Peace Journalism vs War Journalism

Audiences today due to the advancement in technology are able to access and received the latest news and information 24 hours a day with constant news channels. These 24 hour news stations however are more often than not trivialised, sensationalised and focused on providing entertainment rather than facts. In today’s society news that differs from main stream broadcast is difficult due to the journalist expectation and the CNN effect which focuses on the pressure for ‘live’ reporting of all stories. This is particularly relevant when discussing international conflict and politics.

Popular news channels when focusing on infotainment leave out key details which affect the severity and rashness of the story. Civilian deaths, actual human faces in war and on the ground impacts are never aired during a story. In addition to this the background information around the country or affect area is also not delivered to audiences.

Al- Jazeera English promotes a South to North contra flow of news as opposed to the traditional North to South broadcast of news which revolves around big names including CNN, BBC and ABC. This provides a new outlook on conflict and a more real approach to war zones as opposed to an infotainment approach.

Traditional media uses War Journalism which generally focuses on two parties with one goal; to win. It is based around an ‘us vs them’ attitude and the opposition are commonly dehumanized. The focus is to uncover the opposition’s untold truths while also focusing on our victims. The only solution to peace is a victory and ceasefire.

Contrary to this Peace Journalism does focuses on the conflict, however it takes a different angle to mainstream journalism. Peace journalism has four main aims, to report on peace and be conflict orientates, truth orientates, people orientated and solutions orientated. They often interview multiple parties and always allow them a voice. They seek to expose untruths on all sides whilst also focusing on the victims. Their solution to peace is non-violence and creative.

Al Jazeera English is trying to promote a Peace Journalist approach to conflicts so that audiences can be aware of the two sides to every story that is aired on mainstream media. This approach whilst also educating audiences will help to reduce the bias in the media.

Reference List:

Figenschou, T.U. (2010) ‘A voice for the voiceless?: A quantitative content analysis of Al-Jazeera English’s flagship news’. Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 85-107. Joye, S. (2010) ‘Reflections on Inter Press Service: Evaluating the importance of an alternative news voice’. Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 121-125. Cottle, S. & Rai, M. (2008) ‘Global 24/7 news providers: Emissaries of global dominance or global public sphere?’. Global Media and Communication, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 157-181.


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