Social Media Session Panel

Social media have become a catch-all phrase for a spectrum that runs from word-of-mouth rumour to The New York Times and BBC live blogs. They are fast and can have immediate global repercussions. But how much do they really help or hinder efforts to build peace? Are they more relevant than the introduction of printing, radio, television or the Internet itself into fractious societies? To what extent should the law step in to regulate the messages they bring? Addressing these questions, panellists in this session will assess the impact of social media on peacebuilding. 

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Moderator: Mr. Humphrey Hawksley, Author and Journalist

Mr. Hawksley joined the BBC in 1983. His first foreign posting in 1986 was in Sri Lanka and then India,Social Media Session Panel the Philippines and Hong Kong. In 1994, he was appointed the BBC’s Bureau Chief in Beijing, tasked with opening its first permanent television operation in China. He moved to London in 1997 from where he reported extensively from the Middle East, Asia, the United States, Latin America and Africa – with both breaking news and in-depth documentaries. He is an author having penned both fiction and non-fiction books.


Dr. Simon Holberton,  Lecturer in Journalism at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Professor Holberton teaches courses in New Media, investigative and literary journalism at undergraduate and postgraduate level. His most recent research has looked at the way the commemoration of war is reported in the media, especially the ANZAC Day remembrance. Before joining Deakin, he worked for The Age newspaper in Australia and Japan, and the Financial Times in London, Hong Kong and China. He is the co-author with Humphrey Hawksley of Dragonstrike (1997) a speculative thriller about China’s capture of the South China Sea.


Prof. Predrag Vujovic, President, Public Relations Business School, Serbia

Professor Vujovic is a leading Communication expert in the region of ex- Yugoslavia. Bachelor's degrees Faculty of Economics (Marketing) and Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism and Communication). MA in Marketing and Ph.D. in Public Relations. His specialization is in Italy and Netherlands. He is the author of the largest PR projects: Winter Olympic Games, communication and PR project for many Governments and for leading international and domestic companies and media. For the last 3 years he was the EU Key communication expert in Serbia. He lectures at the Universities of Belgrade, Podgorica, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Milano. He is the Founder and President of the Public Relations Business School with more than 2.500 PR specialists. He won two of the most recognized international awards “Golden World Award for Excellence International Public Relations Association”.


Mr. Kiriakos Pierides, Journalist, Association for Social Reform (OPEK), Cyprus

Mr. Pieridis is a professional journalist since 1990, employed for 25 years in various main media of Cyprus (CyBC TV, “Politis” Newspaper, ALPHA TV), now a freelancer journalist. Extensive experience in the field of European Affairs as a political and diplomatic editor.

Actively involved in the pro-European and the peace and reconciliation civil society movement aiming to reunify Cyprus by promoting bicommunal public dialogue, as a founding member of the Association for Social Reform OPEK.

He is the author of the books:  "Europe in Metamorphosis, Cyprus-EU", 2001

“The European Union in the Contemporary World”, 2015, toolkit for Educators”, (

Editor in chief and script writer of a series of CyBC TV Documentaries


Hon. Zuheir Bahloul, Member of the Knesset, Israel

MK Zouheir Bahloul is an Israeli Arab, well known sports broadcaster, an experienced journalist and politician. Bahloul was born in 1950 in Haifa. As a child, his family moved to Acre, where his mother managed a Muslim orphanage. In 1974, he was hired as a researcher at the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Later, he became a sports announcer and broadcasted various athletic competitions for the national radio and television. While mainly working in sports broadcasting, Bahloul has also worked as a journalist, focused on promoting the Arab sector in Israel. In 2014 he joined the Labor party, because he saw the Party's potential to integrate the Arab population in the state's affairs. He called on Arab parties to adopt a different strategy and demonstrate willingness to join a Labor-led coalition after the 2015 elections. Bahloul was married to Jamila until her death in 2010, and has three children.