In this week's episode, Alice interviews Anthony Borden, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Founded 30 years ago, the IWPR thinks globally but works locally, fostering grassroots journalism in many different parts of the world. Via training, mentoring and support on the ground, it empowers local journalists and civil society groups to tackle disinformation and to inform, educate and mobilise their own communities. Its mission is to 'give voice to people at the frontlines of conflict and transition to help them drive change'.
Alice and Tony chat about the IWPR's history - how it came into being in the 1990s during the wars that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia, and then expanded in the aftermath of 9/11. They discuss how war and peace reporting has changed over the years, particularly with the advent of digital media and the rise of citizen journalism. Fake news and the increasing 'fog of war' makes accurate, reliable reporting more important than ever, but journalists operate in increasingly hostile environments, with the tracking of their digital 'footprints' often adding to physical threats on the ground. Tony explains what impact mentoring by experienced journalists can have in supporting journalists and activists who are working in challenging environments and in encouraging new voices to emerge. He reveals that Malala Yousafzai first started out as a trainee on the IWPR's Open Minds project, before becoming a trainer herself. As the episode goes on, he reflects on the vital role that good journalism can play, not only in reporting accurately on wars but in reducing the drivers of conflict. As he puts it, the principles of good journalism - facts, balance, fairness and decency of tone - are foundational tools in conflict resolution.
Among other questions, Alice asked:
We hope you enjoy the episode!
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You can find out more about the work of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting on their website. As an NGO, they rely on fundraising to keep their important work going; so if you have been inspired by what you have heard, please do consider pressing the red 'donate' button to contribute.
For more information about individuals and their projects, access to resources and more, please have a look on the University of St Andrews Visualising War website.
Music composed by Jonathan Young
Sound mixing by Zofia Guertin