Peace Journalism is
a bold attempt to redefine and reconstruct the role of journalists who
cover conflicts. As a new arena of knowledge, Peace Journalism draws upon
several theories and disciplines to enrich its validity and applicability.
A major source which peace journalism can rely on to bolster its analytical
as well as its normative rigor is conflict theory. This article demonstrates
how several insights from conflict theory can advance the lucidity of
peace journalism and render it a powerful tool in the hands of reporters
and their readers to realize the futility of conflict and to bring about
its resolution. More specifically, the article introduces the notion of
the media as a third party to a conflict. The third party is the facilitator
of communication, the mediator or the arbitrator between the two rivaling
sides. It is our contention that Peace Journalism as a third side can
best enhance prospects for resolution and reconciliation by changing the
norms and habits of reporting conflicts. This is succinctly illustrated
in three case studies of protracted conflicts, which are described through
the lenses of conflict theory. By contrasting regular newspaper coverage
with peace journalism coverage, the merits of the latter are revealed.
On the author:
Samuel Peleg is a Senior Lecturer of Political Communications and Political Violence at Tel Aviv University. He is also the Academic Director of the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya College. Dr. Peleg has published books and articles in various journals. Among his recent books: If Words Could Kill: the Failure of the Israeli Political Discourse. Jerusalem: Academon Books, 2003 (Hebrew);Zealotry and Vengeance: Quest of a Religious Identity Group. Lanham MD: Lexington Books, May, 2002; and Spreading the Wrath of God: From Gush Emunim to Rabin Square. Hakibutz Hameuhad, Tel Aviv, 1997 (Hebrew). Dr. Peleg writes often in the Israeli Press and is very active in civil society organizations in Israel. He is a consultant to several governmental Ministries and is also involved in Peace research with Palestinian scholars and activists.