conflict & communication online, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2005
ISSN 1618-0747




Vladimir Bratic
Media effects during violent conflict: Evaluating media contributions to peace building

Traditional media effects theories have an enormous potential to provide theoretical support for the study of media contributions to peace in a conflict environment. However, practitioners who implement projects in conflict situations rarely attempt to examine the effects of these projects on a particular conflict. Most practitioners assume that media must have the power to influence the development of peace in a conflict environment. Practitioners and authors assume that if media can motivate people to engage in conflict, they must also have the power to exert influence in the opposite direction, thus promoting peace. This study takes into consideration the most basic theories of media effects throughout the 20th century. Ultimately, it attempts to synthesize the media effects literature, while hoping to improve the understanding of how media may affect political conflict. After examining the various types of media messages, people (audience) and conditions in the environment on which media have the most powerful impact in times of conflict, the study proposes ways to most effectively employ mass media in promoting peace.



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On the author:
Vladimir Bratic received his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Ohio University in 2005. He primarily specializes in international/intercultural communication, development communication, political communication and persuasion. His research interest in the field of international communications is best demonstrated by his doctoral dissertation: In Search of Peace Media: Examining the Role of Media in Peace Developments of the Post-Cold War Conflicts. His Masters Degree in International Affairs focused on the role of communication in international development and social change. He has also gained invaluable international experience through his teaching and business careers in the Czech Republic and through his dissertation research and personal experience of the war in his native Bosnia.

Address: Ohio University, 123 South Green Drive, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA.