Development of Conflict Through the Media

Jannie Botes

Assistant Professor, Program on Negotiations and Conflict Management, University of Baltimore

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Getting back to your point about journalism and conflict and the relationship, I think another part of the relationship is that every conflict that is all-important in a community or internationally are played out in the media. The media becomes the arena and I hate the word but for lack of a better word, battlefield, in which parties play out conflicts. The decisions might be made by Track I or official decision makers in government and elsewhere, but everyone still tries to upward shift or a little power positioning through the media especially because they want public opinion on their side. So one of the important parts about the relationship between journalism and conflict is the fact that every conflict gets played out in the media in some way shape or form

Q: Which means that the media actually creates the reality that it's reporting in some sense, it's not just the media reporting on reality, it's sort of a cyclical relationship?

A: Well, that gets back to Koppel's point about either you frame it or we frame it. So, as I've mentioned the reason that conflict is played out in the media is that the parties want to reach the public opinion through the avenues that the media offer them.