“Journalism is not just about ‘reporting facts’. It is about ‘what’ to report and ‘how’ to report” says Vanessa Bassil, Director of the Media Association for Peace (MAP). Peace Science shows that peace journalism has specific effects on individuals and whole societies–demonstrating the widespread impact of journalistic methods and ethics and the conscious choice available to news outlets.
In the News:
“Journalism is not just about ‘reporting facts’. It is about ‘what’ to report and ‘how’ to report, which implies selection and responsibility and hence, high standards of ethics and principles, especially when reporting on conflicts. However, to have a good understanding of conflicts in general, humanity had to wait until the twentieth century for the new emerging field of peace and conflict studies to present evaluative criteria, tools, and approaches to analyze conflicts for the sake of knowing how better to deal with them. The concept of peace journalism has taken advantage of what this new field of research is offering about understanding conflicts and securing world peace, by using conflict analysis and transformation to update the concepts of balance, fairness and accuracy in the traditional news reporting.”
“Peace Journalism is characterized by five main principles: 1) exploration of the backgrounds and contexts of conflict formation of all the sides involved in the conflict, not just two sides as the mainstream media usually portrays, 2) giving voice to the views of all rival parties from all levels, 3) offering creative ideas for conflict resolution, development, peacemaking and peacekeeping, exposing lies, covering-up attempts and culprits on all sides, and revealing excesses committed by, and suffering inflicted on peoples of all parties, and 5) paying attention to peace stories and post-war developments. The peace journalism model differentiates between what is violence-war/victory journalism and what is conflict-sensitive or peace journalism. What is called war journalism is oriented towards violence in reporting, propaganda, elite and victory. On the other side, peace journalism is conflict, truth, people and solution-oriented journalism.”
Insight from Peace Science:
- Peace Journalism has been shown to have specific effects on individuals and whole societies, demonstrating the widespread impact of journalistic methods and ethics and the conscious choice available to news outlets.
- Audiences exposed to Peace Journalism have been found to demonstrate the following:
- Increased conflict sensitivity
- Lower likelihood to view conflicts in polarized good vs. bad, black/ white, terms
- Increased levels of hope and empathy
- Decreased levels of anger and fear
- “Peace Journalism: A Needed, Desirable and Practicable Reform” By Vanessa Bassil for Transcend Media Service. August 13, 2018.
- Peace Science Digest Volume 2, Issue 1: “Peace Journalism and Media Ethics”