Today I gave a presentation on the ethical challenges in reporting sexual violence in conflict at a conference of the Queen’s University Belfast.
Together with Janet H. Anderson, I explained why certain groups in society are more visible than others in the media, and what role media play as gate keepers.
These dynamics are particularly strong in the context of wars, where certain groups of the population are ignored – most notably survivors of sexual violence. Their stories are either ignored or distorted.
We underlined that awareness of the problems among individual journalists must increase. We concluded that a fundamental shift is necessary of how conflict is perceived: media should not only focus on the fighting that goes on, but on all dimensions.
The conference “True Stories: Contesting Narratives of Violence” was hosted by the QU’s Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and brought together a variety of academics and practitioners from different displinces.