conflict-sensitive cooperation
Transformation and conflict are inextricably linked in the Middle East and North Africa, and in sub-Saharan countries such as Sudan and South Sudan, because change always results in the redistribution of power and wealth. From this perspective, interpreting power struggles as ethnic or religious conflicts is revealed as a misconception.

The role of media in conflict development is always two-fold: public communication can escalate or resolve conflicts, it can spur aggression or offer alternatives to armed struggle. Whether media effects are positive or negative is dependent on the participants' interests and their communication skills.

Cooperations with journalists thus offer a number of approaches for dealing with questions pertinent to reconciliation and peace. First and foremost, a self-reflexive treatment of violence and conflict: that is the reason MICT regularly offers training in methods of conflict-sensitive journalism in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Mali. These workshops challenge participants to question rigid patterns of interpretation, to find journalistic approaches of dealing with complexity, and to use terminology pertaining to conflict cautiously. In other words, journalists gain a more differentiated perspective on their own roles as observers.

In other contexts, MICT works with groups which consist of members representing different political camps. MICT's network in Sudan and South Sudan, which has been operating since 2008, is comprised in equal parts of journalists from both countries. The group has remained together despite their country's 2011 separation into two new nations, and is also weathering the current conflicts with stoic solidarity. The project design aims at undermining state and party propaganda by continuously exchanging perspectives, information and interpretations between countries and regions.

In 2007, MICT founded a content sharing agency in Iraq in cooperation with 12 radio stations from all parts of the country. Over a period of 9 months, radio stations from all parts of the political spectrum, some diametrically opposed to each other, have shared and exchanged contributions dealing with politically controversial topics.

Developing new formats offers yet another opportunity to foster dialogue between conflict parties. In regard to the choice of guests, and the role of moderation, designing talk show formats can offer an alternative to violent conflict, by re-establishing informed debate as a means of conflict resolution. MICT's experts support radio and television stations in redefining political talk formats in such a way that they can become a forum for the exchange of arguments.