Cypriot community media's contribution to conflict transformation: Turning antagonism into agonism through victimhood representation

Voniati, C. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference



Can community media in divided societies contribute to conflict transformation, by ‘telling the story’ of victimhood differently? Can community media provide the platform for the voicing of a more agonistic approach to, and dialectical understanding of, conflict? The aim of this paper is to explore these questions, by taking a look into how victimhood is discursively constructed, coded and represented in the context of six community media organisation case studies’ published and broadcasted content. Focusing on the divided island of Cyprus, the main question that drives this study is, what representations of victimhood community media generate, and how these media organizations contribute to a shift from antagonism to agonism, facilitating thus a non-violent transformation of the conflict, or what has come to be known as the (much stagnant) Cyprus Problem’. The theoretical backbone that informs the research is provided by the agonistic democratic model developed by Chantal Mouffe (2005), according to whom the transformation of conflict and the shift from antagonism to agonism requires the overcoming of the friend-enemy dichotomy, the acknowledgement of the humanity and the pain of the Other, as well as the development of democratic channels through which contest and difference can be expressed.

The paper summarizes the findings of a qualitative coding analysis (Saldaña, 2009; Silverman, 1994) conducted on Cypriot community media victimhood-related content, published or broadcasted between Jan 2013 – Sept. 2016. This content was methodologically selected from within six community media organization case-studies (Yin, 1994), selected from a total of 26 community media organizations that were identified through a nation-wide mapping research.
Period3 Nov 2018
Event titleECREA 2018 Lugano: 7th European Communication Conference: Centres and Peripheries: Communication, Research, Translation
Event typeConference
LocationLugano, Switzerland
Degree of RecognitionInternational