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Target Gutahuka: The UN's Strategic Information Intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Jacob, Jacob Udo-Udo

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Abstract This paper examines the nature and impacts of two information intervention radio programmes broadcast on Radio Okapi - the radio service of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A matched randomization technique was used to assign Rwandan Hutus and Congolese autochthons in South Kivu to listen to either of the two programmes within their naturalistic contexts for 13 months. At the end of the treatment, participants’ perceptions of barriers to peace; descriptive and prescriptive interventions; victimhood and villainity; opportunities for personal development and civic engagement; and knowledge of repatriation processes were assessed in 16 focus groups across four contexts. The study concludes that international media intervention programmes that provide robust information and a platform for objective analyses within a multiple narrative and participatory framework can enhance greater engagement with nascent democratic reforms, positive perception of long term opportunities for personal development and empathy with the ethnic Other. (author's abstract)
Keywords Democratic Republic of the Congo; local communication; radio; broadcasting; ethnic conflict; UNO; broadcast program; conflict management; post-war society; peace process; reconciliation; empathy; democratization; information policy; dialogue; opinion formation
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Media Politics, Information Politics, Media Law; Media Contents, Content Analysis
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 104-119
Journal Media and Communication, 4 (2016) 2
Issue topic International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution