War Stories Peace Stories
Peace efforts are invisible to the public globally. That’s because we never hear about them in the news. At most, we might see two leaders signing a peace accord and shaking hands, but we rarely hear the story of what led up to that moment, or what happened afterwards. Those are powerful, compelling stories that need to be told. Our team is working hard to get these important stories out, to make peace efforts more visible globally.
We think it is critical to human survival that we shift our collective paradigm on how to deal with conflict, and that we focus more attention on stories about peace efforts that are missing from the dominant narrative about conflict. To shine a light on this issue, we created a powerful symposium called War Stories Peace Stories: Peace Conflict & the Media. (WSPS).
In the spring 2018 we gathered a group of national and international panelists who engage daily in this work, as either peacebuilders or journalists, in order to explore the ways that we report on peace and conflict and how it might be improved. The firstWar Stories Peace StoriesSymposium took place in NYC on April 11, 2018 at the NY Times Center. This first event was a remarkable success! We now want to reach journalists in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
We are seeking funds to replicate this important event in other cities. We are already working on producing one in Brussels where we have been to scout venues and begin building our production team. We have also been in touch with the Former President of Colombia and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Juan Manuel Santos about creating a WSPS symposium in Bogota. If you would like to support this ambitious, powerful program, please click HERE. Donations to the project are tax deductible through Filmmakers Collaborative.
The WSPS symposium facilitated a deep dive into conflict reporting from a variety of perspectives. The simple act of bringing peacebuilders and journalists together—many for the first time—to learn about each other’s practice was a significant accomplishment. In doing so, we launched a serious conversation among leading journalists and news organizations about new approaches for covering peace and conflict. WSPS’s mission is to seed the critical work of getting news about peacebuilding and reconciliation more widely reported across all media platforms.
Last year’s symposium was a remarkable success. It even produced tangible results in the form of 10 news articles about international peace efforts. To learn more about the event, you can download a detailed Report here, you can also read the Executive Summary here.
The WSPS symposium in NYC made a meaningful first step towards its primary goals– to encourage increased reporting on peace efforts around the world, and to inspire a wider range of approaches to conflict reporting among journalists and news organizations. To paraphrase the American playwright, Tom Stoppard, if you want to change the world, start with journalists. We take this advice seriously.
Please support our efforts to continue provoking this important, long overdue conversation by donating HERE. We are grateful for your support. We will keep you posted as the project develops.
Jamil Simon, ProducerSEE MEMBER PROFILE