News Balance Is Balm In Conflict

The workshop covered difficult subjects such as how to write conflict-sensitive reports about local issues
The workshop covered difficult subjects such as how to write conflict-sensitive reports about local issues
USAID's SIKA-West
Journalists in western Afghanistan learn that constructive reporting makes it easier for communities to handle conflict and discord
9 JULY 2013 | HERAT, BADGHIS, FARAH AND GHOR
 
When journalists from four western Afghan provinces gathered to discuss conflict-reporting, they came away with many new ideas. As well as a renewed commitment to report events in a balanced way.
 
Shah Mohammad Shahab, a reporter from Radio Saday-e-Adalat in Ghor province, said the four-day Peace Journalism workshop was very useful because it underlined the importance of background and context in a story. “The news we report can be destructive for a community by promoting violence or can be constructive by making citizens better informed,” he said.
 
Shahab was one of nearly 30 journalists from Herat, Badghis, Farah and Ghor provinces who attended the workshop. It was organized by USAID’s Stability In Key Areas (SIKA)-West program as part of efforts to mitigate the effect of conflict on communities.
 
The journalists wrote conflict-sensitive reports about local issues and discussed ways to deal with manipulation, keep safe and recognize trauma.
 
Nai, an Afghan Non-Governmental Organization, helped create a Peace Journalism Facebook page as a forum for journalists to stay connected and continue the discussion on conflict-reporting.
 
A poster, Toward Peace in Afghanistan, was produced. It included the journalists’ promises to follow conflict-sensitive reporting techniques. “I will act according to the principles of journalism and be honest in my reporting, and my reports will be balanced,” read one, reflecting the hopes and aspirations of everyone on the course.

Last updated: January 06, 2014

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