Conflict Sensitive Journalism and Intercultural Dialogue As a Bridge to Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In Nigeria (Published)
The media is widely acclaimed and rightly so to wield enormous powers in dousing or escalating tension in conflict situations. In other words, whatever position the media assumes in conflict situations is a product of choice particularly on the part of the journalists whose mandate it is to report conflicts as they unfold. In this era of heightened ethno-religious and socio-cultural intolerance, mostly occasioned by incompatible goals and values, the media can play fundamental roles in facilitating constructive civic dialogue that promotes inter-cultural value awareness for a peaceful co-existence. However, to what extent the journalists and the media have lived up to this mandate remains a subject of scholarly investigations. This paper therefore, attempts exploring the nexus and to bridge the gap between intercultural dialogue and conflict-sensitive reporting. Anchored on Conflict and Framing theories, the paper established among others, that the conflict-sensitive journalist remains the rallying point in reconciling inter-cultural conflicting goals and values by making deliberate and conscientious efforts to construct such narratives that better bring the parties in conflict to the point of dialogue, build greater sense of awareness, conviviality in multiculturalism and by extension, foster mutual understanding. The conflict-sensitive journalist through self-reflection, therefore, helps to avoid stereotypes, prejudices, and the escalation of unstable situations. With this, multi-cultural people are better equipped to balance unity and solidarity with tolerance in diversity for sustainable development.