Sacha Meuter: Public Service Media Standards for UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPOs)

Challenges of a multidisciplinary research project

The UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPOs) toolkit now routinely includes the creation of radio stations in their host countries. Over the last two decades, a dozen UN radio stations have helped UNPOs to reach out to millions of local listeners. Some UN radios have been praised as major sources of reliable information in particularly weak and polarized media environments. Some have been criticized, notably for disrupting the emergence of local media markets and capturing scarce local resources. There is a recurring call for UNPOs to better promote fulfillment of public service media (PSM) functions in these contexts, and to prepare for their legacy beyond the UNPOs mandates.

Sacha Meuter will present challenges faced in the design of a multidisciplinary research project aimed at analyzing the adaptability of PSM standards to UNPO contexts. The approach will include case studies to demonstrate the gaps and convergences between the normative assumptions, the regulatory frameworks and the stakeholders’ perspectives and attitudes vis-à-vis the UN media.