Nieman Fellows Zippi Brand and Taghreed Zuhair El-Khodary reflected on some of the most painful news stories they have covered over the years, and spoke to how reporters can help deescalate conflict. They noted that when journalists focus on fair, balanced reporting and investigate underlying motives behind violent acts, they can help defuse tension and increase mutual understanding across the divide.
This discussion was the fifth in a series on the topic of Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media presented by the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and co-sponsored by the Program on Negotiation, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, as well as Boston area members of the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution.
The discussions in the Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media series focus on exploring the relationship among government, news media, and the conflict resolution community in framing and responding to conflict. Topics will examine how conflict is framed and how that influences the escalation and de-escalation of conflict and the public understanding of various responses to terrorism. In general, participants will consider ways to strengthen the capacity to prevent, resolve, and transform ethnonational conflicts. These discussions will also focus on the war in Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.