Rethinking peacekeeping

Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, Dr Maria Armoudian, was invited to speak as part of the 75 for UN75 online conversations.

Leading up to 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) The United Nations
Academic Impact group organised a series of 75 minute online conversations (75 for UN75) on pressing issues of global reach and relevance. They serve as a space for academic reflection with the participation of experts, practitioners and scholars, to address such issues and exchange ideas.

Coinciding with the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Dr Armoudian examined the role of journalism in portraying the work of peacekeeping missions in the digital age where information is unfiltered.

Critical journalism, Dr Armoudian underlined, “can mean the difference between life and death for peacekeepers and the peace kept.” Studies show that traditional media is more inclined to cover crisis, violence and conflict, and this overrides coverage of the achievements of the peacekeepers’ work.

“The media does not cover the post-conflict very well, which makes it hard to convey what peacekeeping missions are trying to do and the success they bring,” observed Dr Armoudian. These disparities can lead to unbalanced coverage, but this can be reduced through research and studies that provide best practices for media professionals. More investments and scholarships are needed to support such studies on critical journalism.