Mediatising Conflict: Reason and Reckoning



At its core, journalism serves to provide information to the public for them to make informed choices about their lives. Journalism can also be a vehicle for transparency, good governance and ethical standards and playing this role can often be a key motivation for journalists (Cottle et al. 2016). But, what if journalism is operating in ecology embedded in conflict? This chapter sheds some light on how the decline in the professional standards of Somali’s media institutions, due to state collapse, has affected the industry and the journalists. Using interviews conducted with Somali journalists and producers, the chapter offers an analysis of the general milieu within which diaspora journalists work and the motivations behind how they cover the conflict that re-creates it. Somali diaspora journalists maintain close personal and professional relationships with Somalis in Somalia and by extension the Somali conflict. This relationship can therefore have a complex and multi-dimensional nature. Somali diaspora media has grown to fill the informational void that the conflict has produced. However, it largely remains a collection of media outlets run by ordinary people transformed into ‘amateur newsies’, instant reporters and opinion columnists (Allan in Citizen Journalism; Global perspectives, Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 2009: 24). Many of them lack formal education and professional skills and training as well as ethical values and responsibility, which exacerbate the potential to re-create the conflict.


  1. Allan, S., and E. Thorsen (eds.). 2009. Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  2. Carruthers, S. 2000. The Media at War: Communication and Conflict in the 20th Century. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Cottle, S., et al. 2016. Reporting dangerously: journalist killings, intimidation and security. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Demmers, J. 2007. New Wars and Diasporas: Suggestions for Research and Policy, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 11: 1–26.Google Scholar
  5. Hall, S., et al. 1978. Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order. London: Macmillan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Harbom, L., Wallensteen, P. 2005. Armed Conflict and Its International Dimensions, 1946-2004. Journal of Peace Research 42, no. 5: 623–635.Google Scholar
  7. Kirtley, J. 2001. News or Propaganda?: Broadcasters who agreed to edit the bin Laden tapes should also be skeptical of US government information. (First Amendment Watch). American Journalism Review 23, no. 10: 66–67.Google Scholar
  8. Lance Bennett, W. 1990. Towards a Theory of Press-State Relations in the United States. Journal of Communication 2, no. 40: 103–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lasswell, H. 1936. Politics who gets what, when, how. Michigan: McGraw-Hill book company.Google Scholar
  10. Osman, I. 2015. The Somali Media, Diaspora communities and the concept of conflict re-creation. JOMEC Journal, no. 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesSchool of Oriental and African StudiesLondonUK

Personalised recommendations