Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Peace Journalism Perspectives podcast/radio program debuts
A new radio program, Peace Journalism Perspectives, debuts Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm on KKFI 90.1 FM in the Kansas City area. The inaugural show features stories from South Sudan, and a discussion about the media and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The program is also archived on a podcast available at .

PJ takes stage in Sierra Leone
At the International Peace Research Assn conference this week in Sierra Leone, peace journalism is taking a prominent role. Some highlights:

At a peace journalism commission session, Prof. Jake Lynch from the University of Sydney discussed his proposed agenda for future peace journalism research. Lynch, largely considered the father of PJ, posed the following questions to the overflow crowd:
1. Does PJ exist, and if it does, it is a byproduct of “normal” news?
2. Where is PJ practiced?
3. What is its impact? Do readers notice the difference, and does it prompt them to take different meanings (from the news they’ve consumed)?
4. Could it be expanded? Could journalists implement it?
5. Is it consistent with objectivity?

Prof. Brian Wilson from the University of  British Colombia discussed sports journalism for peace. He cited research that shows that sports media promotes xenophobia, violence, and militarism. Wilson recommends that sports coverage applies to other areas of peace discourse. His research into peace sports media will identify best practices in peace and sports journalism, and develop pedagogical tools to teach peace sports media.

Prof. Gloria Ooko from Moi University in Kenya discussed how Kenyan media have covered terrorism. Her findings, illustrated with examples like the West Gate Mall attack, showed that news media use a war journalism construct; dehumanize terrorists; use “us vs. them” narratives and profile Somalis as “them”; and adopt a “government mentality” in their coverage. She said the Kenyan public gets only a one dimensional view on terrorism and how to deal with it. Ooko recommended that media re-think their current approaches.

In another session, Prof. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob of the American University of Nigeria talked about peace journalism efforts underway in Nigeria. He discussed a recent peace journalism project at AUN (highlighted in the Oct. 2016 Peace Journalist magazine), and the establishment of the Peace Journalist’s Network. There are 78 journalists active in the network, many of whom work in areas afflicted by Boko Haram. Prof. Jacob noted that PJ is needed in Nigeria because press coverage has been episodic, “moving from one theater of violence to the next.” He noted that press has a responsibility to treat all sides fairly; to be community-driven; to open up community engagement for peace; and to provide a platform for solutions that come from all sides.

I also made a presentation about our Reporting Syrian Refugees in Turkey project. Tomorrow, I'll be giving a PJ workshop for Sierra Leonese journalists.

No comments:

Post a Comment