Conflict-sensitive reporting: state of the art; a course for journalists and journalism educators

Written by Ross Howard, who teaches journalism at Langara College in Canada and is the President of the non-profit Media and Democracy Group, the Curriculum provides guidance to a better understanding of conflict and conflict resolution and the news media’s role.

The Curriculum comes at a time when the news media, with its new technologies and wider reach, is increasingly a target for misinformation, manipulation or suppression by interests seeking to profit from conflict. The central concept of Conflict-Sensitive Reporting is that violent conflict attracts intense news media attention that requires greater analytical depth and skills to report on it without contributing to further violence or overlooking peace building opportunities.

The intention is to make reporting on conflict more insightful, more comprehensive and thus more influential, since being comprehensive includes making clearer the possibilities of resolving conflict rather than perpetuating it. Conflict-sensitive reporting contributes to reconciliation and peace-building.

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