New KAS book on conflict reporting

Also available in Deutsch

The Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has published a new expert book: "Conflict reporting in the smartphone era – from budget constraints to information warfare".

Conflicts such as in Ukraine and Syria are influencing European foreign and domestic policies to a large extent, for example when dealing with refugees and the Islamic world, but also with regard to Russia. Conflict reporting therefore has gained importance and visibility recently. At the same time this field of journalism has changed strongly. Wars nowadays don’t always have clearly identifiable opponents anymore but rather several and new types of warring parties. Besides that, they are accompanied with massive propaganda on social media.

Reporters do not only have to deal with these new types of conflicts, but also have to fulfil increasing demands. "Due to financial pressure in the media market, reporters have to cover more issues and larger geographical areas. The increase in speed through the internet demands that articles and multimedia reports are made available more quickly," says Christian Spahr, Head of the KAS Media Program South East Europe. Due to smaller budgets, editors are forced to stop sending their own staff and use the work of freelancers instead. However, this often happens at the expense of journalists’ safety, for instance if they don’t have appropriate protective gear or on-site support.

The book "Conflict reporting in the smartphone era – from budget constraints to information warfare" not only presents existing recommendations of international organisations, but also new trends of reporting. Moreover, the authors like Susanne Glass, Christian Mihr, Aidan White und Ruslan Trad give advice on safe, professional and ethical reporting from conflict zones. The publication hence addresses journalists who report under difficult working conditions in the field.

This publication was initiated in 2015 following a KAS conference "The truth dies first – journalists in conflict zones" in Sofia. The event brought journalists from South East Europe, Germany and Ukraine together to discuss current tendencies in conflict reporting and formulate recommendations.

The event report is available here.

The book is here available for download.


Darija Fabijanić


Bulgaria, November 18, 2016