The readership of conflict & communication online is continuing to expand. Already in its second year of publication (2003), there were over 35,000 visitors, who downloaded more than 12,500 articles from our Website.

Volume 3 (2004) is being released as a double issue with the theme of "News media, peace-building and reconciliation in post-war societies." New in this issue is the rubric "Book reviews," which will be continued in order to keep readers informed on important new publications.
While the study of war reporting and propaganda can look back on a long tradition of social scientific research, few studies have focused on the media reportage of post-war and peace processes. The present issue of conflict & communication online examines this topic from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.
The theoretical studies presented here focus on conceptual questions of what a peace discourse in the media would be like, what limitations it would be subject to and how they could be overcome (Shinar). They ask, what contributions the media - especially in a development policy context - could make to conflict prevention (Becker), and they investigate the beneficial and hindering conditions that result from the news-production process (Bläsi).
The empirical case studies focus in part on historical and in part on current and topical conflicts which are located in the field of tension between peace building and reconciliation, on the one side, and the legitimating of military intervention, on the other side. As an example of a continuing peace process that has been successful from the participants' viewpoint, there is a study of German press reportage on France after the Second World War (Jaeger). As examples of a current conflict field with developmental perspectives that are still open, there are articles on German media reportage on Yugoslavia after Milosevic (Annabring et al.) and the Norwegian self-image as a peacemaker during the Afghanistan war (Ottosen). Not only a contemporary historical, but also a current component of the change in reportage is the coverage of the USSR / Russia in the Finnish press (Luostarinen & Suikkanen).

The analysis of the role played by the media in the escalation and de-escalation of conflicts will also be continued in upcoming issues of conflict & communication online, which will have the topical focuses "News Media in International Conflict," Vol. 4, No. 1, and "Conflict Journalism and the Audience," Vol. 4, No. 2. The deadlines for submitting manuscripts are 31 October 2004 and 30 April 2005.

Konstanz - Berlin
July 2004

Wilhelm Kempf

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