Effect of the media on conflicts

Friday, October 29th, 2010 By

A businessman reading a local newspaper.

It is crucial that the media understand their role and effect on conflict, be it directly or indirectly. (Thinkstock)

Conflicts can be defined as a prolonged armed struggle, a serious disagreement or simply a difference between principles and opinions. Conflict is known to have a balancing effect and is capable of affecting the status quo of a situation or environment. Simply put, it is the process of balancing powers with the result of instilling the victor of the conflict as the supreme power. Thus, to be able to understand the current holder of the power, it is crucial to comprehend prior conflicts and the reasons behind it.

Media effect

Before covering a particular conflict, it is crucial that the media understand their role and effect on it, be it directly or indirectly. During this process, the media can serve as a venue for communication between conflicting parties while remaining fair to the issue, becoming the mediator to both parties. The ideal effect of media being a mediator is acquiring a peaceful resolution by allowing both parties in opposition to open a dialogue with each other. This role of the media is critical in the conflicts occurring today because no other branch of society can perform this important role in a conflict as the media.

Effective agent of peace

For the media to become an effective agent of peace, several doctrines must be followed, such as responsibility, impartiality and accuracy while covering the events of a conflict. When an absence of objective reporting occurs, media can increase the tension in a particular conflict and could sometimes escalate the conflict. Today, in the era known as the Information Age, misinformation reported by the media can immediately create a response, whether it be negative or positive, depending on the structure of the message and how it was reported. Sometimes media would use the alternative to borrowing from family and friends to further their cause.

These days, the media concentrate on operating in societies where the freedom of information and expression have not been fully institutionalized yet. Their work becomes a challenge during conflicts in these societies, especially if the state itself is involved. Without transparency and an effective information dissemination mechanism, the objectivity of media gets compromised. As bits and pieces of information are being supplied to them by interest groups and the state itself, the media can be an unwitting pawn in the conflict.

Analyze a conflict

Conflict analysis is necessary to establish an objective reason in a conflict. This can be a venue for conflicting parties to take steps to negotiate peaceful settlements in on-going disputes and to reduce hostilities that affect the population. Applying for new payday loans may become a way of helping bring about peace.


The Washington Post


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