UPCOMING: Arab-Israeli Peace Building Conference--Date to be confirmed!
CONFERENCE DESCRIPTION & PROPOSAL
Focusing on International Communications, this 3 day event is a peace-building conference in Northern Ireland creating positive dialogue between Israeli and Arab journalists, filmmakers, academics & community leaders in the production of a group policy document and communique for submission to The United Nations.
This conference will follow the format of previous international conferences held by The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism in Northern Ireland, which seek to use the Peace Process in Northern Ireland to help inspire similar reconciliation around the world. This is a weblink to a full description of the enormously successful CCRJ inaugural conference in Belfast in 2004. Entitled "Peace or Patriotism" the conference speakers included Martin Bell and Monica McWilliams and a range of major journalists, filmmakers, academics and community leaders from around the world:
This Arab-Israeli conference programme will bring together representative groups of Israeli and Arab journalists, filmmakers, academics and community leaders, working for mainstream news media outlets and other organisations, to discuss how the news media can contribute to peace-building and reconciliation between their respective communities. This project will be designed, managed and delivered by the Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, a Northern Ireland-registered charity based in Belfast, Northern Ireland (www.ccrj.org).
The new media’s influence on public opinion is particularly significant during times of conflict. If the current efforts to restart peace talks between the Israel and its Arab neighbours are to progress, journalists from all communities will play a key role in informing their respective audiences about the implications of these negotiations.
Senior journalists , filmmakers, acdemics & community leaders working for Arabic and Israeli publications and broadcasting outlets, and other organisations; eight Israelis, four Palestinians (two from the West Bank and two from Gaza) and four Lebanese journalists.
The conference will be held in Derry, Northern Ireland. This city's recent experience of inter-communal conflict provides it with a relevant context for this event. At the same time its distance from the Middle East makes it a suitably neutral location for the participants to meet in a cordial and constructive atmosphere.
The aim of this programme is to encourage Israeli and Arab journalists to promote peace-building and reconciliation in their reporting of the conflict between their respective societies. It will do this by providing a structured programme of discussion on key issues relating to the news the media’s role in conflict-affected environments. Participants will be encouraged to examine the positive influence that the news media can exert on public opinion during times of conflict and how that influence can be deployed to persuade citizens to be more receptive to proposals to resolve the conflict.
Key project objectives are motivating and facilitating Israeli and Arab journalists to:
1) Learn about each other's experiences in reporting on the conflict between their respective communities
2) Learn about the rival perspectives and attitudes towards the conflict held by their audiences
3) Understand how much each group of journalists believes it can influence the opinions of its audience
4) Hear from local Northern Ireland journalists, academics & community leaders how they saw their role as reporters and stakeholders in the Loyalist/Nationalist conflict and its eventual move towards resolution
5) Become acquainted with the theoretical principles of conflict resolution journalism and its practical application through the examination of case studies
6) Examine how the principle of journalistic objectivity can serve the interests of conflict resolution
7) Find common ground in ideas and attitudes towards reporting the Israeli-Arab conflicts
8) Explore how that common ground can be deployed to promote pro-peace reporting
9) Develop strategies to align the news agenda in Israel and the Arab territories towards building confidence in the peace process
10) Formulate plans and arrangements to support each other in developing a pro-peace reporting focus
This programme will use a workshop/seminar delivery mode with the following features:3-day programme of focused discussions led by prominent peace activists and media professionals using case study exploration; high profile guest speakers; field trips
Guest Speakers and Facilitators
These are intended to include:
· Nobel Peace prize winner, John Hume
· Former Irish minister for culture, Michael D. Higgins
· Investigative journalist & Historian Ronan Lynch
Evaluation and Reporting
Participants will be asked, at the conclusion of the event, to fill out a questionnaire reporting on their reactions to the programme, including their level of satisfaction. The questionnaire will provide them with an opportunity to make an assessment of how useful and relevant they found the event in developing their roles as journalists.
The evaluation exercise will be analysed, tabulated and summarised in a report to be submitted to the funders one week after the conclusion of the training programme.
It is also anticipated that a range of academic appears will be generated by the conference which will be published on the CCRJ website and in other media after the conference.
This project will be designed, managed and delivered by the Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, a Northern Ireland charity based in Belfast, Northern Ireland http://www.ccrj.org
The activities of the Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism (CCRJ) relate to promoting the use of the news media for the public benefit as a means of supporting reconciliation and peace between conflicting groups. It does this by developing and promoting agreed standards and principles for reporting on conflicts in ways that defuse antagonisms rather than inflame them; advancing education and research on conflict resolution journalism and the publication of the useful results of that research; and promoting the use of conflict resolution journalism in conflict-prone situations within and between nations.
Stephen Desmond is Co-founder of the Centre for Conflict Resolution http://www.ccrj.org in Belfast City, Northern Ireland.
Stephen is a graduate of Dublin City University School of Communications Studies. He is member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). His membership number is: G0927934. His full profile is available at:
Phone: Ireland 0864002131
ADDRESS: CCRJ Registered Head Office--Belfast City:
Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, Ltd.
79 Chicester Street,
Belfast, BT1 4JE