Role of Journalists in Promoting Peace in the World

The pen, as the adage says, is mightier than the sword. In modern times, the contemporary world faces several challenges. Terrorism, ethnic conflicts and threats of nuclear warfare are on the top of the list. Terrorism has engulfed the whole world and created an atmosphere of fear among humanity. There is hardly any part of the Earth which is free from terrorism. In this context, the role of journalists towards promoting peace cannot be neglected. Journalists belonging to print and electronic media can play a significant role in the promotion of peace.

In case of crisis or conflict, the local and international media can attract worldwide attention and can become able to shine a light on conflicts anywhere in the world. Internal conflicts do not occur spontaneously but tend to have a history. Local journalists usually have a deeper understanding of the participants of the conflict as well as changes preceding the outbreak of violence. The journalists of print and especially electronic media therefore not only influence people and society before the conflict but also help in creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony in the society.

History has shown that media in general and journalists in particular can incite people towards violence. Hitler, the German dictator, used the media to create an entire world view of hatred for Jews, homosexuals and other minority groups. Yet, it is not uncommon to hear experts pronounce that the media’s impact on peacebuilding must be very significant.

Responsible journalism and journalists are key to create harmony in a society. Media, journalists; both print and electronic, can play a pivotal role in spreading peace and harmony to eradicate the sentiment of hatred in society. Journalists can therefore be regarded as influential actors in conflict resolution. Journalists play paramount role information of public opinion regarding the peacebuilding process. Journalists have got the mighty power to build the opinion of people on peace.

Through their writings and reports, published in various newspapers and magazines, they neglect the ideas of extremism and involve their best efforts and philosophical thoughts to develop a moderate public opinion. Besides this, journalists analyze the grave matters and serious issues and they remove the emotional element from the minds of people and ideally convince people to think logically and look at the matters rationally.

Moreover, the journalists remove the widespread psychological and social unrest in the society. The current scenario of the affairs reflects that a vast number of people across the world are psychologically depressed. In result, the depression forces people to take extreme steps and many a time those people go violent and they disturb the peace of the society and they create social unrest. However, journalists through their writings develop patience and tolerance among reader and ultimately they contribute to the peace process in the world.

Journalists bring the attention of common people, government and non-governmental organizations towards the formation of peace. They create religious harmony irrespective of their religious connections and social backgrounds. They appreciate positivism in society and they try to build a moderate society. Besides this, journalists play the role of bridge among various countries and communities. They bring the countries or communities involved in conflicts closer to each other peacefully. They involve deliberate, planned and sustained efforts to establish and maintain mutual understanding between countries and relations between them. Furthermore, books, pamphlets, publications, blogs and websites play a significant role in maintaining peace.

Also, one of the most important objectives of the journalists is to inform the public about the new programs and policies of the government. If the government shapes an aggressive policy, journalists would criticize it. Resultantly, the government will feel immense pressure to shape a new policy based on peace and harmony. This purpose of the criticism is to achieve the goodwill of people, both from the country and across the border for the betterment of the government. The journalists try to minimize the opposition whether that opposition is internal or external and they try to bring people towards the peaceful resolution of the issues. Journalists keep an active eye over the changing requirements of foreign policy or internal policy and they create a mutual understanding between the counties.

The crux of the matter leads to the conclusion that journalists play a huge role to facilitate conflict resolution and towards peace media. Peace media can be defined as the use of ‘radio, television and print journalism to promote peace, to disseminate truthful information or alternate viewpoints that could turn public sentiment towards a peaceful resolution of conflict.

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