Media Practice in Ghana and Efforts Towards Peaceful and Non ...

Media Practice in Ghana and Efforts Towards Peaceful and Non ...

MEDIA PRACTICE IN GHANA AND EFFORTS TOWARDS PEACEFUL AND NONVIOLENT ELECTIONS IN 2008 What is Conflict? Normal Inevitable Necessary and Can, therefore, either build or destroy relationships What are the Functions of Conflict?

A signal indicating the need to create or modify rules, norms, laws and institutions Tells us how important relationships are Can create coalitions Enhance group cohesion through issue and belief clarification Having said this, how do we define conflict? Conflict is the energy that

builds up when individuals or groups of people pursue incompatible goals in their drive to meet their needs and interests The media shape what we see and hear about conflict. The perspectives of those who run the media shape stories that are covered. Media owners have economic interests; they want to sell their stories and

programs to a public who will buy their newspapers or watch their programs. If it bleeds,it leads. That means violent conflict will be headline news, not news of cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. The media mostly covers conflict, not peacebuilding. This tendency to cover conflict and violence distorts reality and leads many people to think that conflict is pervasive and peace is abnormal.

MEDIA FOCUS NO MEDIA FOCUS Immediacy Specific actions and events Long-term processes and policies (as in

ongoing peace processes, dialogue, or mediation) Drama Violence, crisis or conflict; Extremist behaviours; Outrageous acts Calm, controlled,

moderate people getting along with each other (e.g. participating in dialogue) Simplicity Clear cut opinions, images, major personalities, two-sided conflicts

Complex opinions or explanations, institutions, root causes, multi-sided conflicts Ethnocentrism Our beliefs, myths and symbols; Our suffering The brutality of some Other


The media provide people important information about their environment (political, cultural and social issues) People make decisions and judgement about other groups based on the media (choosing a government in an elections) Media interpret events beyond our physical realm and help us make sense of them Media plays a more prominent role as a result of new technologies- ICT Cultural context of Ghanaian society where

rumour mongering is integral can exacerbate conflict- e.g. KonkombaNanumba Conflict 2. Media as Watchdog Media acts as a third party watchdog and is an intermediary with the public on issues and problems Media brings our systemic issues and problems that are often hidden open to the public. (e.g. Chronicle Headline War drums beating in the North KonkombaNanumba war. The challenge is how such conflicts are reported

3. Media as Gatekeeper Media act as gatekeepers, setting the agenda, filtering issues and maintaining balance In 2006, a cartoonist in Denmark created international conflict with his message about Islam. The global tensions prompted extensive analysis on how and when media professionals should act as a gatekeeper to prevent certain expressions that could be deemed humiliating or offensive to some groups.

4. Media as Policy maker The media has influence on policy makers while it is also a tool for policy makers to put across their message (e.g. Bawku conflict) 5. Media as Diplomat Sometimes the media is used to cover diplomatic initiatives and send messages back and forth between sides of a conflict. The media can build bridges among

enemies and build confidence needed to open negotiations. 6. Media as Peace Builder Media events can be used at the beginning of negotiations to build confidence, facilitate negotiations or break diplomatic deadlocks to create a climate conducive to negotiation. Media events such as press releases, rock concerts, or radio programs can celebrate peace agreements and negotiations. The media events may help to promote and

mobilize public support for agreements. 7. The Media as Bridge Builder The media can promote positive relationships between groups, particularly in conflicts over national, ethnic, religious identity. The media can lessen polarization between groups MEDIA PRACTICE AND CONFLICT ANALYSIS

CONFLICT ANALYSES WHAT IS CONFLICT ANALYSES? Conflict analysis is a practical process of examining and understanding the reality of a conflict from a variety of perspectives. Why do you need to analyse conflicts? To understand the background and history of the situation as well as current events;

To identify all the relevant groups involved, not just the main or obvious ones; To understand the perspectives of all these groups and to know more about how they relate to each other; To identify factors and trends that underpin conflicts; power, attitudes, behaviours, systems and structures, levels of involvement, root causes and triggers, needs, interests and positions. To lean from failures as well as successes. To inform our programs, and determine how we should respond to the conflict with

our programs; To determine who is involved in the conflict; To figure out what motivates people to use violence or continue conflict (e.g. economic motivations, desire for power, redressing ethnic grievances); To identify the conflict fault lines (the issues in the conflict); To determine how the conflict is unfolding To uncover the origin of the conflict

Understand the secondary/shadow parties, issues and currents Improve understanding of relationships and entry points of response Identify the expectations of stakeholders Assess the conflict cost

Help in Reconciliation Determine the right approach to intervention Until we understand the causes of conflicts, who is involved, the issues and dynamics of the conflict, our peacebuilding programming / peacekeeping operation will be ineffective. Conflict analysis supplies a detailed picture of what is happening and helps us determine what we might do to create

more peaceful and just societies. Conflict analysis is not a onetime exercise; it must be an on-going process, as the situation is developing, so that you can adapt your actions to changing factors, dynamics and circumstances. some conflict analyses tools

Stages of conflict The 3Ps Timelines

Conflict mapping ABC (Attitude, Behaviour, Context) triangle Onion (or the doughnut) Conflict tree Pillars Pyramid The Grid The Four Quadrant Tool Too much alcohol Overwork

Towards possible solutions Relax Sleep Illness Play sports Need glasses

Change jobs Stress From problem to causes I have a headache Commit through Specific actions Organise a basketball game for Saturday afternoon

Types of Conflict Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, South Africa, 1999 Circle of Conflict Copyright 1997 CDR Associates, Boulder, Co. THE CYCLE OF CONFLICT Threshold of

Armed Conflict The Cycle of Conflict Conflict Conflict Sustainable Peace Start of Armed Conflict Threshold of Sustainable Peace

THE CYCLE OF CONFLICT Formal Cessation of Armed Conflict Start of Armed Conflict Armed Conflict Escalation

Threshold of Armed Conflict PostCeasefire Threshold of Sustainable Peace Peace Time LIFE CYCLE OF A

CONFLICT War Peacemaking ceasefire Peace enforcement confrontation

Crisis Crisis diplomacy escalation Escalation Unstable peace Preventive

diplomacy De- Peacekeeping Settlement Simmering tensions Stable peace Durable

peace Routine diplomacy reconciliation Post-conflict peacebuilding

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