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Conflict Reporting in South Asia


The project’s purpose was to enable media professionals to examine and review their role in the reporting of conflict, particularly ethnic and religious violence, and to devise strategies for covering conflict accurately, impartially, and responsibly while ensuring their own safety. In addition, participants focused on existing frameworks and codes to increase awareness within the profession on how the media industry can better utilise and improve existing laws and policies.

This inclusive and collaborative project included a mapping exercise to assess and review the current codes of ethics in the targeted countries. This was followed by a regional workshop with media stakeholders to develop a Journalist Code of Ethics on Conflict Sensitive Reporting and the Safety of Journalists.


Global attention has focused on conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but parts of India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal have also experienced long-running conflict. Media organisations have a central role to play in reviewing the way in which conflict and violence are reported. Meanwhile, acts of violence and intimidation against journalists are increasing, meriting consideration of the various needs of journalists in conflict and non-conflict zones as well as a review of the different legal instruments available to ensure journalist safety.


This project ran from September to November 2021.

The importance of ethics when reporting on conflict

"A regional outline of the issues and key challenges” – keynote address by Dhruba Hari Adhikary on how ethics and conflict reporting interact.

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Code of Conduct: “Truly distinct” and “absolutely necessary”

The newly-launched Code of Conduct was heralded as a “truly distinct” piece of work and "absolutely necessary" for public trust in media.

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Code of Conduct: Improving conflict sensitive reporting & journalist safety in South Asia 

Our Code of Conduct to Improve Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists in South Asia is available now.

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Event: Launch of Code of Conduct for conflict sensitive reporting in South Asia

Join us for the launch of our Code of Conduct to Improve Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists in South Asia.

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Project update: South Asia conflict sensitive reporting project nears completion

Our South Asia conflict reporting and journalist safety project is nearly complete, with a code of conduct set to launch in the coming weeks.

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Inaugural event: Improving Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Journalist Safety in South Asia

Join us for the inaugural session of our conflict sensitive reporting and safety of journalists in South Asia workshop.

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Code of Conduct: Improving conflict sensitive reporting & journalist safety in South Asia


In September 2021, 30 journalists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka gathered virtually to strengthen the capacity of the South Asian media environment in terms of conflict sensitive reporting, journalist safety, and self-regulation.

Code of Conduct English

The participants – from journalists to academics and editors – worked collaboratively to develop a regionally relevant Code of Conduct that will act as a strategy document to advise journalists and media workers across the region on how they can cover pertinent areas in an informed, fair, and safe manner. 

Among the areas covered by the Code of Conduct are: 

  • Minimising risks to communal harmony through an intersectional and impartial journalism 
  • Human rights and gendered approaches to reporting 
  • Confidentiality of reliable sources 
  • Recommendations for further improvements
Download the Code of Conduct:

Project partners

This project was organised by the Public Media Alliance, with support from our local partner Media Action Nepal, the UNESCO New Delhi Office, and the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). We extend our thanks to our workshop facilitators, Mr. Laxman Datt Pant, Chairperson of Media Action Nepal, and Dr. Sadia Jamil, UAE Country Representative of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre. Special thanks are also extended to our South Asian fellows and media stakeholders from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. 

Featured image: A press photojournalist is holding a camera with a zoom lens and is photographing war and conflict. Credit: chameleonseye/iStock

Secondary image: The fellows of PMA’s conflict reporting project for South Asia