Journalism does not need justification for its existence. Its service to society is justification in itself. Journalism can not only help to distribute information but also counter hate-speech and create an environment of balanced opinions, an information equilibrium.
Journalists have a responsibility to deliver accurate factual information to the people so that they can avoid distress and confusion. The branch of journalism that creates peace and security among the people is called Peace Journalism.
Peace journalism was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century by John Galtung after his research. In his research, he introduced some principles of peace journalism mentioned below.
- Find out the real reason the conflict started.
- What are the reasons behind the violence?
- Avoid snatching the individuality of the parties involved and expose their interests.
- Report grassroots nonviolence measures and follow through on reconciliation steps.
The purpose of his research was to draw the attention of journalists to the need to be impartial and to inform the public about the real causes of any news or information that could lead to peace in society. When media present biased views to their viewers, hatred, and disrespect towards other’s points of view grow, ultimately resulting in a schism within the society. In developing countries media have a more pro-active and highly sensitive role to combat bigotry and prejudices in the nation.
If we talk about the relations between Pakistan and India, unfortunately, there is not the slightest hint of peace journalism in it. Both governments are using newspapers and news channels as destructive propaganda stations. If the Pulwama attack in February 2019 is reconsidered, India was blaming Pakistan for the attack. WAR JOURNALISM had started on Indian news channels and Indian anchors were shouting how to teach Pakistan a lesson. Whereas Pakistan was condemning the attack and stating that Pakistan had nothing to do with the attack, India’s anger for Pakistanis was growing due to the influence of the media.
India was creating a perception among the people, that they should respond violently and that was why the people of India had demanded retribution against Pakistan. Indian journalists created hatred among the people by overlooking peace journalism. For these motives of mainstream media, peace between Pakistan and India cannot be imagined. Farmers in India are campaigning for their rights, which has also been supported by the Prime Minister of Canada to give farmers their rights. But the media there is unilaterally supporting the government in power. This role of media is destructive for the peace and security of the public and also contrary to peace journalism.
A measure of peace-building can be enhanced by peace journalism. Peace journalists try to uncover the causes behind a conflict and the true goals of all participants while making sure to humanize all victims of the conflict. The journalists don’t try to exploit the loss and suffering but make sure that the reporting is balanced and also demonstrate how easily news can be manipulated. 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. Possible solutions and trying to prevent further escalation of the conflict are at the center of peace journalism as well. A suggested framework used by peace-building media can employ different strategies such as (1) Conflict-sensitive and peace journalism; (2) Peace-promoting entertainment media; (3) Media regulation to prevent incitement of violence, but also (4) Peace-promoting citizen media
Media is termed the fourth pillar of the country. Media is the only platform that can bring peace and revolution to the country. If the media wants to bring peace and stability to society then it has to play a positive role and if the media plays its negative role then the society will look corrupt everywhere so the channels should put aside their ratings and business. Work for peace and stability in the society so that the society can develop and peace journalism can flourish.