Rethinking the role of community media in conflict transformation and peacebuilding

Peace &Change, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 1-13, January 2024.


Whereas much has been written about the role community media plays in peacebuilding, emphasis is often put on participatory media models as key determinants of peace or conflict sustainability. Little is known, however, about the conditions under which such media increase or impede peace efforts due to the complex nature of conflict. Moreover, how, when, and by whom such media can be tailored to offer favorable conditions for peacebuilding at the community level remain largely unanswered questions. This article draws from Howard's (An Operational Framework for Media and Peacebuilding, IMPACS, 2002) typology of media interventions, issue-framing framework, and conflict transformation approach to probe the prospects of community media agency in peacebuilding at the community level. It argues that the way conflict narratives are produced, negotiated, and consumed across time and space is what provides individuals or groups with incentives for conflict or trade-offs for peace irrespective of the stage at which a given conflict manifests itself. Overall, the reflections presented are conceptual and are intended to generate theoretical and methodological discussions around the role of community media in conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the community level.

This was originally published on Wiley: Peace & Change: Table of Contents.