Media Strategies

Jannie Botes reflects on whether journalists can or should be "neutral" when reporting on humanitarian crises or atrocities.
The media failed us after 9/11, Jannie Botes observes, because they were too caught up in it.
Due to space constraints, journalists tend to oversimplify conflicts. This can give their audience a very inaccurate view of the situation, especially in complex intractable conflicts, according to Jannie Botes.
William Ury describes the role of the media in the Venezuela conflict.
William Ury described how, with help from key outside people, all levels of society have become engaged in the effort to prevent massive violence in Venezuela.
William Ury discusses the lessons he has learned so far implementing a third side approach in Venezuela.
Journalists do not perceive mediation to be part of their role, but they do see their role as being conflict analysts. That is how to engage them in conflict theory, says South African journalist Jannie Botes.
All significant conflicts get played out, in part, in the media, says journalist Jannie Botes.
Ninety percent of news is conflict; yet, journalists are not trained to recognize that or to know what to do about it, says Jannie Botes, a journalist from South Africa and now a Baltimore-based conflict resolution scholar.
Jannie Botes explains how parties use the media as a tool for empowerment for their own group and cause.
Journalists need to cover conflicts and conflict resolution efforts in all their stages, not just when high-profile "events" happen, observes South African journalist Jannie Botes.
Imagine a mediation in front of an entire village in which there was not one, but three mediators: a Buddhist monk, the mayor, and a school teacher, at least one of whom is likely to know one or both of the disputing parties. This is more or less what the mediation system designed by Chris Moore of CDR associates in Boulder, CO looked like in Sri Lanka. Peter Woodrow of CDR talks about adapting the classic American mediation model to other cultural contexts.
Wallace Warfield, who was with the U.S. Community Relations Service for 19 years before becoming a professor at George Mason University, has focused a great deal of attention on the issue of leadership. He talks about the sometimes-tricky business of identifying the real power loci in groups whose apparent leadership figures may not be the people making the important decisions for the group they represent. He uses his experiences with street gangs in New York City to illustrate his points.
Silke Hansen of Community Relations Service recommends that mediators meet with the parties separately in order to locate points of flexibility and test their willingness to bend. She describes this tactic as a benign form of manipulation
Suzanne Ghais, program manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, recommends that mediators coach parties on how to discuss the past in a constructive way. This requires setting ground rules, one of which is to describe behavior rather than attributing motives.
Suzanne Ghais, program manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, exploring the past is necessary if mediators hope to understand the conflict from the parties perspectives. Stories from the past help to contextualize the dispute as well as explain parties' current perceptions and reactions.
Suzanne Ghais, program manager at CDR associates in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that holding preparatory meetings with each party sometimes contributes to successful mediations.
Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, suggests using cost/benefit analyses with high-power parties and fostering self-empowerment strategies for low-power parties. Here she discusses her experiences as a mediator for the Community Relations Service of the Justice Department.
Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about the techniques of cost-benefit analysis and visioning.
Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about re-establishing channels of communication during family mediation. She discusses strategies that intervenors can use to help family members clearly describe what they need and expect from each other. This includes setting ground rules for the relationship.
Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, describes Search for Common Ground's mass media efforts in developing countries beset with conflict.
Mediator Bob Ensley noted that some people twist facts to their benefit for the press, which, if it publishes them, victimizes the other side.