Public Information & Media Development: Key Debates & Implementation Challenges

Public information and media development initiatives in peacebuilding scenarios have stirred debate and have come up against some significant challenges to implementation. These include:
  • The impact of the conflict on the media sector: Particularly in post-conflict situations, the legacy of violent conflict has serious implications for the media sector. In worst-case scenarios, there may be few trained local journalists and no history of independent media. The basic infrastructure required to disseminate information may be missing.
  • The liberal agenda and media policy: Freedom of the media is often touted as an important feature of a liberal agenda to peacebuilding. However, some contend that media freedom is not always requisite, and in some instances may be harmful, to the peace process.
  • Neutral versus peace media: Many international actors now support peace journalism programs, aimed at encouraging the news media to take a view toward reconciliation. Some practitioners though feel this is a challenge to journalistic principles and risks the neutral role news media is supposed to play.
  • International versus national and community media: There also exist tensions between the various levels of actors involved in media development. There have been critiques of international actors role more generally, as well as how those actors relate to and interact with local media.
  • Sequencing and timing of media interventions: A particularly delicate issue is the local sustainability of the programs, which requires strategies for implementing programs. 
  • The difficulty of assessing media programs: Once programs have been implemented, it is a considerable challenge to extrapolate a link between improved conditions and media projects. As it is difficult to determine medias impact on concrete behavior in any quantifiable way, few initiatives have attempted to produce assessments. They often rely, at least in part, on the popularity of programs as proxies of success.
  • Media facing specific gender challenges: Women are often portrayed in the media strictly as victims. They also may have greater difficulty accessing media outlets.

The impact of conflict on the media sector

The legacy of conflict itself has a visible impact on media development programs. The implications of these are multiple and interrelated. Post-conflict societies may be marked by: destroyed or non-existent media infrastructure; a journalist core that lacks proper training, has been subject to targeting, and may have engaged in hate speech and inciting violence; and a history of media repression, censorship, and propaganda, with little experience of an independent media sector distinct from state-operated and state-controlled outlets.

The implementation of programs on this basis presents a particular difficulty. It may entail putting in place entirely new infrastructure, extensive training, and developing independent, plural media. Given the possibility of weakened state capacity in these environments, this raises questions as to which actor is responsible or capable of engaging in such initiatives. Finally, given the fragility of post-conflict environments, there may be risk in reinvigorating or developing the media sector that such operations fuel some of the original conflict dynamics and inflame group tensions.

Decimation of media infrastructure

Post-conflict environments are often marked by poor infrastructure in general. In such contexts, "media outlets lack the equipment and infrastructure they need to broadcast much needed information to the general public."1 Because infrastructure and equipment are required for all media initiatives to function, "restoring, or installing, basic media infrastructure (from transmission towers to production equipment) is often a key first step when implementing media sector programs in post-conflict environments."2 Infrastructural development is often insufficient, and it is important that such capacity building becomes sustainable. Local radio often lacks some crucial material to ensure long-term sustainability and independence. Where technologies put in place are too costly for local use, it can also be discouraging and ineffective.3

Public versus private role for media development

Given the fragility of post-conflict environments, the question of which actor should implement the infrastructure needed for media to operate is a challenging one. Often, international donors or the private sector may have the greatest capacity to provide the equipment. However, there is concern that this may prioritize access only for those who can afford it, and not in all areas of the country, exacerbating inequalities.4 This is particularly problematic where the private sector is tasked with such undertakings. These inequalities are a concern; in already tense environments, they may contribute to reactivating conflict dynamics.

Little remaining technical competence in journalism

In peacebuilding environments, media may lack professionalism and may have been used to channel hate speech so as to incite violence in the past. In some contexts, journalists may have had a role in instigating violence, with few journalists having actual journalistic training. Even where an independent media may have existed, local journalists are frequently targeted, harassed, assaulted, and at times murdered.5 As a consequence, "in the most extreme cases, there may be very few media professionals in the country. Those that exist may operate within a divided and/or propaganda-oriented media sector."6 This often remains a serious handicap in the aftermath of conflict and may take time to be transformed deeply.

History of media repression, censorship, and propaganda

One of the paramount difficulties faced in post-conflict peacebuilding is that media operating in war often lacks independence. No thriving independent media sector is allowed to flourish, as the state or party seeking authority may censor and repress dissenting positions. During conflict, "information becomes a weapon in the hands of protagonists who manipulate it for three principal ends: to create conflict by building a case for war and demonising the enemy; to prolong conflict by diverting attention away from the root causes; and to conceal their own atrocities from public and international scrutiny."7 In pursuit of control over media, censorship and violence against media practitioners may occur. Once controlled, "media outlets become purely a means of propaganda."8 Even after conflict, this has serious ramifications, as states continue to perceive monopoly over media as a requisite for power.9

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Liberal agenda and media policy

A critical debate that emerges when discussing media development in peacebuilding contexts is the extent to which media freedom is vital to, and appropriate for, such contexts. Outsiders engaged in media intervention often push for the emergence of an open and plural media sector, broadly considering it to be a "good thing." Meanwhile, media has been cited for intensifying cleavages in divided societies, putting forth propaganda and hate speech, and being used as a forum for extreme viewpoints. This dichotomy begs the question: "Should media freedom freedoms be an essential aspect of peace building, or does peace building necessitate the restriction of dissent"in other words, censorship?"10  Go to media in conflict

A liberal model of media development

Intervention in media for peacebuilding efforts has largely encouraged freedom in this sector.

First, media is seen as a forum for encouraging discussion between communities. In some senses, this notion is predicated on the idea that "centralised communications, social mobility and increased levels of economic contact can help surmount cultural differences between factions of the population and thus foster a more homogenous culture."11 Hence, increasing dialogue through media can help to foster peace.

Many also consider media freedom a central feature of international human rights. As access to information and freedom of expression are considered universal human rights, western agencies involved in peacebuilding perceive media development as a core feature of enacting these human rights locally.12

Further, international actors engaged in peacebuilding are often wary of the potential ills of censorship, which does not only "disrupt natural media competition but . . .  encourages elites to exploit information flows in their own interests."13 Free media is seen as vital to counteracting this potential. It is argued that "if interveners can create a media sector that is not only independent, self-sustaining, and self-regulating but also inclusive and diverse, they can help to give a voice to those people who were silenced during the conflict, initiating open and honest dialogue about both the violent past and a peaceful future."14

Risks of the liberal model of media development

However, media freedom may present significant risks to fragile political contexts. Indeed, according to Vladimir Bratic and Lisa Schirch, "Several studies confirm that the impact of the media on conflict is greater than the impact of the media on conflict prevention and peacebuilding."15 Thus, while encouraging open media is often perceived as beneficial to encouraging inter-community dialogue, the reality of such initiatives can have outcomes contrary to those desired. For instance, in Rwanda, the contention has been that "rapid liberalisation of the media was part of the Arusha peace accords. It immediately spawned numerous news media outlets, largely dominated by opposition voices. Highly inaccurate and overtly biased editorials became prevalent. . . . The Hutu elite, already feeling threatened by the potential loss of power they were to face, did not take these developments lightly. One reaction was the radio broadcasts of the governments Milles Collines."16 In this context, opening of media was insisted upon as a component of an externally imposed democratization process, which has been frequently cited as one of the contributing factors to the genocide.

In such circumstances, liberalizing the media, rather than producing dialogue, can have the outcome of making groups aware of perceived threats. Improvements in communication can "reinforce a sense of being different in those who belong to minority groups."17 Go to debate on liberal peace theory. Similar warnings have been made in other situations, including recent cases such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They are indicative of the complexities and competitive interests that drive media policy in such environments.18

In addition, strict liberalization of the media sector may lead to private entities dominating the media scene. These corporate interests do not always prove the best contributors to peace, but rather may sensationalize issues. Where media is largely a private venture, "media owners have economic interests; they want to sell their stories and programs to a public who will buy their newspapers or watch their programs. Increasing corporate control over media in some countries also plays a role in controlling the types of stories that get covered and the way stories get framed."19 This may mean overrepresentation of incidences of violence, which encourages a climate of fear. At both a local and an international level, private media outlets have at times oversimplified wars as "ethnic conflicts," rather than portraying politically complex and nuanced situations. Thus, an effective public broadcasting system, peace media initiatives, and at times restrictions on representations that may encourage violence may temper private sector media.  Go to debate: peace journalism versus neutrality

Balancing media freedom and censorship

Acceptance of the development of an open media without consideration of the risks of such an approach has been called into question as being an oversimplification of a complex issue, which requires balancing issues of rights against that of peace (peace versus justice debate). What may be a more pragmatic method of considering these difficult debates is to unpack the series of questions that emerge and must be handled as a component of any media development initiative. In peacebuilding contexts, according to Yll Bajraktari and Emily Hsu, "Recurring challenges include reconciling the tension between, on the one hand, winning hearts and minds and, on the other, promoting independent journalism; determining the breadth of media regulation; dealing with hate speech and inflammatory journalism."20 Thus, an entire spectrum exists between censorship and an entirely open media.

Furthermore, enacting liberal media institutions is insufficient alone for a peacebuilding process. In such scenarios, "developing an open media environment, like other liberal projects, requires the presence of a strong state which includes, among other features, a well functioning legal and judicial environment."21
Go to the Judicial & Legal Reform/Reconstruction subsection

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Neutral versus peace journalism

Peacebuilding contexts are significantly different from other environments, and thus bring into question some fundamental assumptions about programming. Journalistic integrity in most advanced industrial democracies is tied to the notion of objectivity and neutrality in reporting. Journalists are taught to present an unbiased perspective. However, in contexts where media may contribute to conflict, some underlying norms of journalism are called into question.22

Is journalism actually neutral?

While one of the key tenets of journalism is its role as an unbiased source of information, many critics have questioned the extent to which the industry can and does realistically reach this objective. First, even selecting what is news may present some bias, as it classifies experiences (for instance, by differentiated war from non-war) and publicizes some events over others. There is no objective standard that determines newsworthiness; rather, newsworthiness is decided by a disparate set of journalistic actors.

Further, "deciding what the news is requires a value judgment."23 Journalists have value systems that frame any topic covered. These values then mold the way in which a piece of news is put forth. Consequently, all "reporters--cameramen and photographers included--unconsciously manipulate every story they work. This they do through their choice of the frame. . . . Each decision over the choice of subject matter, who to speak to, what quotes to include and what order to put them in--all are subjective."24 In practice, journalists and reporters may have a local reputation as being biased or more in favor of one party in the conflict.

The argument for peace journalism

In peacebuilding contexts, media actors are often asked to use subjectivity in service of the peace project. At times, this means finding a delicate balance between two disparate positions or prioritizing goals over principles. In South Africa, for instance, media practitioners were asked to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a manner that would encourage peace, even if this meant representing issues in a non-neutral manner. Here, it was asked, "How, after all, does a responsible journalist separate the obligation to tell what she knows, from her obligation to withhold what she senses can fracture the national project and lead to civil conflict?"25

Similarly, in different countries, the media has been criticized by United Nations (UN) peace operations leadership for being too critical of the peace process and UN action, and thus running the risk of undermining a delicate peace.26 Such criticism of medias role sometimes has been perceived as a direct questioning of medias function as a watchdog. Neutral representations of events may also be seen as inappropriate and even immoral where the events concern mass violence or past crimes.27 For all these reasons, many working in media development have supported the notion of peace journalism, "a term coined by Johan Galtung to describe a style of reporting which deliberately seeks to de-escalate a conflict through focusing on 'conflict transformation.'"28

Toward a conflict-sensitive approach to journalism

Although peace journalism has grown as a field, many are still concerned with the implications of such programs on the profession as a whole. When information is overlooked, this may represent a form of self-censorship, and may "jeopardize [journalists] substantial legacies of oppositional enquiry."29 In the example of UN peace operations, in different cases in media, it has been later recognized that earlier critics of peace processes or warnings about dysfunctions of some state institutions might have helped get a more accurate picture of the situation and address the problem in time.

Another critique made of this approach is that demands made on journalists are derived from the idea of an independent news media, which emphasizes strict neutrality and objectivity on the part of journalists.30 Some argue that it may be "too simplistic to expect the media as an entity to feel collectively obliged to actively promote the peace and development of civil societies."31 This might even present a slippery slope, as "once a journalist has set himself the goal of stopping or influencing wars, it is a short step to accepting that any means to achieve that end are justified."32

As a result of this debate over neutral and peace journalism, "many media assistance practitioners have sought to identify ways to support internationally recognized norms of professional journalism while incorporating a conflict sensitive approach."33

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International versus national and community media

Media development activities bring up tensions between levels of actors and the programs on which they work.

National versus community media

At the domestic level, tensions between levels of media may play out as cleavages between national and community media, particularly between those outlets based in the capital and major cities and smaller community-based media initiatives. While the two can be perceived as complementary, some choices may need to be made in terms of allocation of resources, equipment, and training. Journalists and media not based in the capital may sometimes feel that a few of their colleagues capture all the attention and resources.

Issues of targeted audience

In pre- and post-conflict environments, some contestation occurs over which audience is and should be the target of media initiatives. Missions by international agencies frequently are regarded as gearing public information toward other international actors, while providing minimal and repetitive information to the local population. With UN peacekeeping operations, for instance, "local social and political actors criticize the missions for being more concerned with their own publicity and the 'showcase' that is presented than in communicating with the country's population."34 Go to public information versus communication. More recently, with the advent of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), similar concerns have emerged that the PBC more actively engages in dialogue with other donors and international agencies than with the local populations. Some practitioners have called upon the PBC to establish an improved means of communication, particularly between it and civil society.35

Critiques have also been put forth on language used and how that language targets specific viewer or listener groups. For instance, UN peacekeeping missions often use the language of elites. Even where this is the majority language, it may be unrepresentative of an array of minority and marginalized populations,36 and thus may further these groups exclusion. Domestic media initiatives, particularly in capital and major cities, may have similar issues. Where many languages are utilized in a given state, use only of the elite language is likely to lead to the needs of those who are likely outside the reach of public information campaigns to be overlooked.37

Problems between international and national media

Tensions exist between international and national media outlets. For instance, UN missions engaged in propaganda can often alienate domestic practitioners. In addition, international actors are often focused on an exit strategy. Once the international attention to the country is reduced, funding for media development may dry up. Thus, one level of media may require prioritization for funding, which entails balancing short- and long-term needs. According to Beatrice Pouligny, "When existing political or infrastructure makes it impossible to work with local media, it may be necessary to use international broadcasting to reach local populations."38

There can be benefits to using international media, as well. Such practitioners may have better infrastructure to enable rapid dissemination and may actually be afforded freedoms to address sensitive issues that local journalists are unable or not permitted to cover.39 However, reliance on international media actors in the short term may "crowd out" local media or make domestic outlets dependent on those international actors. In addition, while international media is better able to draw broad support, local media likely has a more nuanced contextual understanding. Thus, it is important in these scenarios that funding does not go solely to international media actors; it also should build local capacity to leave local actors self-sufficient upon the departure of international agencies.40 

Significant and important drawbacks exist to prioritizing support for international media outlets. By its very definition, the local media "tends to be more attuned to the subtleties of local politics" and, on this basis, "can play a critical role in placing pressure upon combatants by exposing human rights atrocities and in defending marginalised or threatened groups."41 Conversely, international media sources, divorced from local nuances, may push an agenda based on external normative value systems that do not reflect best methods for peacebuilding in a localized sense.42 Finally, support to international agencies over domestic ones may reduce local media sustainability, as the international actors compete with indigenous media outlets for funding and reduce the space for the latter to flourish. Thus, "care should be taken not to turn international broadcasting into a long-term remedy that supplants or crowds out fledgling local independent media."43  Go to Civil Society

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Sequencing and timing of media interventions

As is the case with most peacebuilding programs, media initiatives require attention to issues of sequencing and timing. Support for media programs entails balancing the need for rapid response to a crisis against the potentials of implementing unsustainable systems. Exit strategies for international actors that host media outlets, such as radio, must be sure to facilitate a transition process.

Main sequencing and timing challenges

Ideally, media initiatives should be well timed and thoroughly tailored to local contexts. However, in post-conflict situations or where conflict may be looming, windows for action are condensed. In such environments, donors may not have time to assess the situation properly, and they may put in place programs that ultimately "leave a negative impact on the media and communication sector, such as putting journalists and others at risk, or causing long-term sustainability issues in the sector."44 For instance, rapidly training and implementing peace journalism without building an independent media sector may undermine media legitimacy in the long term.45

Similar to the idea that rapid response can lead to inappropriate programming, staging of exit strategies for international actors is problematic for media initiatives.46 In peacebuilding situations, media outlets may be established and run by international actors. Indeed, some of these programs may be among the most popular (as was the case with Studio Ijambo, established by Search for Common Ground in Burundi). When international operations or agencies leave the country, funding is reduced or the radio outlet transfers to a local entity. This transition needs to be handled in a sustainable way. This means that donors must have a longer-term strategy from the onset so that upon exit, the domestic technical capacity is available for locals to own and sustain viable media projects.47

These features are vital as "media assistance normally doesnt produce quick results, but generates its effects in the long run."48 International actors, operational for relatively short periods of time, are unlikely to be those primarily responsible for effecting change. Domestic media practitioners are more likely to have this responsibility, so it is important that investments are made at that local level.

An approach to sequencing and timing

International actors engaged in media development initiatives in pre- and post-conflict environments are most able to face implementation challenges by establishing a plan for sequencing and timing programs. A report recently published by the United States Institute of Peace on the subject suggests such a plan, in particular when large military or civil operations are deployed. The plan divides actions into three sequenced stages: pre-deployment, deployment, and exit.49 At each stage, a number of exercises may be timed.

The pre-deployment stage entails an analysis of current realities and capacities in the context at hand by international actors. This sequence is comprised of a number of exercises, including: mapping existing media, including practitioners and infrastructure; assessing the role that media has played historically in relation to the government and general population before and during conflict; assessing the local sustainability of the media from a business vantage point; establishing a plan to coordinate between actors working in media development; identifying spoilers who may seek to use the media to propagate divisive politics; and planning to have in place an accountable media sector that can handle the first post-conflict elections.50

A number of concrete questions should be asked that can facilitate this early analysis. They may include:

  • What is the nature and scale of the problem?
  • What conflict management or peacebuilding is already going on and by whom? What is missing?
  • What is appropriate to do?
  • Will these instruments work in this context?51
The deployment stage encompasses activities implemented when programs are operational. The central question to be asked here is: "Who does what, and when?"52 The sequence here may be: to create "a mission-owned outlet to deliver critical information about peace operations while monitoring and countering hate speech"; to erect an independent and representative media commission capable of upholding regulations and checking violations; to establish a transitional legal framework for media; to bolster a diversity of media outlets, both public and private, in an array of formats, with a focus on the inclusion of neglected and marginalized groups; to put in place journalist training programs and institutions; and to establish associations for journalists and other media professionals to empower leadership.53

Finally, the exit stage encompasses delicate processes requisite to establishing a sustainable local media sector. This sequence entails: facilitating local control of media by helping to develop new media outlets and transition control of existing media forums; fostering a local private media industry capable of garnering funds; and establishing a domestic means for monitoring occurrences of hate speech.54 At the conclusion of the exit phase, it may be useful to extrapolate lessons learned by asking "what are the actual results of these interventions" and "how can we do better?"55

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Difficulty in assessing the media landscape and the effectiveness of programs

One of the principal challenges to any media development initiative is in mapping media activity and evaluating the efficacy of programming. In fact, media development itself is a relatively new field, and within this domain, few ventures have been undertaken to assess existing media and the effects of media initiatives. Even where such attempts have been made, they often lead to ambiguous outcomes, at times based on imprecise methodologies.

Appraisals of existent media and the planning of media development programs often lack sufficient systemization and coordination. When attempting to identify the breadth of the media sector in order to commence activities, organizations may not provide comprehensive overviews of media. Lacking a coherent process for evaluating media "is one factor that has prevented the consistent integration of media planning with post conflict reconstruction and other conflict management planning."56

This is not always for a want of trying, which is particularly telling in attempts to measure outcomes of media development initiatives. Rather, the nature of media programming makes identifying causation difficult. This is because while media may incur cognitive and attitudinal changes,57 how these manifest in behavioral differences and how behavioral differences relate specifically to media, as opposed to a variety of other contiguous programs, is difficult to determine. As Vladimir Bratic and Lisa Schirch, two scholars who have written on the subject, explain, "The media rarely directly affects behaviors. The media does not work like a hypodermic needle, where something can be injected into the body to make people behave in a desired way. . . . The medias impact on behavior is more complex and more likely to work on attitudes and opinions that shape behaviors rather than directly affecting peoples actions or behaviors."58

Consequently, even attempting to identify indicators that measure behavior as a result of media is difficult. While monitoring of media is undertaken, linking outcomes to media development initiatives is less common.59 When done, attempts at measuring outcomes are also fraught with methodological concerns. For instance, a typical approach is to mistake popularity with the efficacy of programs.60 The fact that people watch or listen to a given program does not prove that they believe in its message, let alone behave differently on the basis of it. Even where media in general may be linked to change in a specific context, disaggregating program-specific successes from the industry as a whole may not be possible.

Finally, some analysts argue that in such endeavors, practitioners must be "wary of trying to measure 'impact' in one or two years, for a project that is working on generational change."61 In deeply divided societies, transforming perspectives on "others" is a long-term process. Therefore, assessments of initiatives in the immediate term may not be adequately representative of a comprehensive peacebuilding scenario. Yet, media initiatives have often been critiqued as fragmented and ad hoc in nature.62 Donors, in particular, require short--term results and statistics that prove, after one or two years, that a program they have supported has had an impact.

Organizations that have been increasingly involved in media initiatives have made attempts at assessment. In empirical surveys of perceptions and attitudes based on the work of Studio Ijambo in Burundi and peace media campaigns in Bosnia, results have suggested that media has influenced perceptions.63 Those results must be considered in a larger context, however, "as despite the ability to shape attitudes and opinions in favor of peace, media institutions remain only a segment of a conflict society. . . . In order to be productive, media need to accompany the other social and political institutions in their pursuit of peace building."64

Different organizations are working on more sophisticated empirical models to use in monitoring and assessing their work. In that domain, they generally refer to an important precedent, the so-called Children's Television Workshop (CTW) put in place by the program "Sesame Street" in 1968. CTW employed empirical research as an integral part of its production, allowing the design of a truly integrated model in which producers, researchers, and educational content specialists collaborate closely throughout the life of a project. In that model, "formative research" is used on an ongoing basis to inform production decisions (testing the work while it is still in its formative stages), whereas "summative research" has been used to assess "Sesame Street's" educational impact on its target audience (research applying to the evaluation of a completed work).65 The model has become essential to the success of other educational television series and proves that it is quite possible to put in place a rigorous methodology that can be critical for the production phase. This supposes, however, that donors share these concerns and give the organizations the means and time necessary for such endeavors.

Another sector that has informed attempts to analyze impacts of peacebuilding media is the field of health communications.66 In this domain, efforts to utilize communications to promote health issues in the developing world have been measured and are often cited as having been effective. Indeed, according to Phyllis Piotrow and colleagues, "multiple research reports and two authoritative meta-analysis of 48 US and 39 international programs indicate people often change their behavior as a result of strategic communication campaigns and programs. An effect or influence of 9-10 percentage points in the desired health behavior can occur as a result of large-scale communication campaigns."67 Successes here have shaped and influenced the thinking of media practitioners attempting to extrapolate lessons and apply them to the field of media in peacebuilding.68

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Media facing specific gender challenges

Media initiatives often utilize strategic communication in order to encourage certain outcomes and responses in peacebuilding environments. Gender issues need specific attention in this respect.

Primarily, it is important to ensure women are also trained as journalists and media practitioners. This is key to fostering womens employment, as well as having representative voices beyond majority opinions.

In addition, the way in which women are portrayed in the media may impact on and perpetuate their perceived role in society. For instance, media often portrays women as victims of violent conflict, along with children. While women are often victimized by war, they also may play important roles in leadership both in conflict and peace. Go to women & gender issues

Further, women's access to media may be both more difficult and differently structured than for men. For instance, "radio may be monopolised and its use prioritised by men for men. This often leaves women and children in a weaker position in terms of accessing information flows than men."69 In addition, advanced technologies may be more accessible to men than to women. For example, it has been found that men generally have more access to the Internet. The fact that it requires more modern infrastructure and facilities makes access to this tool easier for those in position of power or who have more resources.70 

In response to these challenges, policy makers and practitioners have put forth recommendations and programs to counteract some of these gender imbalances. It is largely recommended that analyses of needs look at local histories and cultural realities and "recognise that culturally defined gender constructions affect access to and use of media"71 (see sequencing and timing). On this basis, programs may utilize existing structures to empower women to have improved access to information. For instance, in Sierra Leone, a womens network has successfully been formed from groups of women at a local level, and has become a channel through information on the peace process can be disseminated.72

What this example points to is the importance of utilizing context-appropriate forms of information distribution. In peacebuilding situations, where infrastructure and skills may have been diminished by conflict (go to debate on impact of conflict on media), modern technologies may not be the best media strategy. More traditional means may need to be employed to allow access to women who otherwise might not have the means to engage in information programs.73

1. UNDP, Access to Information, 7.
2. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 28.
3. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Untying the Gordian Knot: ICT for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, Dialogue 2, no. 2 (2004): 52.
4. Ibid., 56.
5. Stauffacher et al., Information and Communication Technology for Peace, 45.
6. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 28.
7. Article 19, War of Words, 8-9.
8. SwissPeace, Media and Peacebuilding, 33.
9. DFID, Working with the Media, 26-27.
10. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction, 1.
11. Reljic, The News Media and the Transformation of Ethnopolitical Conflicts, 2.
12. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction, 13.
13. Ibid., 4.
14. Bajraktari and Hsu, Developing Media in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations, 15.
15. Bratic and Schirch, Why and When to Use the Media, 8.
16. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction, 6.
17. Reljic, The News Media and the Transformation of Ethnopolitical Conflicts, 2.
18. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction, 1.
19. Bratic and Schirch, Why and When to Use the Media, 8.
20. Bajraktari and Hsu, Developing Media in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations, 3.
21. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction, 12.
22. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 21.
23. Akin, Mass Media.
24. Davis, Regional Media in Conflict, 8-9.
25. Zubeida Jaffer and Karin Cronjé, Cameras, Microphones and Pens: Covering South Africas TRC (Cape Town: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2004), 12.
26. Pouligny, Peace Operations Seen from Below, 147-50.
27. Davis, Regional Media in Conflict, 7.
28. Jennifer Akin, Media Strategies, Beyond Intractability(March 2005).
29. Jaffer and Cronjé, Cameras, Microphones and Pens, 12.
30. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 21.
31. Ibid., 21.
32. Akin, Mass Media.
33. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 21.
34. Pouligny, Peace Operations Seen from Below, 147.
35. ActionAid, CAFOD, and CARE, Consolidating the Peace? Views from Sierra Leone and Burundi on the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (London:ActionAid/CAFOD/Care, June 2007), 17.
36. Pouligny, Peace Operations Seen from Below, 150.
37. Ibid., 151.
38. Ibid., 51.
39. DFID, Working with the Media, 20.
40. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 48.
41. Ibid, 18.
42. Allen and Stremlau, Media Policy, Peace and State Reconstruction.
43. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 51.
44. Ibid., 52.
45. Ibid.
46. SwissPeace, Media and Peacebuilding, 36.
47. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 62.
48. SwissPeace, Media and Peacebuilding, 36.
49. Bajraktari and Hsu, Developing Media in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations.
50. Ibid., 4-7.
51. SwissPeace, Media and Peacebuilding, 12.
52. Ibid.
53. Bajraktari and Hsu, Developing Media in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations, 8-13.
54. Ibid., 13-15.
55. SwissPeace, Media and Peacebuilding, 12.
56. Communication with Sheldon Himelfarb by email (October 23, 2008).
57. Bratic and Schirch, Why and When to Use the Media, 14.
58. Ibid.
59. Kalathil, Langlois, and Kaplan, Towards a New Model, 46.
60. Ibid.
61. Serena Rix Tripathee, Measuring a Moving Target: Peace Building Soap Opera in Nepal (paper presented at the 3rd Symposium Forum, Media and Development: Measuring Change in Media Development, Bonn, Germany, September 2007), 3.
62. Bratic, Examining Peace-Oriented Media, 23.  
63. Ibid.
64. Ibid., 23.
65. Fisch and Truglio, G is for Growing.
66. Communication with Sheldon Himelfarb by email (October 23, 2008).
67. Phyllis Tilson Piotrow, Jose G. Rimon II, Alice Payne Merritt, and Gary Saffitz, Advancing Health Communication: The PCS Experience in the Field (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, 2003), 5.
68. Communication with Sheldon Himelfarb by email (October 23, 2008).
69. DFID, Working with the Media, 33.
70. Reljic, The News Media and the Transformation of Ethnopolitical Conflicts, 7.
71. DFID, Working with the Media, 33.
72. Patrick Coker, The Role of the Media and Public Information, in Sierra Leone: Building the Road to Recovery, ed. Mark Malan, Sarah Meek, Thokozani Thusi, Jeremy Ginifer, and Patrick Coker (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2003), 83.
73. Reljic, The News Media and the Transformation of Ethnopolitical Conflicts, 7.

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