Research Handbook on Transitional Justice
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Research Handbook on Transitional Justice

Edited by Cheryl Lawther, Luke Moffett and Dov Jacobs

Providing detailed and comprehensive coverage of the transitional justice field, this Research Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore how societies deal with mass atrocities after periods of dictatorship or conflict. Situating the development of transitional justice in its historical context, social and political context, it analyses the legal instruments that have emerged.
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Chapter 14: Media and transitional justice: A dream of symbiosis in a troubled relationship

Refik Hodzic and David Tolbert

Abstract

This chapter seeks to explore one of the most understudied but highly significant relationships in a transitional context – the nexus between transitional justice measures and the media. Drawing on academic work on the subject and the voices of journalists, transitional justice practitioners and academics, the chapter charts the ways in which the media can influence the success of transitional justice efforts and the myriad factors shaping journalists’ approach to reporting on these processes. In turn, the chapter examines the positive impact of special reporting projects dedicated solely to covering transitional justice issues and the destructive impact of politicized and negative media coverage that can undermine the lasting societal impact of truth commissions or trials. The chapter concludes by highlighting the benefits of an enhanced understanding of the relationship between the media and transitional justice processes for emerging transitional contexts and addresses the need for a process of early media–transitional institution engagement. Media; complementarity; symbiosis; conflict

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