Training Program on Conflict Sensitive Journalism in South East Asia

Media is a key player on the battlefields of today’s conflicts.

The journalists’ voice decides if conflict parties are perceived as victims or perpetrators, as suffering human beings or as the ‘incarnate’ evil. By ‘just reporting the facts’ media constantly influences the course of events.

This new awareness of the role of journalists in conflict, gained through painful analysis of conflict and war coverage of the past 20 years, demands a redefinition of responsibility of all media practitioners. It requires reporters, editors and management to gain deeper understanding of conflict and develop new strategies, on how to report it without fanning the flames.

Since 2004 PECOJON trains media practitioners on Conflict Sensitive Reporting with the goal of incorporating the techniques into mainstream journalism practice and education.

 


Peace and Conflict Journalism Training 1 (PJ1)

This is the first training. Click the title to know more.

Peace and Conflict Journalism Training 2 (PJ2)

This is a follow up training. Participants of PJ1 will automatically be invited to this training. Click the title to learn more.

Peace and Conflict Journalism Training 3 (PJ3)

This is a trainers course. Click the title to learn more.

The course serves as screening venue for selection of participants for the Trainers Development Program.

Handling Stress and Trauma Training for War Journalists (PJ2.5)

This training is an invitational course. Click the title to learn more.

Journalists reporting war and conflict situations are exposed to intense stress and traumatic experiences, which often disturb their observation skills, blur their perceptions and have lasting impact which in extreme cases manifest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The wide spread cynicism, numbness and lack of sensitivity among war reporters are to a large extend result of traumatic experiences during coverage. These experiences affect the journalist on a personal level but also influence his or her professional ability to present the news in a balanced and conflict sensitive way.

Journalists who enter war zones need to be professionally prepared to expect and handle stress and trauma for their own protection but also to enable a more Conflict Sensitive reporting. And journalists who have suffered traumatic experiences need guidance and support in recovering and regaining their professional perspective, and develop awareness of their professional as well as personal limitations. Although media organizations are increasingly aware of this need, little concrete effort is done yet to respond to it.

Training Goals

The training on Handling Stress and Trauma for War Journalists aims to increase journalists’ capacity to handle stress and traumatic situations during coverage and release blocks and tension built up by past experiences. Growing awareness of the impact of trauma on their perceptions and behavior allows reporters to respond to it adequately, request help without being ashamed and recognize if colleagues are affected and provide “first aid” in the field. Journalists further learn to assess the influence their stress and traumatic experiences have on their coverage which opens their perspectives and enables them to provide a more conflict sensitive reporting.

Training Content

In two weekends of three to four day workshops journalists have the chance to share experiences and explore strategies and methods how to deal with stress and trauma. The course creates basic theoretical understanding of stress and trauma and how it affects the physical and mental condition. It provides practical guidance and a set of techniques, including relaxation methods, breathing exercises and visualization to handle situations of extreme stress and guides participants through a process of self assessment. Going together through the training participating journalists have the chance to build trust among the group and can later support each other in the field in extreme situations.

Course Data

Course duration: 3-4 days depending on participants’ availability for the initial and the follow up course.

Participants number: due to the sensitive processes the participants number is limited to a maximum of 12 per course.