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Africa: Creating media channels to promote the culture of peace
an article by Radio Okapi, Fondation Hirondelle

How can we create media channels to promote human values, such as the culture of peace? This question was the focus of the presentation by Patrick Busquet, national representative of the Hirondelle Foundation on Wednesday, October 29 at the International Women's Congress for the Culture of Peace held in Oran, Algeria (See CPNN October 30). According to Busquet, the head of the Hirondelle Foundation (Democratic Republic of Congo), the responsibility of media and individuals is intimately fused.

Journalists at the headquarters of the CENI in Kinshasa on 6/12/2011, when publishing partial results of the 2011 presidential election in the RDC. Radio Okapi / photo by John Bompengo

click on photo to enlarge

Thanks to the new technology, about 4 billion people have gained access to the media.

Even if we consider that the media guide human behavior and the future of humanity, their content is ultimately a response to people's expectations, Patrick Busquet explained. "We are used to thinking about the way that the media influences us. This is true. But this is not the only circuit of influence. We, too, are influencing the media. And we have more influence on the media than it has on us."

"Each human being has stored in his experience, a lot more negativity than positivity. And this mental formatting occurs in each of us, both in everyday conversations and in media productions because both are produced by us as humans."

It is the responsibility each person to spread positive content and useful experiences that participate in the construction of the world, and thus in a culture of peace.

It is therefore up to us to make the media a positive tool for the construction of society, he said.

According to Patrick Busquet, when individuals are better informed, they can force the media to create more positive types of content. The media would be required to do this in order to keep their audience and markets.

It is in pursuit of this ideal that the Hirondelle Foundation has just installed several media in Africa: Radio Okapi in Kinshasa, Radio Ndeke Luka in Bangui, the Tamani studios in Mali, Mozaïk in Ivory Coast, and Hirondelle in Guinea.

Radio Okapi, for example, is the most successful media in the history of the United Nations. It extends beyond the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, providing a signal of humanity, says Patrick Busquet.

These accomplishments show that it is possible to achieve the goal of media channels dedicated to the promotion of human values.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

African journalism and the culture of peace, A model for the rest of the world?

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Latest reader comment:

CPNN continues to find that African journalists give priority to culture of peace news, unlike media in much of the world that give priority to violence.  Here are some of the articles published previously:

Journalists from Northern Cameroon Reinforce Communication for Peace

Culture of Peace Featured in Most Recent Issue of Afrique Démocratie

Launch of the network of journalists for peace and security in Africa (Netpeace)

This report was posted on November 13, 2014.