Reporting Atrocities: A Toolbox for Journalists Covering Violent Conflict and Atrocities

Cover: Reporting Atrocities
Author(s):
Peter du Toit
Author(s) note:

Irresponsible reporting in tense situations may inflame passions and exacerbate conflicts. This was what happened in Rwanda in 1993, when broadcasts of a popular radio station stoked hatred and incited widespread violence against ethnic Tutsis. Media also played a role in intensifying the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the mid-90s.

Yet journalists also have the power to help transform conflicts constructively through their work. A conflict-sensitive approach requires journalists to see and report on violent conflict without turning it into a zero-sum game. To do this, they must understand the dynamics of conflict and media's role within it, learn to recognize and avoid stereotypes, and create opportunities for more inclusive dialogue about opportunities for resolution.

Reporting Atrocities: A Toolbox for Journalists Covering Violence and Atrocities uses the principles of conflict-sensitive journalism (CSJ) to teach reporters how to cover even the most senseless acts of cruelty in a way that contributes to peacebuilding. Written by CSJ expert Peter DuToit, it includes theoretical background, practical tips, and additional resources available to journalists reporting on conflict, or those who may need to in the future.

This toolkit was made possible by funding from USAID.

Download the toolkit

Related Stories

  • Ukraine: Finding Home for Children on the Run from War in the East

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    The military conflict in Ukraine’s east has driven thousands of Donbas residents out of their homes, seeking safer abodes and better fortunes in other places across the country. Now they are called ‘internally displaced’, or IDPs, and many of them, literally, have to start their lives from scratch. And it is even more difficult for those families with children. In addition to financial hardship, many families must also cope with the psychological effects the war has had on their children. When the state fails in tackling these deeply emotional issues, volunteers come forward to help.

  • South Sudan’s Mayardit FM Utilizes Solar Power

    Radio World
    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    (A radio station in South Sudan powered with solar with the help of Internews is covered in this article from Radio World.)

    BRISBANE, Australia — In Turalei, South Sudan, more than 150,000 people are able to receive Mayardit 90.7 FM, a radio station that broadcasts a variety of news, music and entertainment. Supported by Internews, the radio station is a welcome service for the community, many of whom have little or no education.