A young child in a conflict zone

Children, Media and Conflict Zones Lab

The Rock Ethics Institute's Children,Youth and Media in International and Global Conflict Zones initiative aims to help fill in a scholarly void to best explore how media may be used to play meaningful roles in the lives of children and youth in conflict zones. It aims to do so in conjunction with Penn State's broader globalization mission. To achieve its aims, the Initiative has established a Children, Media and Conflict Zones Lab at Penn State. Anchored in the Bellisario College of Communications, the lab carries out its work through transdisciplinary collaboration across the University and globally.

Initiative Rationale and Aims

Children and youth comprise the majority of conflict zones. Since it is they who are most impacted, this initiative aims to shine the spotlight on media rights and uses that best aid and empower children and youth. Media constitute relatively accessible and non-threatening tools for intervention, yet scholarship does not adequately address the roles they play and could play for those who live in conflict zones, are displaced by, and/or born as a function of them.

Initiative Scope

Owed to the lack of scholarship addressing children, youth and media in international and global conflict zones, the initiative aims to promote analyses of the following:

  1. Children, conflict zones and media as artifacts: the critical understanding of children and youth’s everyday lives, artifact/technology-based uses, practices, reception and production of media in conflict zones, including as alternative measures of public opinion.
  2. Children, conflict zones and media as intervention: the assessment and evaluation of how children and youth are social-psychologically and biologically affected and structurally impacted by peace communication interventions.
  3. Children, conflict zones and media as contents: the critical interpretation of how news, film, and NGO professionals cover and fundraise on behalf of children in conflict zones.

Contact Us

Yael Warshel, Ph.D.
Founding Director of the Children, Media and Conflict Zones Lab
Assistant Professor of Telecommunications and Media Industries, and African Studies
Research Associate, Rock Ethics Institute
Affiliated Faculty, Comparative and International Education, International Affairs
Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies, Information Sciences and Technologies, and Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence
119 Carnegie Building / Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications / Penn State / University Park, PA 16802-5101
ywarshel@psu.edu ywarshel@gmail.com