News Media and its role in conflict

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
5 Nov 2018 - 14 Dec 2018

Professor Saumava Mitra

The course will provide an overview of the role news media plays – and those it fails to play – when it comes to reporting on conflicts. After exploring the main tenets, arguments, debates and practical and theoretical approaches through which news media and journalism’s role in representing conflicts is understood and studied, the course will introduce Peace Journalism – a supposed corrective to the failures of news media when it comes to reporting on conflicts. The course will provide a critical appraisal of Peace Journalism from theoretical and practical points of view. Finally, an alternative, holistic way of conceptualizing the role of media in conflict-affected contexts will be explored. This will be based on the emerging discussions among scholars surrounding news media’s ability, and ethical responsibility, to create compassion and empathy among audiences for conflict-affected societies. The course aims to provide participants knowledge of existing critical tools and concepts to evaluate news media’s role in upholding a mirror to conflicts, and to understand the many distortions inherent in the mirror that news media does uphold. The course will also expose the participants to new ways of thinking about what role media can play in representing conflicts, based on the recent discussions within media studies.




Saumava Mitra

Saumava Mitra did his PhD from University of Western Ontario, Canada. His doctoral research was on the working conditions and image production of Afghan photojournalists who cater to global audiences. His abiding interest is in understanding the nuances of representations conflicts and crises and he has explored this topic from various angles in his previous research publications. He was recipient of an Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Union during his Master’s program in Journalism which he pursued in Denmark, Netherlands and the UK. Before his research career, he worked in international journalism and international development in India, Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya.



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