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April 30 2010

12:52

Could peace journalism offer a future for news media?

Non-violent activism is not reported enough in the media, which focuses on violence in too much of its language and reportage, Richard Keeble, Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln, argued yesterday in a Coventry Conversation event at Coventry University entitled “Give Peace Journalism a Chance!”

Peace journalism is solution-orientated. It gives a voice to the voiceless. It’s attempting to humanise the enemy and exposing lies on all sides, highlighting peace initiatives and focusing on the invisible effects of violence, such as psychological trauma,” he said.

Keeble attacked the traditional media, for acting as propaganda for war, rather than a resolution promoter, but stressed the importance of alternative media in promoting peace journalism.

“Part of the critique is the critique of the language of the media and one of the things that always amazes me, is the way in which the metaphor of war is everywhere [...] there’s all different kinds of ways in which alternative citizen journalists are challenging the professional monopoly of this word journalism, and I celebrate them enormously.”

Talking about the exposure of war, Keeble said: “It is the responsibility of journalists to expose the truth.”

“You are not being told to be objective,” he added. “There’s no way in which X can be balanced with Y, because what about A, B, C and D and everything else in between? The whole notion of balance is problematic, isn’t it?”

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