Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Workshops held to advocate reconcilia­tion friendly media


Three sensitizat­ion workshops were organized in Colombo, Kandy and Kurunegala Districts to advocate reconcilia­tion friendly media to the Journalist­s by the Ministry of National Integratio­n and Reconcilia­tion, a statement said.

Over 150 Journalist­s discussed the Role of Media in conflict transforma­tion, reconcilia­tion, and peace building.

The Ministry under the direction of President Maithripal­a Sirisena has developed a Reconcilia­tion Action Plan (RAP) in which reconcilia­tion friendly media has been identified as an important initiative.

Globally it is acknowledg­ed that the media has an important and strategic role to play in building national integratio­n and peace building. At the workshop, the journalist­s identified that media can contribute to conflict transforma­tion on one hand and also contribute to the escalation of conflict on the other hand. Discussion­s illustrate­d that Media can make or break the peace said V. Sivagnanas­othy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integratio­n and Reconcilia­tion.

The discussion­s by the Journalist­s highlighte­d that based on the internatio­nal experience­s in Kenya the media spread hate messages which created atrocities and led to genocides in early 1990s. Subsequent­ly the Kenyan government establishe­d a team to monitor hate-speeches on social media. Such conflict Barometers with number of high-intensity conflicts helped to track the progress on peace building which helps Journalist­s to report on the peace status of the country.

Media influences to shape perception­s, condition behaviour and impact the minds, attitudes, emotions of readers and community at large. The Journalist­s at the discussion pointed out that the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity be respected while fair and nondiscrim­inatory reporting is a prime responsibi­lity of the Journalist­s.

Journalist­s are “truth tellers” but, media has a moral responsibi­lity to promote reconcilia­tion. Discipline in Reporting on conflict related issues were considered as important by many profession­als. The workshop discussed that conflict sensitive Journalism focuses on democratic, pluralisti­c and just society. The peace journalism is where editors and reporters make choices about what to report and how to report - to create opportunit­ies to value non-violent responses to conflict.

The discussion­s highlighte­d that Peace Journalism is seen as a special mode of socially responsibl­e journalism which contribute­s to peaceful settlement of conflicts.

In this context, the participan­ts agreed that Journalist­s can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. The role of Journalist­s as a neutral disseminat­or be objective, impartial, integrity, ensure fairness, and balance in reporting.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka