Conflict Sensitive Journalism: Special Edition Rwanda

It was the tragic events in Rwanda and other conflicts in the 1990s, during which the media were manipulated and used as a tool to fuel violent conflict, that led to the establishment of International Media Support (IMS). IMS was set up in response to this alarming trend to help local media working in conflict-affected areas to remain operative and professional.

As a part of our work over the years we have carried out a number of missions to Rwanda and the Great Lakes region. Together with UNESCO, we felt it was important to provide a tool that journalists could use so that the media are never again used in such a destructive fashion and journalists could cover conflict and conflict-stressed areas with confidence.

This handbook on conflict sensitive journalism – special edition Rwanda – is part of UNESCO and IMS’s response to the needs expressed during our missions to Rwanda. The handbook is designed to be a practical everyday guide, which seeks to contribute to the theoretical refinement and practical realization of conflict sensitive journalism as a tool for Rwandan media practitioners covering conflict.

The Special Edition builds upon the important work of Ross Howard and his handbook in conflict sensitive journalism, first published by IMS in 2003. The initial handbook was produced in partnership between IMS and IMPACS, as well as the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo and the Nepal Press Institute in Katmandu. In addition, the in-country research and workshops conducted by Ross Howard have been instrumental in developing and refining the concepts and tools outlined in this publication.