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Can the Media Be Conflict Sensitive? An Analysis of Kenya and South Africa

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105569, PP. 1-20

Subject Areas: Journalism and Communication, Sociology

Keywords: Media, Political Violence, Kenya, South Africa

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Abstract

The media shapes conflicts, especially in how the conflicts are perceived and understood. In Kenya and South Africa, beset by ongoing structural conflict, the media has played crucial roles in the shaping of narratives about the actors and the drivers of conflict. This article explores the nexus between the nature and operations of media outlets and the escalation or de-escalation of political violence. This article contends that, based on the way that they are regulated, owned and editorially structured, the media in Kenya and South Africa have contributed to the escalation of political violence. Nonetheless, there are useful cases where the media have contributed to de-escalation of political violence. The tackling of political violence in both countries can be more effective if the media are embedded in holistic conflict transformation strategies implemented by government and non-governmental actors, and if media outlets understand and implement the principles and practice of peace journalism.

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Ahere, J. R. (2019). Can the Media Be Conflict Sensitive? An Analysis of Kenya and South Africa. Open Access Library Journal, 6, e5569. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1105569.

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