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Details in brief

Peace Journalism (also called conflict solution journalism, conflict sensitive journalism, constructive conflict coverage, and reporting the world) has been developed from research that indicates that all too often news about conflict has a value bias toward violence. Peace journalism also includes a practical methodology for correcting this bias by producing journalism in both the mainstream and alternative media; and working with journalists and other media professionals, audiences and organisations in conflict.

War Journalism is conflict journalism that shows this value bias towards violence and violent groups. This usually leads audiences to overvalue violent responses to conflict through ignoring non-violent alternatives. This is understood to be the result of news reporting conventions. These conventions focus only on: physical effects of conflict (for example ignoring psychological impacts) elite positions (who may or may not represent the actual parties and their goals). War journalism also focuses on only the differences between parties (rather than previous agreements and progress on similar issues) the here and now (ignoring causes and outcomes), and zero sums (assuming that one side’s needs can only be met by the other side’s compromise or defeat).

Thus, through identifying and avoiding these reporting conventions, peace journalism aims to correct for this bias. And through this allow opportunities for society at large to consider and value non-violent response to conflict. This involves picking up calls for, and articulations of, non-violence policies from whatever quarter, and allowing them into the public sphere.

Peace journalism aims to shed light on structural and cultural causes of violence, as they impact upon the lives of people in a conflict arena, as part of the explanation for violence. It aims to frame conflicts as consisting of many parties, pursuing many goals, rather than a simple dichotomy. An explicit aim of peace journalism is to promote peace initiatives from whatever quarter, and to allow the reader to distinguish between stated positions and real goals.

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