Third panel in the Innovative Media for Change in Transitional Justice conference, A Debate between Journalists, Academics and Practitioners on Transitional Justice, Media and Conflict held on 22-23 June 2015.
It is widely known that media can fuel and catalyze conflict as was proven by the so-called hate media in Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia. In those cases, media was instrumentalised to promote hate, distrust and to fuel tensions between religious and ethnic groups that provided the underlying justifications for the heinous killings taking place in both countries. However, less is known about the role media plays in post-conflict transition processes, particularly in so-called divided and highly politicized societies. Against this backdrop, this panel will investigate the ways media is (mis-)used in those contexts, and discuss how media impedes or likewise facilitates positive change towards justice, accountability and reconciliation. The Panel will focus on the following questions: What are possible ways to enable balanced reporting that includes diverse and differing perspectives on the past? In what ways can new media tools facilitate change? What mechanisms exist to enable independent reporting in those highly politicized contexts? In what ways can media advocate for an impartial and balanced view/discourse on the politics of the past and of the present? Case studies will include Somalia, Ethiopia and the Balkans.
Nicole Stremlau – Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP), Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Marija Ristic – Assistant Editor at Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Belgrade, Iginio Gagliardone – Research Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Member of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP), University of Oxford, Nicola Palmer (Facilitator) – Lecturer in Criminal Law, King’s College London, Advisory Board Member of Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR)