INFOCORE pursues a wide range of objectives, which are both academic and professional in nature. As a basis for deriving specific recommendations for media, policy, NGOs and others, the first overall objective is to gain a deep and detailed understanding of the two key processes that determine the role of the media in conflict:
We provide detailed knowledge on the process of conflict news production and identify the key interactions between media, sources, and audiences that shape the roles of media in conflict. Specifically, we focus on interactions between four key kinds of actors that play an active role as sources/advocates, mediators, and users/audiences in shaping media coverage:
- Professional journalists (in various kinds of media)
- Political actors (including public authorities, military)
- Experts/NGOs (in intelligence, peacekeeping, conflict prevention/resolution, and media assistance)
- Lay publics (individuals and groups, including economic actors)
We analyze the dynamics of conflict news content over time, and identify recurrent patterns of information diffusion and the polarization/consolidation of specific frames. Specifically, we focus on the following:
- What information is provided by sources/eyewitnesses or advocated by strategic communicators
- What information is taken up, contextualized, elaborated, and disseminated by the media
- What information is received by key media audiences and influences their conflict perceptions
- We identify the main contextual factors that influence the roles media play in conflict and peace building.
Building upon this knowledge, INFOCORE advances four more specific, application-oriented objectives that directly support the formulation and implementation of policies by the EU and its international partners:
- We identify key access points for media assistance programs, develop strategies to build social support for free media, combat hate speech, and foster peace and reconciliation.
- We develop strategies for media and policy actors to cooperate in building capabilities for understanding ongoing conflict and formulating/implementing suitable policies.
- We create new insights about the potential for using media to improve the accuracy and timeliness of early warning, as well as to obtain valuable information for informing policy.
- We develop strategies for communicating toward media in a manner suitable for assisting mediation and dialogue, reaching out to conflict parties, and combating escalatory content.