The very softest thing of all
can ride like a galloping horse
through the hardest things.
- Tao Te Ching

Empowering Communications has been the architect of a number of media interventions designed to deploy the media as an ally of peaceful conflict resolution.

Conflict Resolution

   Resolution Initiative

Angolan Civil War

Ejo Bite



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VOA Conflict Resolution Initiative

With financial support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York  Dr. Pirio managed an innovative two-year-long initiative designed to explore how the media could be a constructive force in societies in conflict. This occurred in an era when the destructive impact of hate radio was so palpably evident in the Rwandan genocide and the Balkans ethnic cleansing. The project was launched at the Voice of America (VOA) where journalists expanded beyond their regular fare of "if it bleeds, it leads" reporting to include new themes such as the human and economic costs of conflict, the profiling of bridge-builders in divided societies, the rebuilding of civil society, and the dynamics of peace processes, to name a few. The project developed programming for Angola, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, South Asia, Sudan, and Greece and Turkey, among others. In conjunction with the United States Institute of Peace, the project organized a conference, Broadcasting to People in Conflict: Radio's Role in Conflict & Conflict Resolution.

The experience of Pamela Taylor, a reporter for VOA's Current Affairs Division, exemplifies how most reporters came to appreciate the opportunity to do this type of reporting. "It is virtually impossible," said Taylor, "to convey how invaluable this [experience] was for someone like me who has been writing about the breakup of the former Yugoslavia since war broke out in 1991. Not only did I learn more than I would ever have dreamed possible but quite a lot of myths were exploded in the process, several of which made me appreciate the value of conflict resolution reporting. Before I left [to cover the story], I expressed the thought to several colleagues... that I was afraid I would find a lot of 'conflict' but very little 'resolution.' In fact, the opposite was the case, to my surprise."

See: Lessons Learned: Conflict Resolution and the Media, The Voice of America Experience