European conference leads to deeper understanding of media’s role in fostering peace



Researchers from countries including Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Finland and the UK came together to discuss the media’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Photo: P. Przeziński, fotografiaUW)

UCLan’s Dr François Nel and Dr Kamila Rymajdo spent a valuable two days in Poland building relationships with international researchers exploring how European media reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The event, co-organised by the University of Warsaw and The European Media Management Association (EMMA), brought together scholars from countries including Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Finland and the UK.

They heard directly from media organisations in Poland about their responses to the first weeks of the conflict.

The researchers also took part in a series of workshops to explore the media’s reactions to the war in areas including production, distribution, pricing, promotion and branding, learning from each other’s experiences to build for the future.

Dr Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan said: “Over the course of the two-day conference, we delved into the complex landscape of media operations within and around warzones, with a particular focus on Ukraine. Collaborating with European colleagues, we set out to uncover and articulate the primary challenges and opportunities facing news providers in these intense environments.

“Our discussions led to a deeper understanding of the pivotal role of the media in fostering peace and stability. As we progress with our research projects, we anticipate the insights gained will extend beyond Ukraine, offering tangible strategies for media engagement in various conflict zones.”

  • Prof Anna Jupowicz-Ginalska, EMMA board member, and Prof Castulus Kolo, EMMA President, organisers of the Knowledge-Share Communities event in Poland in November 2023 (Photo: P. Przeziński, fotografiaUW)

Dr Rymajdo added: “I found the experience very rewarding. The structure was a new method of working that enabled us to identify actions to take forward so that something concrete will come out of the event. It created strong ties with our colleagues in Europe that I am looking forward to building on.”

The event in Warsaw was part of EMMA’s Knowledge-Share Communities project, which aims to build thematic networks and experiment with new forms of knowledge exchange.

As well as traditional forms of knowledge-sharing, the organisation is experimenting with workshops, pitching sessions and community events dedicated to a specific theme.

Watch back the event’s public sessions on YouTube.