Peace journalism, as the name suggests, is a form of
journalism committed to exploring root causes of conflict in order to create
opportunities for society at large to consider and value non-violent responses
to conflict. The concept of Peace Journalism was developed by a Norwegian
sociologist Johan Vincent Galtung, so far he has been called the principal
founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. Dr. Johan Galtung
divided the peace into two types Positive Peace and Negative Peace. Positive
Peace is a true, lasting, and sustainable peace built on justice for all peoples
and Negative peace is defined as a peace without justice. It is a false sense of
peace that often
comes at the cost of justice.
Other scholars like Dr. Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick, in their
groundbreaking book Peace Journalism define it as, when editors and reporters
make choices of what to report, and how to report it that create opportunities
for society at large to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict.
Their definition goes on to say that Peace Journalism uses the insights of
conflict analysis and transformation to update the concepts of balance, fairness
and accuracy in reporting. It also provides a new road map tracing the
connections between journalists, their sources, the stories they cover and the
consequences of their journalism, and builds an awareness of nonviolence and
creativity into the practical job of everyday editing and reporting.
Dr. John Galtung constitute some important principles that could serve as
important guidelines for peace journalism.
Discover Conflict Formation: Who are the parties involved? What are their goals?
What is the socio-political and cultural context of the conflict?
What is the hidden cause of violence?
3. Avoid depriving the parties involved of their individuality and expose their
4. Report grassroots non-violence measures and follow up on reconciliation
Peace Journalism gives voice to the views of all rival parties from all levels
and explores the backgrounds and contexts of the conflict formation from all the
sides involved in the conflict, not just two sides as the mainstream media
Secondly, it offers with 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.
Thirdly, it effects quite positively on the minds of the audiences. It has some
specific effects on individuals and whole societies, demonstrating the
widespread impact of journalistic methods and ethics like it increases conflict
sensitivity, Lower likelihood to view conflicts in polarized good vs. bad,
black/ white, terms, increases levels of hope and empathy, decreases levels of
anger and fear.
The Mass Media have a powerful influence on the people. In reporting,
journalists often write and report from a third-person perspective and it seems
like they just report “ the facts ” whereas the Journalism is not just about
reporting facts, It is about what to report and how to report (Vanessa Bassil) .
If we come upon the mainstream media of Pakistan, the race of rating between the
news channel in on its peak. Most of the content is consisted of hard news (Masala
News) or conflict related news in which it often focus on biased perspectives
which only creates hatred, violence and extremism among public on social,
religious or political basis but peace journalism aims to focus on the realities
and cover all the angles of the conflict without and fear of the any authority.
It comes with positive ideas which tends to avoid the violent activities and
resolve the conflict peacefully.
The Peace Journalism is based on the framework of the reporting. A reporter's
story on a conflict can be the sole information available to his audience. How
the reporter frames the conflict can bias the audience in favor of one party, or
one solution over another; it can intensify the conflict, or cool it down.
If journalists compete not to distort any report to publish the facts as they
are, while maintaining awareness of the reporting impact, then it may fall in
step with the ideals of peace journalism.