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Enhancing Peace-Building Through Peace Journalism

By Piriye Kiyaramo

Peace Journalism uses conflict analysis and transformation to update the concept of balance, fairness and accuracy in reporting.

This approach provides a new road map, tracing the connections between journalists, their sources, the stories they cover and the consequences of their reporting.

Peace Journalism opens up a literacy of non-violence and creativity as applied to the practical job of everyday reporting. “Peace Journalism makes audible and visible subjugated aspects of reality.

Journalists, who are mindful of peace building and conflict prevention, try to uncover the causes behind a conflict and the true goals of all participants in the conflict, while making sure to humanize all victims of the conflict.

Part of the ethical guidelines for this kind of reporting is to bring out people that use peaceful measures and speak out against war and violence and document the suffering and loss on all sides.

Proffering possible solutions to prevent further escalation of conflict is the focus of peace journalism. A peace-building media can employ different strategies such as journalistic intervention, conflict-sensitive media, peace journalism, peace-promoting media, entertainment media, citizen media and media regulation, with a view to preventing incitement of violence in a post conflict environment.

Journalists should not shy away from difficult, sensitive or uncomfortable topics such as human rights abuses, gender issues, among others, even as journalists are considered to be the helpers of all human rights defenders having committed themselves to ethical and moral standards in reporting,

Assistance from public opinion is and always has to be the goal of any reporting since without reaching a broad audience that can take action, the effect of the media is limited at best.

Media and journalism can be a great assistance in conflict management and peace building. However, the power they have is also limited, as they will never be able to eliminate armed conflicts altogether.

The media can be a good tool in a healthy and functioning environment but more is needed than ethical and responsible reporting to ensure lasting peace and safety.

The role of the media is twofold: on the one hand, the media report and reflect on pressing issues and can help to question established concepts and ideas.

On the other hand, they can be used for propaganda purposes and instead of revealing truths, try to cover things up and by this curtail people’s freedom and right to information. Regardless, the potential of the media in conflict and post-conflict situations remains a net positive, and has been sadly underutilized to this point in time.

It is against the backdrop that the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme deemed it fit to create a liaison office to cover the activities of his office in the Niger Delta, with a view to bridging whatever information gaps that may exist between his office in Abuja and the stakeholders in the region for effective implementation of the Amnesty Programme, which has entered its third phase, being the sustainable reintegration of the 30,000 ex-agitators in the region.

Piriye Kiyaramo, is the Niger Delta Liaison Officer in the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Abuja

Your Comment

JINADU OYINKANSOLA | 1/20/2019 6:19:00 PM
There’s a lot that comes with journalism and there’s a lot expected from journalists. The study of this course has helped to learn a couple of other things that come with reporting. Peace reporting basically demands extra homework whereby a reporter carries out extra and necessary research to ensure that his report is balanced. It is necessary to make sure that there is no form of bias in a report. When a report lacks balance there is a possible room for conflict to occur. Peace journalism encourages a non violent response from the people. JINADU OYINKANSOLA 400L MASS COMMUNICATION
Blessing Ikoi Egoma | 1/22/2019 6:23:00 AM
Peace journalism is very importance when trying to make people understand they can live peacefully with one another once they get to know the causes of conflict. It provide reporters with an opportunity to investigate deeper into the conflict and deliver to the public with the big picture, beyond the direct violence. Peace journalism aims to correct biases that are made while reporting conflict so that societies have chances in considering and valuing non-violent responses to conflict. It is then clear that, when reporting on conflict reporters should include reports of structural and cultural violence, so that all aspects of the conflict are exposed. Most news articles one reads today clearly identifies a villain. For example, many pieces regarding ISIS fighters lack any sort of deeper discussion of motivation other than the general and unhelpful implication that the influence of a broken and destructive religion is to blame. This offers no room to move but by reporting on more complex causal chains we are more clearly able to see what actions might be taken to foster conflict transformation. The reporter and the responsibility of each of us to practice our hermeneutics of citizenship and deconstruct the normative method of war journalism are the parts of peace journalism. The road to more peace journalism begins with us.
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