IAMCR Peace Fellows appointed

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IAMCR is delighted to announce the appointment of Ayesha Jehangir (University of Technology Sydney, Australia) and Shabir Hussain (Bahria University, Pakistan) as the IAMCR Peace Fellows, commencing their two-year mandate on 1 March, 2024. These distinguished scholars bring a wealth of experience and expertise to IAMCR as they embark on an innovative and crucial project exploring the potential of cross-border journalistic collaborations for peace journalism in protracted conflicts.

Watch this video with brief introductions and insightful statements from the newly appointed peace fellows.

Project Overview:

Bridging Narratives: Exploring feasibility and impact of collaborative peace journalism initiatives between Afghan and Pakistani journalists

What unique opportunities can cross-border journalistic collaborations offer for peace journalism and, more broadly, peace communication in protracted conflicts? More specifically, can cross-border peace journalism collaborations between journalists from neighbouring countries in a prolonged conflict counteract the perpetuation of hate and stereotypes and contribute to humanising the narratives surrounding affected people on both sides? What emerging strategies and technologies are peace journalists using in their cross-border investigations, and can their journalism create hope in a conflict, addressing the grand humanitarian challenge? These are precisely the questions that concern us in this project.

This project treads a path that remains unexplored to date, as there has been no epistemic inquiry into cross-border collaborations between journalists from Afghanistan and Pakistan – two countries with authoritarian systems of media governance that have been in an ongoing political conflict over the past 40 years. This project will create an opportunity for Afghan and Pakistani journalists to engage in cross-border collaborations using contemporary digital technologies and produce impactful peace journalism. The microcosm of the Afghanistan-Pakistan conflict has lessons for every country in a protracted cross-border conflict and also for countries hosting large numbers of conflict refugees. The Fellowship will also mark the launch of the Cross-border Peace Journalism Initiative – an online database designed to connect journalists and media outlets interested in producing cross-border peace journalism.

Dr Ayesha Jehangir is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney. She holds a PhD (2021) in war, conflict, and peace journalism from the School of the Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong, where she was awarded Examiners' Commendation for Outstanding Thesis. Ayesha’s research focuses on the mediation of human suffering and social justice from war and conflict zones. Particularly, she studies peace journalism, the refugee voice, digital political participation, diaspora journalism, and alternative media. Ayesha is the author of Afghan Refugees, Pakistani Media, and the State: The Missing Peace (Routledge, 2024). She is a Fredrich-Ebert-Stiftung Fellow of War and Peace Journalism (Afghanistan) and also serves as an elected co-secretary of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia. Before joining academia, Ayesha worked as a journalist in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Germany, and Australia. Ayesha is an Australian peace communication scholar of Afghan descent.

Dr Shabir Hussain is a professor of media studies at Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan. His academic work mainly focuses on developing non-western theoretical frameworks to analyse the dynamics between media and conflict. Professor Hussain’s research delves into innovative approaches aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the media’s role in shaping societal narratives. His scholarly pursuits are deeply influenced by his practical experiences as a peace activist and a profound commitment to nurturing a culture of peace, particularly through engagement with the youth of Pakistan. Before his academic tenure, Professor Hussain’s career spanned professional journalism and youth activism. He takes great pride in his deeply ingrained commitment to harmony and understanding within society, a value inherited from his upbringing.