Media and conflict Sensitive journalism during and after elections

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Abstract for Research Paper Media and Conflict Sensitive Journalism During and After Elections.


The research study is about media and conflict sensitive journalism during and after elections in Kenya. The objectives delves into how journalism and conflict interrelate, what good journalism entails as well as what conflict sensitive reporting is as opposed to traditional reporting. The study used content analysis method following the use of library research which helped to gather secondary data. The study show that some of the media stations focus on who is losing, who is winning, the candidate with huge followership and the one with better arsenals. Such news mostly result to conflict between the supporters of such aspirants. However, media can also create a peaceful environment during and after elections by participating in conflict resolution. This can only be possible if the media can keep off from disseminating conflict related content and remaining independent in reporting. Media should also focus on aspects of balanced, accurate and honest reporting. It is at this point where peace journalism comes in. However, peace journalism can only be possible when the media gate keepers and reporters make tacit choices on what to report and how to report. Issues touching on scarce resources, customs and belief systems, unresolved grievances existing from the past, power distribution in government among others, need to be disseminated in a balanced and accurate way. On the other hand, professional journalists need to desist from defamatory, imitative, corrupt and malicious reporting which can prompt the distortion of information. Reporters in conflict reporting must strike a balance between telling facts and ensuring that those facts do not flare-up the country. One way conflict sensitive journalism can bridge the gap between the opponent sides is by reporting issues of commonalities which have the potential to de-escalate political violence.

Primary author

James Kuria (Kabarak University)

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