The Peace & Development Centre International (PDCI) and Ethiopian Media Council (EMC) hosted the first part of a four-part virtual symposium on the “Ethiopian Media for Peace” to increase awareness on issues, challenges, and solutions related to hate speech, disinformation, and peacebuilding.
The webinar that brought together media organizations, journalists, social media influencers and news makers discussed the effects of hate speech and disinformation on Intergroup conflict in the presence of high profile speakers who shared their views on the role that the media can play in minimizing intolerance and conflict while promoting respect, understanding, peace, and co-existence amongst the Ethiopian society.
The keynote speaker, Mark Thompson, President and CEO of New York Times, brought to the paned a wider international perspective on the damage of political and media hate rhetoric.
“I hope our media people will be focusing on love and peace,” said Professor Ephraim Isaac, Chair of Peace and Development Centre International while expressing the shock and sadness by the conflict that has erupted in Ethiopia.
Amare Aregawi, veteran media personality and Executive Chair of the Ethiopian Media Council for his part highlighted the importance of ethical journalism. “The media needs freedom of expression, no compromise with that. But, freedom of expression should be combined with ethical journalism.”
The symposium will continue for the next 3 weeks taking place every Saturday with the participation of reputable and key figures from the media sector as well as scholars which will deliberate on the importance of the media in bringing about and safeguarding a lasting peace while going over the effects of disinformation during conflicts.
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