Occasional Papers

ACCORD's Occasional Papers are intended to blend inter-disciplinary policy, practice and research on peace and security issues. The series is primarily an outlet for stakeholders in the conflict resolution, peacebuilding and development and governance sectors and a platform for sharing new and evolving knowledge. The series is disseminated widely to approximately 3000 readers, which includes government ministries, academics, and international, regional, and national organisations around the world.

Media Graduation from Potential to Actual Power in Africa’s Conflict Resolution

Experience from the East and Horn of Africa - by Absalom Mutere

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2006

The media has for a long time been recognised as a catalyst in the many intra- and inter-state conflicts that have afflicted the African continent. This paper analyses the pre-testing results of a regional media conflict transformation project that was recently carried out in East Africa and the Horn of Africa regions. The paper premises the analysis on three media theories: gatekeeping, agenda setting and socialisation.

The project trained journalists from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan in coverage of conflict transformation issues. The project further developed a regional training manual designed to socialise journalists and media practitioners in the principles of conflict resolution journalism. Pre-testing results revealed that journalists on their own could not attain the ideals of a regional media conflict transformation strategy. What are needed are networks of information resources working in a structured manner with media outlets, the gatekeepers and agenda setters, and training institutions.

Download PDF