First panel in the Innovative Media for Change in Transitional Justice conference, A Debate between Journalists, Academics and Practitioners on Transitional Justice, Media and Conflict held on 22-23 June 2015.
Ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerrilla group FARC in La Habana present an unprecedented opportunity to put an end to a 50 years
conflict. In the highly polarised and politicised context of Colombia media is a critical actor in peace negotiations. Media has the power to create collective narratives about the
conflict that can either enhance or impede the peace process. Having the power to shape public discourse, they can either build consensus for the peace negotiations or polarize the debate about it. Against this backdrop, the following questions will be discussed: In what ways can journalists contribute to the peace process in Colombia? How can they (if at all) bring victims’ concerns to the negotiating table? By what means can media disseminate information about elite negotiations to the wider public? How can they bridge the gap between top-level peace processes and reconciliation efforts in the communities? How can they enhance a sense of belonging and appropriation of peace,
locally? The panel will take Colombia as case study to further investigate the role of media in peace negotiations in other (post-) conflict countries.
Panellists; Roddy Brett – Lecturer in International Relations, University of St. Andrews, Advisor to the Institute of Humanitarian Studies of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in Bogota, Colombia, Diana Dajer – Former Advisor on the Peace Process to the Colombian Minister of Interior, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Ailin Martinez – Colombian Journalist, Communications Officer at Conciliation Resources London Leigh Payne (Facilitator) – Professor of Sociology and Director of the Latin American Centre, University of Oxford