With its power to shape public opinion and decision-making, ‘Media’ is an important factor when it comes to conflict dynamics in the Philippines, and Mindanao specifically. forumZFD, in cooperation with the Peace and Journalism Network (PECOJON), promotes the concept of Conflict Sensitive Journalism (CSJ).
CSJ is derived from the study of journalism as a discipline, combined with conflict analysis and practical experience of multiple journalists in the field. The basic rationale is with journalists using specific conflict analysis tools, they will acquire a better understanding of the conflict they are reporting about, resulting in more comprehensive information sharing about the conflict. This in turn can have a positive effect on emerging conflict dynamics.
The aim of forumZFD is to introduce the framework of CSJ to students in communication programs, who eventually will become future journalists and media practitioners. Over the last four years, various trainings for teachers have resulted in establishment of the Media Educators Mindanao network, with teachers actively integrating and promoting CSJ in their curricula. Together with this network, a teaching guide on CSJ has been developed. Now forumZFD is working on opportunities for students and teachers to apply theory to practice by producing their own CSJ articles and reports.