Before Emergency

Conflict Prevention and the Media
30 December 2003
Book
Conflict prevention is a challenging concept for the media because journalists normally work on current affairs: reporting what is going on now, not trying to change the course of events in the medium or the long term. However, the media can also play a determinant role in conflict prevention by providing swift and reliable information of emerging or potential conflicts to local and external actors.

This book is about two prominent issues: conflict prevention, and the media. Conflict prevention is a challenging concept for the media because journalists normally work on current affairs: reporting what is going on now, not trying to change the course of events in the medium or the long term. However, the media can also play a determinant role in conflict prevention by providing swift and reliable information of emerging or potential conflicts to local and external actors. Governments, international organisations and public opinion alike need in-depth understanding of pre- and post-conflict social, economic, cultural and political environments in order to fully understand the benefits and feasibility of preventive policies.

This is the second volume of a series on Conflict and the Media, based on the presentations and debates that took place in the framework of international seminars. The current volume gathers the communications presented by academics, journalists and representatives of NGOs meeting in Coimbra, Portugal (18-20 April 2002) to discuss the relationship between conflict prevention and the media, with the aim of promoting stability, peace and development in conflict areas. This second seminar was hosted by the Peace Studies Group of the Centre of Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, and was organised within the framework of Humanitarian Net, the Thematic Network on Humanitarian Development Studies, funded by the European Communion.

The first seminar was held in Amsterdam (19-22 April 2001) and resulted in the book The Emotion and the Truth. Studies in Mass Communication and Conflict.

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