Should Journalism Promote Peace in Conflict Zones?

Updated: May 9, 2021

https://youtu.be/sGbYviV0v-c (English)


https://youtu.be/l98izTHLL_Y (Urdu)


When APS2014 happened, there was a wave of fear spread across the country. Swat Radio Mullah episode had a similar effect earlier. The Media was exact in reporting the number of casualties, the impossible situation for girls education, and the threats that await schools if situation doesn't change.


There are two sides of the argument this blog proposes: First says that media should instead promote an atmosphere of peace to facilitate peace building. The other side says that it is the consumer's job to sort the news and select that which promotes peace . This is also seen as the major role of Media in the classical schools of journalism i.e. to report the news as it is. Raw. Commenting and giving opinions is not the job of a journalist. Their job is "truly concerned with a truthful, balanced and fair account of events. In order to achieve this journalists have to stay clear of judgmental representations and describe reality without embellishment. If democracy is to work properly, society needs access to news and information; analysis of the status quo, debate, practical information and exchange as well as entertainment are needed and provided by the media"


If we apply this debate to the situation when APS tragedy or Swat Taliban episode was still fresh, what would your expectations be of journalists and media channels? Should it be to report news in a way that is in line with peacebuilding? What are the potential drawbacks on either side of the debate? Motivation: Pakistan, especially before 2016, was knee deep in conflict. Honestly, this is why this course Education and Conflict has an extensive yet unfortunate applicability to Pakistan. My dad threw the television out of the house twelve years ago. We just couldn't take our eyes off it even during our board exam. This was also the day his mom passed away all of a sudden in the adjacent room. He came back to his room a few moments later and saw that Chaklala Air base had been attacked and the television was red mercilessly. Out of the doubled up frustration and the realization that media was doing no good to the situation at home and it meant nothing in front of news of his mom, he decided that was the last day we would have television in our room. Was TV even doing any good to our mental health? How should media play its role in conflict zones where people crave for any positivity on the television.


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