Can journalism prevent atrocities?

A Conversation with Special Advisor to the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng and Professor Pierre Hazan

Watch a video of the conversation, including interviews with attendees. is a soon to be launched a web-based media platform dealing deeply with transitional justice and drawing from a network of over 200 local journalists in Africa. As part of this effort, Hirondelle has initiated international policy debates intended to promote exchange and analysis on issues of transitional justice, including the role of information and how countries are dealing with their past.

Two such policy debates have already taken place in May and June 2014. Under the leadership of Professor Pierre Hazan, our first policy debate was hosted at the International Criminal Court in Hague on May 6th, upon the Invitation of the Swiss Ambassador and the Court’s Assembly of State Parties. Attending the panel were the Court Registrar Herman von Hebel, and the ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz. The discussion centered on the paradox that while progress in Transitional Justice mechanisms has occurred over the past two decades, local populations in conflict areas feel increasingly left behind by transnational justice mechanisms such as the ICC. The key message from The Hague event was the vital need to increase civil society participation in the workings of the ICC, while engaging the ICC in a two-way open dialogue with the societies whose former leaders are being prosecuted.

On the 5th of June, held its second policy debate at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence in New York. The main topic of discussion was the role of media in prevention of atrocities, with a specific reference to the current pre-genocidal situations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The discussion was designed as an interview between Professor Hazan and the United Nations Special Advisor of the Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng. UN-SRSG Dieng highlighted the problematic role played by hate speech, broadcasted over public airwaves in conflict zones.

Photo and video by Brightstar Media