to the media, as is what Hall refers to as “structured access” or what Becker refers to as society’s “ladder of credibility.” The media has reported the activities of militants in the northeastern part of Nigeria, which primarily extends into Cameroon, and commentary has been offered on such activities. In order to provide coverage for their targeted killings, BH calls journalists in Maiduguri and makes themselves available for interviews with those who express interest. They also uploaded videos to the YouTube website. (Wolfsfeld, 2004) They are aware of the potential help they can receive from the media in their efforts to spread fear and compel silence. Access to the media depended on spectacular acts of violence, most of which were committed against civilian populations who were not armed; the more extreme the violence, the greater the probability that the media would cover it. This gives rise to two perspectives that are opposed to one another. Representatives of the government and other influential members of society have unfettered access to the media, allowing them to publicly condemn acts of terrorism carried out by BH. Because BH was well aware of the risks associated with their illegal and illegitimate status and the consequences of coming into the open, they were forced to resort to violent means to gain direct access to the media.
Because of the publicity in the media, a more significant number of individuals are aware of the violent acts they have committed. Precisely this is what terrorist organisations hope to accomplish with their actions. The general public, actors representing the state, and terrorist organisations can all utilise the media to get their voices heard. This is more consistent with the obligation placed on the media to uphold impartiality, neutrality, and balance in their reporting. But is it possible for the media to maintain its objectivity and fairness, providing both sides with an opportunity to be heard anytime they seek the media’s attention? Insurgents are law-and-order offenders who should not have their activities legitimised by the media, as this would give the insurgents’ cause more legitimacy.
One of the problems associated with doing so is the conception that exposing terrorist or insurgent groups to the media will transform the media into the “oxygen of terrorism.” To put it another way, giving terrorists notoriety does nothing but increase their level of motivation. On the other hand, an opposing position argues that giving underprivileged communities a voice on an entirely different level may reduce their desire to engage in terrorist operations. This idea is based on the idea that giving people a voice empowers them. On the other hand, this line of reasoning holds water for groups that have not yet adopted a radical ideology and have not opted to make use of terrorist tactics in order to accomplish their objectives, regardless of what those objectives may be. Likely, any group that has become extremist and decided to go down the path of terrorism will use that fact to garner the media’s attention. It is essential to keep in mind that the coverage of terrorism in the media serves multiple essential functions, including delineating safe zones for citizens and disseminating information regarding hazardous areas to allow other parts of the nation to prepare to take counterterrorism measures. (Hackett & Carroll, 2006). In addition, it assists security services in establishing checkpoints, which enables potential offenders to be captured. The accepted criteria for determining what should be considered news The activities of insurgents are covered by the media in different ways depending on several factors that are referred to as news values or new components. The insurgency can be broken down into its parts, which include the following: unusualness, conflict, consequence, human interest, proximity (both geographical and psychological), drama, incongruity, personality, and timeliness.
Journalists that take their craft seriously will never avoid covering stories or events that contain even one of these elements. The most recent and noteworthy events are more likely to get the attention of journalists than those that took place in the distant past. It should not come as a surprise that the news about BH contains an element of risk, nor should it be strange that the media in Nigeria and Cameroon would pay special attention to the activities of BH. In the current harsh environment surrounding the media industry, no media outlet would want to give outdated news that people have previously heard or read about in other media outlets because news is a timely account of issues and occurrences. A medium with these characteristics won’t pique anyone’s interest. This is driven home even harder by the format of news reporting, which opens with the most significant aspect of the story in every instance. Time and space are crucial considerations when disseminating news through broadcast and print media. This helps to explain why people are so attracted by the more graphic aspects of stories, such as injuries, fatalities, displacement, destruction, victims, desertions, acts of courage, and so on.
The media faces accusations of sensationalism and event-focused reporting instead of process-focused reporting due to the emphasis placed on this. When viewed in that light, the media tends not to provide extensive background information to help the audience understand issues in a meaningful context. This also adds to the audience’s anxiety, panic, and adamant cries for the insurgency to end so that law and order can be reinstated. These institutional and professional factors affect how insurgency and terrorism news is covered.
Ongoing civil wars, such as those in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, and Somalia, have not been stopped, even though a large-scale or worldwide war has been avoided. All the crises that had a high potential for civil war, including the transitions of power in South Africa, Central and Eastern Africa, and other crises, have been settled without bloodshed (Hackett & Carroll, 2006). As a result, communication is an essential component in the process of finding peaceful solutions to international problems. That is to say, a mode of communication that shifts the focus of civil dispute toward what is known as cultural negotiation rather than leading to open hostilities. (White, 1990, p.22-23) The public can participate in the decision-making process and have a more significant say in the outcome by receiving direct information from the media about critical events that affect the decision-making process. What is to be anticipated is a narrative reconstruction of the events that will identify the source of the problem, the persons responsible for it and why they were guilty, and what will ultimately emerge as a solution. The media serve as a forum for expressing a public opinion and provide members of the general public and elected authorities with access to data on how people generally feel about the state of affairs in society. The public can determine what the general public anticipates and whether or not representative governments are acting following the general public’s desires. A regime is considered totalitarian when it has all of the characteristics of a totalitarian state, including the complete absorption of civil society by the state and the absence of public opinion. When he articulated the process of creating peace: Boutros Boutros-Gali (1992) presented the concept of developing clarity and consistency in building peace.
“action to identify and support structures that will tend to strengthen and solidify peace and rebuilding institutions and infrastructures of nations torn apart by civil war and strife (and tackling the deep causes of) economic despair, social injustice, and oppression” are some of the things that need to be done in order to stop a conflict from breaking out again. Willsher’s comment about his role as a journalist contains a reference to the “CNN effect,” which got its name from a statement made by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali during the first Gulf War. Ghali said, “We have 16 members in the Security Council: the 15 members plus CNN.” The “CNN effect” was named after this statement (Boutros Ghali, 1995). The primary tenet of this theory is that the contemporary global media are now sufficiently influential in bringing problems to the forefront of political debate that the establishment would, in other circumstances, deem to be of little or no interest.
The media are involved in many different aspects of our daily life. Depending on how they are played, these positions can be helpful or detrimental. Therefore, the first step in doing an in-depth critical analysis of how to best use the media to help conflict prevention and peacebuilding is acknowledging the diversity among those working in the media.
Media as a Source of Information and Translator
The media responds to more urgent situations and gives individuals crucial information about their environment (such as political, cultural, and social issues) (weather, traffic, natural catastrophes, etc.). People, at least in part, base their decisions on how to dress for the weather, whom to vote for in elections, and how to see other social groupings on what they see in the media. The media interpret events that occur outside of our physical reality and aid our understanding. The significance of media in our daily communication and entertainment is becoming more and more important as technologies advance and new media, like the internet, develop. For instance, the Otpor Movement was created in 1998 by Serbian students in response to increased academic and media freedom limitations. Otpor, which means “resistance” in Serbian, is a very abnormal movement. Otpor created their own grassroots media initiative to inform and enthuse those who opposed the Milosevic regime. (Milja Jovanovic, 2005)
Media as Watchdog
The media can serve as a “watchdog” by reporting on and reporting back to the public on issues in the community. The media can disseminate previously unknown information. Problems facing the public can be brought to light by investigative reporting. For example, a writer in the United States found and wrote about a hospital for veterans who were filthy, unsanitary, and indifferent. (Dana Priest and Anne Hull, 2007). This brought to light an issue with how civilians and the government treat US servicemen and women before, during, and after their military service.
Media as Gatekeeper
The media can also play the role of a gatekeeper by establishing agendas, sorting through topics, and working to keep a balance of perspectives. The media likes to portray itself as “balanced and fair,” even when they privately strive to promote a particular ideological set of ideas and limit the public’s exposure to a wide array of information. This is a common tactic. For example, in 2006, a cartoonist from Denmark stirred up controversy worldwide with his depictions of Islamic religious figures. The worldwide tensions spurred comprehensive research on how and when media professionals should serve as gatekeepers to prevent certain utterances that could be judged as embarrassing or hurtful to specific groups of people.
Media as Policymaker
Policymakers are susceptible to the media’s influence, particularly when deciding how to respond to existing conflicts and how to prevent violent conflict in the future. In order to disseminate their message to the general public, officials also use the media as a tool. Some people who believe in conspiracies believe that CNN has gained control of the decision-making process, at least regarding issues concerning humanitarian disasters. Images of genocide, famine, and violence broadcast on CNN prompt politicians to intervene militarily to avert death, even if they do not believe it is in their country’s best interest to adopt this strategy. This is because the images influence policymakers. This is because officials feel obligated to act in reaction to the visuals aired on CNN. For example, in Bosnia, the media played an essential part in convincing the populace to persuade their policymakers to intervene to stop the aggression. This was accomplished with the help of the Bosnian population. Several distinct methods were utilised in order to complete this task. (Gilboa, Eytan 2002)
Media as Diplomat
It is not uncommon for the media to be utilised to report on diplomatic initiatives and serve as a communication channel between opposing parties in a crisis. Even while officials often favour private negotiations, there may be situations when no direct lines of contact are available. One side can possibly convey signals and messages to other groups through the media to gauge how other parties will respond to a negotiation proposal. On occasion, members of opposing groups or nations will be invited to participate in a conversation on the same television or radio program hosted by the news media. It’s possible that the media can help build confidence among adversaries, which is necessary before negotiations begin. (Gilboa, Eytan 2002) As an illustration, the American television program Nightline often asks two or more individuals who hold opposing viewpoints on a particular public policy issue to participate in the show and engage in conversation with one another. The host, Ted Koppel, makes it a point of actively searching for areas of agreement between the opposing viewpoints.
Media as Peace Promotor
At the start of negotiations, media events can be utilised to establish confidence, facilitate negotiations, or break diplomatic deadlocks to create an atmosphere that is favourable to negotiation. Celebrations of peace agreements and discussions might take place in the form of media events such as press releases, rock concerts, or radio shows. There is a possibility that the media events will assist in promoting and mobilising public support for the agreements. For instance, in Burundi, a radio station called Studio Ijambo is attempting to use the power of radio for positive objectives. Studio Ijambo was established in 1995 by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with twenty journalists from the Hutu and Tutsi communities to foster conversation, peace, and reconciliation. In order to maintain a consistent campaign for the promotion of peace, Studio Ijambo creates around one hundred radio programmes every month. (Gilboa, Eytan 2002)
In conclusion, since the early 1990s, international organisations that are actively engaged in peacebuilding have been drawn to the media’s influence on society (Ross, 2002). The media can facilitate peace by providing accurate reporting, presenting contrasting opinions in its editorial material, and acting as a conduit for communication between the various parties involved in a dispute. Additionally, it can detect the fundamental goals of competing factions and objectively present them. Because of this, the media can disseminate facts that can help parties involved in a disagreement regain their trust in one another.
In addition to differences in culture, individuals also have different personal interests. The proprietor of that outlet will profoundly impact any given media outlet’s role in fostering peace. Because private media is motivated by profit, there are times when they stand to benefit by supporting particular conflict participants long after the conflict has come to an end. Even if the private media are not biased against particular groups, news about peace is considered to be less “interesting” than stories about the war. The capacity to deliver breaking and up-to-the-minute news is a cornerstone of many independent news organisations.
In poor nations, journalists often receive inadequate pay, and they may be forced to rely exclusively on some armed conflict groups for financial support during and after a conflict. This can be true both during the conflict and after it has ended. This may affect their reporting due to the necessity to compromise between preserving their integrity as objective journalists and preserving the financial support they get.
The deployment of journalists or media outlets is a common tactic employed by parties to a conflict as part of their efforts to polarise political issues. This not only limits the kinds of stories that numerous journalists and publishers can cover, but it also undermines their credibility in the eyes of (parts of) the general public. Unfortunately, this prejudice frequently continues to exist, and it will be challenging to eliminate it until considerable changes are made in the behaviour of journalists. This relates to the power problem in a (post-)conflict situation. In the most extreme situations, peacebuilding can facilitate so-called “victors-peace,” in which a dominant actor promotes peace. He controls communication channels and establishes the peacebuilding objectives of the society. In other words, peace is promoted by a dominant actor who wins the conflict. This has been the situation in South Africa in particular, in particular.
The media must report on violent conflicts; to do so in a way that does not encourage greater violence or ignore opportunities to promote peace, the media needs to improve their analytical capacities and reporting skills. When reporting on insurgency, the media should be on the lookout for conditions that will help to foster trust, increased communication between the government and the insurgents, and opportunities to encourage potential dialogue. In other words, the media should be on the lookout for opportunities to encourage potential dialogue. The professional efforts mainstream media outlets make to uphold the journalistic code of ethics are directed toward achieving this goal. However, it is essential to reassess some moral norms and consider brand-new trends, such as hate speech, which are particularly prominent in social media. This is the case since social media has become increasingly widespread. In spite of rhetoric stretching back to the 1960s about encouraging African unity and building an African union, African countries continue to steadfastly preserve their borders that were imposed by colonial powers (Hackett & Carroll, 2006). Although travel between ECOWAS states has become slightly easier across the continent, there is still a limited flow of journalists that can pass through borders without encountering difficulties in carrying out their work. The media does not appear to pay much attention to activities on issues that cross borders, even though the emphasis on ceremonial activities of African leaders helps forge unity. This is even though the media places a lot of emphasis on the activities of African leaders. Since the insurgency began in 2009, one could speculate about the number of journalists who have been granted visas to enter Nigeria or Cameroon to cover the event from a first-person perspective. Two separate nations? Does information on the insurgency being shared between the news organisations of the two countries to make it easier for them to cover it? This kind of cooperation will be beneficial to both parties.
In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a call for a New World and Information Order (NWICO). However, the international news exchange and broadcast programs between African nations that started during that time have not been maintained. This is despite the fact that these programs were initiated during those decades. However, these cooperative contacts across international borders are essential to establishing understanding. The coverage of terrorism in the media is not limited to just the national media; instead, the foreign media also play essential roles in this coverage. Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, Western media outlets have been forced to acknowledge the significant influence, they wield in matters relating to media, insurgency/terrorism, and peacekeeping. The Western media report on terrorism as both a news story and an issue for the countries that are the targets of terrorists and that are affected by their actions. The Western world and its media are well aware that organisations like BH, which assert that they speak for Islam, pose a potential threat to the Western world or their residents outside the country. The West is the primary concern worldwide regarding the possible presence of terrorists in Africa and other regions. The Americans and Europeans have shown their concern by focusing on the operations of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, which attract the media’s attention.
It has been said that Western media outlets exert undue influence over how other parts of the world are reported, and terrorism coverage is hardly an exception. The fact that Western media exist means that local media must compete with them to keep the people informed of current events. They frequently are the first to report on breaking news and have the resources necessary to cover international events, giving them an advantage over the local media. Governmental controls over the local media indeed affect how these outlets report on matters relating to terrorism, insurgency, and conflict. The media must acknowledge the inevitability of conflicts while also searching for ways to involve all involved parties in dialogue. The countries that the insurgency has impacted need to make the most of their media assets, which include public, private, and community media, and use them to promote tolerance, peace, and accommodation rather than dehumanising people by using hate speech to refer to them or their groups. This will allow the nations to make the most of their media assets. The human dimension must be emphasised in media reportage. It is essential to enhance peace and comprehension with our neighbours, despite restrictions on utilising domestic media to transmit over international borders. International broadcasters such as Voice of Nigeria will be helpful in this regard, which ought to make it a point to persistently promote Nigeria’s position of maintaining Africa as the centre point of its foreign policy. Even if they are only accessible through a paid subscription, stations like Africa Independent Television (AIT) should continue broadcasting their cultural program Kakaki, which shines a light on the African customs practised. It is essential that the editors and publishers of The Daily Trust, Media Trust Limited, carry on the tradition of naming an African of the Year. In an insurgency situation such as one in Bangladesh, it might be challenging to make and maintain direct contact with the insurgents to participate in the negotiation and discover a peaceful solution to the conflict. The militants have already gone through the process of radicalisation, during which they were taught to believe that only via the use of violence and the performance of an act of martyrdom will they be able to enter heaven. Perhaps due to this, they are unwilling to negotiate or engage in conversation. When reporting on matters about law and order, the media tends to stigmatise and portray them in a criminal light. Even though this might be the case, the growth of insurgency is evidence that there is something wrong with the established social order.
The media can serve as a conduit through which insurgent spokesmen are allowed to present their arguments. This may be because there are no open lines of communication between the administration and the militants in the area. In that case, as opposed to the presumably desired covert tactic, the media will engage in public diplomacy instead. One illustration of this would be the unsuccessful attempt at the contact between the insurgents and the government of Nigeria. The media may help facilitate such a conversation. In addition, the media needs to play the role of a vehicle to persuade the country’s various populations that the insurgency is a problem that affects everyone and calls for the participation of all residents.
Furthermore, the nations currently being affected by an insurgency need to be motivated to collaborate and support joint action plans. Both the Multinational Joint Task Force that was established by the nations that participated in the Chad-Bain Commission and any form of military forces coordination between Nigeria and Cameroon should be offered support. Finally, the insurgency is affecting countries other than Nigeria, specifically Nigeria’s neighbours.
Problems that are thought to be caused by conflict are met with scepticism, and the media is typically held responsible for stoking the fires of animosity. On the other hand, it is widely acknowledged that the media have the potential to contribute to the promotion of peace. However, it has been seen that the media assists in escalating conflicts, which raises questions about the function of the media. Both of these roles could potentially be played by the media depending on the way in which they are employed to play a role in disputes. In light of the violence that has occurred in Nigeria since 1999, the question at hand, which is what the media may do to assist in the process of peacebuilding, is currently receiving a lot of attention. Additionally, they may help to contribute to the development of international harmony.
On the other hand, there is the expectation that measures designed to foster peace will receive support from the media. There is no universally agreed-upon definition of peace; nonetheless, there are a variety of related concepts that serve to describe what it is and how it might be achieved. People tend to confuse the absence of conflict with peace, which they define as serenity, the absence of upheaval, the absence of disturbances, or a scenario in which everything operates smoothly. However, the majority of the time, this is not the case. However, peace is about much more than that. Because disagreements are inescapable in every society, peace does not suggest that there won’t be any; rather, it indicates that there will be long-lasting institutions for resolving disagreements without resorting to physical violence. To put it another way, peace is a state of affairs in which people make an effort to foresee potential conflicts, work together to find peaceful solutions to those conflicts, and coordinate efforts to manage social change initiatives that lead to an improvement in the general level of societal well-being.
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