The Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) hosted a workshop in London to develop impactful media research in collaboration with African countries

CFOM hosted a workshop in London with representatives from Fondation Hirondelle, a Swiss NGO focusing on media development, from the African Media Initiative (AMI) and media representatives from African news media organisations in Liberia, Central African Republic and Mozambique.

The aim of this workshop was to discuss whether Professor Jackie Harrison’s and Dr Stef Pukallus’ current research on the question of what role the media can play in establishing civil norms of peaceful co-existence can contribute to a useful and deeper understanding of the African media and their role in post-conflict reconciliation. Eventually, this research is hoped to contribute in some way to media development in selected African countries. All attendees endorsed the impact potential and usefulness of the research. Sacha Meuter, legal and policy advisor at Fondation Hirondelle, said:

Fondation Hirondelle greatly appreciates the value of CFOM research in better understanding the role of media in post-conflict contexts. CFOM contribution is particularly promising regarding the analysis of media content and in its aim to work in close partnership with media development actors and local media actors.

CFOM will now, in collaboration with the workshop attendees and their networks, develop two pilot studies to test out the civil norms research in specific African contexts to investigate ways in which it can directly inform journalism training, media development and content production in the chosen countries.  The aim is to develop a civil norms template that can be used to evaluate a range of news media and potentially social media with regard to their (non-)contribution to civil society building.