Participants at a day’s symposium on peace reporting at the Times Square in New York have expressed their satisfaction with the issues discussed and the level of attendance.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in separate interviews in New York after the event, some of the participants described the event as informative and helpful for Journalists who covered war and conflict stories especially in war torn areas.
Mr Keith Johnson, a US-based Board Member of Peace Direct, an international charity dedicated to stopping wars, one person at a time told the GNA that “it was extremely informative of the successes and difficulties of covering conflict and war situations.’’.
He noted that people who told the stories were struggling to tell them in the best way, adding that the symposium was timely because people had become aware of the difficulties of conflicts and when it occurred they looked for other alternatives to solve the conflict other than war.
Mr Johnson said the topics were important issues for the 21st century because in the absence of the cold war people had become more aware of the hotspots of conflicts.
Madam Bridget Moix, U S Senior Representative of Peace Direct said, “I am thrilled with the people who came together from the media and peace builders to think and talk about the power of stories and local voices from countries impacted by war who are living realities of war and are working for peace.”
She said the symposium exceeded her expectation with the panelists, participants and the issues discussed which had filled her with energy that she needed to continue with the conversation on how to stop wars.
Some Journalists said the event had exposed them to new ideas and equipped them with how to go about reporting on conflict and peace issues.
The symposium, organised by The Stanley Foundation had the theme; War Stories Peace Stories Peace Conflict and the Media, and sub-themes; ‘Telling (and Not Telling) the Story, ‘Who is telling the stories and whose stories are they telling,’ and Moving forward – re-imaging conflict reporting as a force for change.”
As part of the event, The Stanley Foundation in collaboration with the Pulitzer Centre offered a competition for Journalists in which three winners were granted up to $20,000 for projects, involving peace building reporting and an additional $5,000 for the best story pitch.
About 200 Peace builders and Journalists across the world had gathered at the Times Centre to discuss the best way for Journalists to rethink about the way their reports on conflict and war should be tallied towards finding solutions to the conflict and ensuring lasting peace.
Some of the participants affected by war and conflict from countries such as Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo told their stories to the gathering among others.