ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN HIGHLIGHTING CONFLICTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY (CASE STUDY OF THE MIDDLE EAST)

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Conflicts are the root cause of economic and social poverty which deprive people their basic needs. The most devastating conflicts of ongoing conflicts are civil wars which often take place in countries that are undergoing political change. The media has a responsibility to bring the “honest eyes and fair ears” of the international community on the ground.  Through the media, the world has a glimpse of the conditions affecting all sides of the conflict. The media has played a key role in enlightening the world about these conflicts with the aim of providing more knowledge, enlightening the world on the crimes against humanity and how citizens suffer as a result of these conflicts. In modern conflicts media have a pivotal role to play, as an arena and as an actor in the international community with regard to matters of international relations. New communications technologies such as mobile/video phones and laptop computers are allowing journalists to gather and disseminate information with ease from many parts of the world. The digitization of the news industry, which has led to a compression of time and space, means we see news images of demonstrations, riots or coups within minutes of these occurring in the streets of Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, Damascus and Nairobi among others. As a result, the media's reporting of a conflict has become central to the unfolding of the conflict itself. While technology has reduced the tyranny of distance, the commercial realities of news gathering have also affected the reporting of conflicts. The research studies the role of the media in highlighting conflicts in the international community focusing mainly on the conflicts that have taken place in the Middle East. The study examines the relationship between media and conflict in the Middle East by media in highlighting conflict in the Middle East and the responsibility of the Media in finding solutions to the conflict in the Middle East. The researcher used the conflict theory which states that the society is in a state of perpetual conflict due to competition for limited resources thus the social order is maintained by domination and power. In the Middle East this crave for power and dominion has been the reason for many conflicts. The researcher used adopted a case study research design. The use of case study comes in handy when an in depth investigation of an individual group, institution or phenomenon is required. The researcher obtained data from secondary data sources such journals and websites. Content analysis technique was used to analyze the data collected which involved observation and detailed description of objects, items or things that comprised the study. It involved observation and detailed description of objects, items or things that comprised the study. The research finds that the media does play a key role in conflict, it has an influence on the perceptions of the local community on peace and security in their country through the commentaries and coverage provided. It also shapes the understanding of the international community on the dynamics of conflicts, to harness their influence and encourage peaceful ways of addressing the conflict and build communication among the conflicting parties. Media plays a vital role in international interventions, and thus hopefully be able to strengthen the theoretical link between media and foreign policy and international relations. Media has the responsibility to provide unbiased, reliable and accurate information to their consumers. The study recommends that media must be used proactively to promote peace during the times of conflict to avoid “fanning the flames” of hatred and violence and instead, build bridges of understanding and respect. With the lives and aspirations of millions of people are at stake, local media must be on the fore front of peace journalism. The role of social media as a powerful tool in highlighting conflict should not be downplayed, it is evident that most of modern conflict especially in the Middle East has been shaped by and brought to the world’s attention via powerful social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The Director's Message

PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
Read message from the Director >>

Contacts

P. O. Box 30197 - 00100Nairobi, KENYA.
Tel: 318262 Ext. 28087/28380
Fax: 245566/251933
Email: director-idis@uonbi.ac.ke

Locate us

Community Outreach

Media Center

UoN Website | UoN Repository | ICTC Website


Copyright © 2017. ICT WebTeam, University of Nairobi