The questions started even before I had finished introducing myself: How did I get involved in peace journalism? How is peace journalism different than traditional journalism? Is peace journalism biased? Objective?
This was my kind of crowd.
The attendees of my informal presentation today were communications professors and two PhD students at Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta in northern Cyprus.
The back and forth banter between the professors and I lasted about 40 minutes—before I had even gotten to the first item on my lecture outline. As professors, of course, their questions were both pointed and informed. Our discussions about American media coverage of Egypt (and the Muslim Brotherhood), Ukraine, and the Middle East were especially interesting. They also asked me about Fox News. To the professors’ delight, I shared data from a recent study that showed that Fox News viewers are the most ill-informed American media consumers, scoring lower on a news quiz even than those who self-identified as consuming no news at all.
Once I got into my lecture outline, we discussed some PJ basics, and some ideas about teaching peace journalism. I also presented examples of successful peace journalism projects, including the Center for Global Peace Journalism’s projects in Uganda, Lebanon, and Kyrgyzstan. Finally, I shared some excellent peace journalism resources (www.park.edu/peacecenter ).
I enjoyed connecting with my peers, and hope that this presentation will mark the beginning of a long professional collaboration between EMU and Park University.