Innovative Media for ChangeOTJR and its civil society partner, Fondation Hirondelle, developed the Innovative Media for Change project, a collaborative, cutting edge knowledge exchange project, run in conjunction with the Oxford Centre for Criminology. It was generously supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) within its Impact Acceleration Account Scheme. The project built on OTJR’s long-standing expertise as an academic network bringing together academics and practitioners working on transitional justice issues, as well as Fondation Hirondelle’s expertise as an NGO supporting independent media in conflict and post-conflict zones. But why Innovative Media for Change? The idea for the project was born out of two important observations:
- TJ processes and media technologies increasingly interact and overlap in complex ways. For example: we now have human rights apps that enable ordinary citizens to record evidence on unfolding atrocities and post them online; public chats are used to incite violence as well as to coordinate peaceful protests; tribunals increasingly resort to journalistic evidence for their trials while journalists feel more and more in need to protect their sources and independence; the media – new and traditional – play an active role in peace negotiations for example in Colombia; they are vehicles of communication between actors at the top and the bottom but also carriers of journalists’ opinions in transitional societies. In short, the role of media in TJ has become more ambiguous, complex and is at present under explored.
- Given this new development, only by bringing different stakeholders such as TJ practitioners, media, policy-makers and academics together can a productive exchange of knowledge occur and pathways to a long-term partnership be built.
Between 2015 and 2016 Innovative Media for Change enganged in different activities and produced various important outputs. Central to its aims were the launch of the online platform JusticeInfo.Net in June 2015 and its workshop on the role of media in transitional justice that brought into conversation practictioners, journalists and academics. Importantly, the workshop discussions built the foundation for the project's central output, the Innovative Media for Change report 'Opportunities and Challenges of Media in Transitional Justice'.
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