Ideas that matter

The impact of mass media on conflict prevention

In my first times living in The Hague, I read an interesting autobiography from Lynsey Addario (“It’s What I Do”). She’s an american photojournalist who covered the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur and many other places. In the very same days, I also attended a photography exposition at the Town Hall in The Hague: there, I saw extraordinary photos coming from conflict areas and the migrant routes in the Balcans and the Mediterranean Sea.

The combination of these two experience made me think of the common information about conflicts that we receive everyday, which is “purified” by all the hardest details and the hardest images. And I wondered that this purification, which maybe can have a good effect in the short term (preventing people to see awful scenes), in the long term can be destructive, since it also prevents people to know what a conflict actually is.

Therefore, I would like to suggest some questions and point for reflection: can the diffusion of hard images and news via mass media induce a cultural change in the way the conflict are perceived? What is the balance between the short term and long term pros and cons? Can this practice be an useful tool for conflict prevention?

Here is the link for the presentation I had during the UNconference on 21/9/2016 at the Humanity House: mediaconflictprevention_pres

Hope to have some feedbacks, ideas and advices from you all 🙂