There are three media trends affecting conflict resolution—the bad, the good, and those that we do not know if they are bad or good yet.
Bad. The notions of contraction and convergence. Contraction is the growing corporate ownership of news outlets and the consolidation of news outlets. Convergence is that the same reporters are covering the same stories in different mediums within media. There are fewer opportunities for clients to get their news out to the public through news mediums because news will go from local to national through the same conglomerate. Non-news worthy conflicts may not get coverage.
Good. The media does not do a very good job about covering conflict and they are trying to change that. The notion of positions versus interests is a new revelation for media people. There is a realization that the positions were being covered not the interests, and a deeper, more fulfilling story when looking at the interests. This is the notion of interest-based reporting.
What we do not know is bad or good. How the internet will affect the coverage of conflict? News about conflict and disputes can be broadcast around the world within minutes via internet resources like podcasts and blogs. It is not yet known how this will affect ethics in news reporting
Richard C. Reuben is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the law school's Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and Vice-Chair of the Ombuds Committee of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He also served as… MORE >
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