The Peace Journalism Challenge

Peace is not just the absence of war. It is a set of deliberate interventions to prevent and/or transform conflict. Peace Journalism essentially seeks to extend the remit of news so that news can draw connections between actions or inactions of people and the dynamics of conflict. To do this, Journalists must have a strong awareness of how conflicts develop and the agents and agencies that can impel it towards escalation or de-escalation.

One of the core problems with Conventional or War Reporting is that it is based on the faulty assumption that violence is a direct response to conflicts and crises, thus leading the society to value violence as a direct response to conflict rather than peace and reconciliation. Peace Journalism on the other hand conveys stories that showcase violent conflicts as opportunities for intervention and impels society to privilege non-violent and inclusive responses. It finds room for perspectives from beyond the usual ‘official sources’ and seeks out peace initiatives as well as the ‘pegs’ (or opportunities) to report on them. This understanding is important in the conceptual reform proposed in peace journalism. 

There are many aspects of conflict, besides violence. Violence is only one of the many manifestations or expressions of conflict. Peace Journalism challenges us to equally look at the various other aspects and expressions of conflict, not just violence, in order to achieve a much more holistic reportage.