In search of peace media: Examining the role of media in peace developments of the post -Cold War conflicts
This study analyzes media projects designed to contribute to the development of peace. Therefore, it examines post-Cold War mass communication projects developed in direct response to violent conflicts initiated by a party that is not involved in the conflict. The practical effort is named "peace media."
The review of the literature from the fields of media effects, propaganda research, peace studies and communication for development offers a broad spectrum of studies pointing towards a common conclusion: mass media/communication indeed have the potential to affect populations in a variety of ways. The rhizomatic approach by Deleuze and Guattari was used as the theoretical foundation to the methods employed in the study. As a result, in-depth interviewing, text analysis and a quantitative effects assessment were used as the methods of inquiry. In order to fully understand the rhizomatic foundation of peace media, this study examined three kinds of data: interview transcripts, texts describing peace media projects and the quantitative data of audience effects conducted by practitioners.
Thirteen conflict sites in 18 countries generated a total of nearly forty peace media projects. The analysis begins with the description of the actors and practitioners responsible for peace media projects (who). It continues with an examination of media approaches to peace development (what), followed by a description of the beneficiaries of peace media (whom). The last two segments discuss the means of communication (channels) and examine the effects of peace media and the most effective utilization of such practices (effects).
The study concludes that the impact of media is both substantial and limited. Because action or behavior is dependent on many outside variables and because these variables contribute to the end result as much as any form of communication initiative, only the true integration of media within peacebuilding strategies can insure a significant move toward a peaceful society. In order for this to happen, the following four components need to be integrated in the media plan for conflict transformation: journalism, entertainment, advertising and regulation. The final chapter of the dissertation presents a set of recommendations for the future practice.
0615: Political science