Media have often been used to incite violence, perhaps most infamously during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when radio station Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines played a major role in organizing Hutus to kill Tutsis. But in Kenya, where a disputed election this past winter resulted in much violence and chaos, radio and other media are being used to more positive ends, as Michelle Chen reports for In These Times.
Community radio stations are reaching more than 2 million listeners with a combination of local news and anti-violence messages. A new project of the Africa Initiative Media Foundation features reporting and commentary by ordinary citizens. And several media collectives, including a Kenyan Independent Media Center, are building networks of journalists and highlighting activists' ideas for preventing violence, healing ethnic strife, and achieving reform.