What’s a peace journalist to do?
As peace journalists, we’re used to often being a lone voice in the wilderness. At no time is that more true than today.
Yesterday, a man who is arguably the most hated person in the country died.
I refuse to even write his name to avoid giving him even one more byte of publicity. Of course, I am alone in not further inflating this man’s infamy. Unfortunately, his death has given media one more opportunity to revisit his legacy and teachings-- one more chance to unintentionally spread his gospel of hate. On the day of his death, his demise was the lead story on kansascity.com, and was displayed prominently on nytimes.com as well. I heard it twice on NPR. The following day, his death was on the Kansas City Star’s front page.
As a peace journalist, my stance is clear: I will not further acknowledge the deceased. Journalists have a choice to ignore nut jobs, bigots, and haters. Is this man’s death really news? Front page news? One could argue that he led only a tiny fringe group, and that his Neanderthal attitudes are hardly new, novel, or even interesting.
While I think it is okay as an opinion columnist or blogger to use this opportunity to attack the deceased’s vile beliefs, I believe that news media should have ignored his death in the same way that they have justifiably ignored his life (and the lives of his followers) for much of the past decade.
I have posted a photo album from our recent peace journalism mission to Cyprus. Enjoy.For more on the Cyprus trip, see posts below.
While in Cyprus, I had the opportunity to appear on MYCY radio to discuss our PJ project. The show is posted here. Bon apetit.