Dialogue and Reconciliation

© UNESCO / Workshop: "objectivity and neutrality in the media"

© UNESCO / Workshop: "objectivity and neutrality in the media"

UNESCO is working towards achieving reconciliation in Iraq and enhancing dialogue by supporting local media in providing independent and reliable information.

Media reporting has sometimes actually fueled conflicts by glorifying polarizing ideologies, neglecting media’s potential to play a positive role in conflict and post-conflict situations. In times of upheaval, disorder and uncertainty, people's need for reliable information is paramount. People’s ability to access provisions and sometimes to survive, may depend on media transparency and neutrality.

Media's work to provide independent and trustworthy information can contribute significantly to processes of reconstruction and reconciliation. Editors and media managers, for example, can facilitate dialogue by setting up structures that facilitate managing phone-ins and letters to the editors, and hosting balanced debates. The media can provide a vital space in which different views are projected and information from different sources is openly available for public scrutiny.

At a time of random violence and ongoing transition in Iraq, media can serve as a platform for dialogue that promotes reconciliation and peaceful solutions. UNESCO office for Iraq is committed to supporting the national reconciliation process by building the capacity of the Iraqi media sector. In keeping with its cause, UNESCO Iraq will continue developing projects to train professionals on using media as dialogue facilitation tools, in addition to working on key issues such as democracy, tolerance and reconciliation.

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