17 September 2018
Post conflict journalism – A constructive pilot
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By Jakob Rubin, Trainer in Constructive Journalism in conflict zones

Jakob Rubin

The press with its traditional focus on drama, battle and abuse is champion in covering wars and conflicts. But what is our role after agreeing on peace? How can news media be meaningful in the buildup of democracy?

Colombia moves slowly towards peace after half a century of continuous conflict with various violent fractions and military groups causing the death of an estimated 300.000 Colombians and the displacement of 1-2 million internal refugees. 

It’s beyond doubt that the Colombian media plays a vital role in securing the fragile peace process, in uniting the polarized population and in capacitating and empowering the Colombian society and its institutions.

Since January 2018, Constructive Institute (CI) has organised and conducted a project in Colombia in close collaboration with International Media Support (IMS) and a local partner, the non-profit Consejo de Redacción (CdR) – an organization that promotes investigative journalism in conflict-torn Colombian regions. 

The objective is creating a journalistic methodology by combining Constructive Journalism with elements of Post Conflict Sensitive Journalism, described in a hands-on manual to be distributed to all Colombian journalists and students of journalism free of charge. It’s a pilot project that also serves as a study of how the ideas and principles of constructive journalism can redefine the press’ own definition of its role as a responsible and concrete factor in strengthening (vulnerable) democracies.

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In July and August, the Constructive Institute and our partners conducted workshops for experienced journalists in three Colombian regions and gave lectures on constructive journalism at universities in Bogotá. The project is due to finish in October with the participation of Constructive Institute in a press conference in Bogotá and with the production of a 50-page manual. 

Our partners, IMS and CdR, have already worked with so-called Conflict Sensitive Journalism and Post Peace Agreement Journalism, that promote journalism that is aware of preventing further polarization of the population, stigmatisation of groups, ethnicities etc., for instance by expressing respect both for victims and victimizers/violators/other.

Constructive journalism adds to these methods by promoting more responsible journalism and paving a way to the future with information on possible solutions, at the same time by activating and attendingto the public’s desire for more engaging journalism.


While Conflict Sensitive Journalism tends to smooth tensions, the vision and tools of constructive journalism add a dimension that is a natural next step after peace is reached in a conflict-stricken country or region. It is our conviction that the interest in and obvious need for constructive journalism in a country like Colombia points to the potential for new projects in other conflict-stricken countries and regions.






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Constructive Institute

C/O Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
Bygning 1328, 1. sal
8000 Aarhus C

+45 601 38 600

Constructive Institute

C/O Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
Bygning 1328, 1. sal
8000 Aarhus C

+45 601 38 600

Constructive Institute is situated at: