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Peace Journalism

Summary and Keywords

Peace Journalism is a set of distinctions in the representation of conflicts. Put forward originally by Johan Galtung, the Peace Journalism model has acted as an organizing principle for initiatives in pedagogy and training, movement activism for media reform, and scholarly research. Exponents have often operated concurrently in more than one of these activity streams, and the field has generally been imbued with an awareness of the need for theory to address issues relevant to professional practice and experience. Taken together, the activities in all three of these streams show a global pattern of distribution and have been called the worldwide “peace journalism movement.”

This movement puts forward remedial measures to the dominance of certain patterns of conflict reporting, characterized as War Journalism. This should not be confused with the everyday term “war reporting,” meaning, simply, to report on wars. Instead, War Journalism describes forms of reporting that make further violence seem logical, sensible, even inevitable.

Galtung first put forward his model as a table showing distinctions under four main headings. Whereas War Journalism was violence-oriented, elite-oriented, propaganda-oriented, and victory-oriented, peace journalism could be identified as peace and conflict-oriented, people-oriented, truth-oriented, and solution-oriented.

Peace Journalism research has concentrated mainly on three issues. The first—constituting the largest proportion of published work—has been to find out how much Peace Journalism is underway in samples of conflict reporting from (usually) print media. Such research proceeds by operationalizing the distinctions in the model to derive relevant criteria for content analysis. In a second strand, scholars have applied the model to new and different kinds of conflict, such as political or cultural conflicts, or extended its geographical reach by using it to consider reporting by media of different countries and discussed its relevance in each case. A third strand has investigated differentials in responses by audiences when exposed to examples of conflict reporting coded as War Journalism and Peace Journalism.

Keywords: Peace Journalism, news values, newsgathering routines, pedagogy and training, audience responses, journalism studies, War Journalism, journalism studies

Historical Overview

Johan Galtung adumbrated his Peace Journalism model not in a formal research article but as a paper for distribution at a residential summer school, held at Taplow Court, a country house in the south of England that served as a cultural center for a lay Buddhist organization. The date was August 1997, and participants were drawn largely from U.K. media. In it he set out a series of distinctions between mainstream reporting patterns, or “War Journalism,” and the new form of Peace Journalism, under four main headings. Whereas War Journalism was violence-oriented, elite-oriented, propaganda-oriented, and victory-oriented, Peace Journalism could be identified as peace and conflict-oriented, people-oriented, truth-oriented, and solution-oriented.

War Journalism, in Galtung’s view, is distinct from the more neutral term of war reporting—meaning, simply, reporting (of all kinds) on war. Rather, it refers to specific modes of representation of conflict issues, which may lead or leave readers and audiences to infer that violence is a natural, logical, or inevitable corollary to the situation as portrayed. The Peace Journalism movement has therefore always referred to audience framing, as well as media framing, of options and responses in conflict. In this, it arises from and reflects the preoccupations of, Galtung’s decades-long engagement with media as a factor in conflict, beginning with the landmark essay “The Structure of Foreign News,” which he published with Mari Holmboe Ruge in an early edition of the Journal of Peace Research in 1965. “It is axiomatic,” Galtung and Ruge remark in the essay, “that action is based on the actor’s image of reality, [so] international action will be based on the image of international reality” (1965, p. 64). And, while the media are not the only influence on this process, their “regularity, ubiquity and perseverance . . . make them first-rate competitors for the number-one position as international image-former” (Galtung & Ruge, 1965, p. 64).

The Galtung-Ruge essay marked a turning point in the scholarly study of journalism, away from the then-dominant image of the journalist as “gatekeeper” (Manning White, 1950), instead attributing the chief influences on news content to the structures within which it is produced. These influences led to a set of prevalent conventions, referred to by Galtung and Ruge as “tuning factors,” with a valve radio as a metaphor for newsworthiness. A signal that was most likely to be “tuned into” by the news was one that conformed to certain characteristics. As a result, a pattern of reporting supervened, in most news, most of the time, which had the effect of emphasizing certain aspects of conflict while downplaying others. Three of the most important tuning factors were:

  • Threshold: a big story is one with a major impact on a large number of people. Often seen as related to the location of publication and market. For the Tiverton Gazette, say, the threshold of newsworthiness for a particular event in Tiverton would be lower than for the same event occurring in Toronto.

  • Frequency: the economic structure of the news industry in the mid-1960s, when Galtung and Ruge published their study, was dominated by daily newspapering. For an edition to be successfully offered for sale on any one day would depend on its ability to tell readers what had happened since the edition they purchased the previous day. Hence developments with a clear beginning, middle, and end, all of which occur in the interval between deadlines for daily editions, are most newsworthy.

  • Negativity: bad news sells. Commercial news media tend to compete for attention by alerting their public to things that are going wrong, rather than set out to reassure them that all is well.

Taken together, these factors produce a form of news about conflict that conforms to the War Journalism characteristics listed above. Conflicts are typically boiled down for consumption by news readers, listeners, and viewers to a series of violent events. Where the process leading up to an event receives any attention, it is usually in the form of reference to previous violent events, so the causal explanation is revenge.

Negative events are not of equal newsworthiness to all media. As already indicated, the judgment depends on the relevance to the audience, or the market into which the news is to be sold. But it also depends on the status of the people involved. “Elite persons” from “elite countries” were more likely to be newsworthy, Galtung and Ruge argued. A positive process, benefiting non-elite people in non-elite countries, was least likely to be reported.

The dominance of War Journalism in the representation of conflicts leads to certain aspects being downplayed or excluded altogether. Some of these are crucial to the ways of analyzing, understanding, and explaining conflict that were, at the time of the Galtung-Ruge essay, being developed and systematized as precepts of the emerging field of Peace Research. A widely accepted definition of conflict in Peace Research is as a situation involving “two or more parties who have, or think they have, incompatible goals.” Galtung himself proposed the “ABC conflict triangle,” in which the components of a conflict could be gathered under three headings: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Contradictions. The incompatibility of goals (perceived or real) between parties to a conflict was the Contradiction. The responses to the Contradiction, by the parties and others, could take the form of either Attitudes or Behaviors.

In this model, generative force can arise and be exerted in, and transmitted from, responses in any of the three categories to any of the others. Certain forms of behavior in conflicts can, for instance, harden attitudes among the parties, thus making the contradiction(s) more difficult to discuss. “We don’t talk to terrorists” is a familiar political response from many conflicts, including, for example, the conflict in and over Northern Ireland during the period of the so-called “Troubles” (roughly speaking, the three decades or so from 1970). And yet it was necessary for the U.K. and Irish governments to communicate with paramilitary groups, notably the Irish Republican Army, in order to formulate the Good Friday Agreement, which brought the conflict into its present, less violent phase.

A crucial theoretical proposition in Peace Research is that conflict is not the same as violence. Forms of direct violence may dominate responses to conflict in some contexts. But a mode of representation that concentrates only on them risks obscuring the incompatibility of which the conflict actually consists. Such a mode of representation therefore has no logical place for the myriad of peace efforts that may be underway, in any conflict at any time, which often seek to address the incompatibility as it is experienced by those affected. The Good Friday Agreement was put to the populations of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in twin referenda, which overwhelmingly endorsed it. Voters included many who had taken part—albeit, in most cases, only a small part—in peace efforts, such as “bridge-building” exercises or “dialogues” over many years, often in their own communities. The elite orientation of the dominant War Journalism meant that, because such initiatives typically took place at subelite levels, they went largely unreported in mainstream news.

So War Journalism presents an image of reality at odds not only with the way in which Peace Researchers conceptualize conflict and the responses to it but also a mass of research findings, built up over many years. The veteran U.S. peace researcher and practitioner John Paul Lederach reflected:

I have not experienced any situation of conflict, no matter how protracted or severe, from Central America to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, where there have not been people who had a vision for peace, emerging often from their own experience of pain. Far too often, however, these same people are overlooked and disempowered either because they do not represent “official” power, whether on the side of government or the various militias.

(Lederach, 1997, p. 94)

Taken together, the dominant characteristics of mainstream reporting, or War Journalism, add up to a bias in favor of violence at the expense of conflict itself and of efforts to resolve or ameliorate it. If actors act on their image of reality, then this form of representation risks influencing conflict in favor of further violence. It is the only thing that appears to “make sense.” By emphasizing “backgrounds and contexts of conflict” (Shinar, 2007, p. 200), Peace Journalism, on the other hand, produces an image of reality in which it is possible to identify and resolve contradictions, thus enabling an appreciation of the potential for attitudes to be transformed and violence to be reduced. As Lee and Maslog argue, “theoretically, Peace Journalism is supported by framing theory” (2005, p. 313). One of the most widely quoted definitions of framing, by Entman (1993), links “problem definition” with “treatment recommendation” as aspects of a communicating text to be made “salient.” Hence the definition of Peace Journalism put forward by Lynch and McGoldrick: “When editors and reporters make choices, of what to report and how to report it, which prompt and enable readers to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict” (2005, p. 6).

Review of Key Research

Most key research in Peace Journalism has addressed one or more of three interlocking questions:

  1. 1. Does Peace Journalism exist—even as a contingent by-product of normal newsgathering routines?

  2. 2. Where it is practiced, what if any impact does it have? Do readers and audiences notice the difference, and if they do, does it prompt them to make different meanings in response to the presentation of conflict issues?

  3. 3. Could it be expanded? Could journalists implement it?

The first of these questions has been explored in the largest single category of published research in the field, namely exercises in content analysis. In such studies, the distinctions in Galtung’s Peace Journalism model, or similar schemas, have typically been operationalized to generate evaluative criteria in a codebook for analyzing samples of media reporting selected for particular themes and time brackets. In an early example, Lee and Maslog analyzed a total of 1,338 newspaper stories in 10 English-language daily newspapers from 5 Asian countries involved in 4 regional conflicts. Their findings suggested that, “overall, the news coverage of these conflicts is dominated by a war journalism frame. The Indian and Pakistani coverage of the Kashmir issue shows the strongest war journalism framing, whereas the coverage of the Tamil Tiger movement and the Mindanao conflict by the Sri Lankan and the Philippine newspapers reveals a more promising peace journalism framing” (Lee & Maslog, 2005, p. 311). As with subsequent similar studies, the authors used the results to yield a Peace Journalism quotient, put at 35.7% in the sample overall.

Sample material for the Lee and Maslog study was drawn from newspaper reporting in the early 2000s, a period that also saw a group of researchers collaborate on a series of Peace Journalism projects through several international conferences convened by the Japan-based Toda Institute for Peace and Policy Research. Outputs included a special edition of the open access journal Conflict and Communication Online, whose editor, Wilhelm Kempf, teamed up with another experience researcher, Dov Shinar, to co-edit a collection of the articles in book form, which was published under the title Peace Journalism: The State of the Art (Shinar, 2007). In it, Shinar himself published a summarizing overview of published research in the field to that point, noting that scholars referring to Peace Journalism meant reporting that:

  1. 1. Explores backgrounds and contexts of conflict formation, and presenting causes and options on every side so as to portray conflict in realistic terms, transparent to the audience.

  2. 2. Gives voice to the views of all rival parties, not merely the leaders of two antagonistic “sides.”

  3. 3. Airs creative ideas, from any source, for conflict resolution, development, peacemaking and peacekeeping.

  4. 4. Exposes lies, cover-up attempts, and culprits on all sides, revealing excesses committed by, and suffering inflicted on, peoples of all parties.

  5. 5. Pays attention to peace stories and postwar developments. (2007, p. 200)

Next, Majid Tehranian, director of the Toda Institute, co-edited (with Susan Dente Ross) a special edition of the Toda journal Peace and Policy, titled “Peace Journalism in Times of War” (2008). This included studies in content analysis of the reporting of wars in Afghanistan and between Israel and the Palestinians in both Israeli and Canadian newspapers, as well as the so-called “war on terrorism” in comparative samples drawn from international and Philippines media.

Lynch (2006) adapted the distinctions in Galtung’s model to derive evaluative criteria for a study of 210 articles in a sample from the U.K. written press over a five-month period in 2005 on the political conflict over Iran’s so-called “nuclear ambitions.” This marked the first use of Peace Journalism to investigate the representation of a conflict where no direct violence was involved. Instead, the criteria concerned such factors as whether the news story in question reported the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which Iran—like other signatory states—has the right to develop civil nuclear power. A later example of the distinctions being extended to a so-called “symbolic conflict” came in a contribution by two Canadian researchers, McMahon and Chow-White, to an edited collection in 2011, on reporting by Canadian newspapers of issues pertaining to the social, political, and economic outlook for Indigenous citizens of Canada.

So, researchers have established that Peace Journalism is not, as it were, “pie in the sky.” It can be done, at least in some aspects, and it is done, as many studies in content analysis have shown. Only in a few cases—such as the Sri Lankan and Philippines examples considered by Lee and Maslog—is Peace Journalism in the majority, or the largest plurality. The basic methods of such studies have, moreover, proven themselves to be of remarkably wide applicability, in milieux formed by the media of many countries, in every inhabited continent. To name but three, they have been used to show how public service media are failing to meet their obligations in respect of the reporting of contested issues in armed conflict (Lynch, 2017), to interrogate differences of emphasis between the output in English and Arabic of Al Jazeera (Abdul-Nabi, 2015), and to argue for an increase in Peace Journalism to meet shortcomings in coverage by Pakistani media of the Taliban conflict (Hussain, 2016).

However, the definition of Peace Journalism put forward by Lynch and McGoldrick (2005), together with the scope of the Galtung-Ruge essay that is the theoretical antecedent of the field, mandates attention not only to media frames but also to audience frames. It is the effect on readers and audiences of particular forms of journalistic representation of conflict issues that has been the driving force behind both scholarly and professional interest in Peace Journalism. A second major strand of research has sought to investigate the differentials in the meanings made by readers and audiences, in response to different versions of the same story, coded according to Peace Journalism principles and distinctions.

In fact, the first significant contributions to the investigation of this topic did not use the term “Peace Journalism” at all but instead code the story versions to be used as study material for their “escalation-oriented” or “de-escalation–oriented” framings. Kempf (2003) emphasized the importance for research of contributing to reform agendas for journalism, realistic and achievable in particular phases of conflict. Journalists operate from inside their society and generally have their own beliefs, like the rest of society. Therefore, he suggested using a two-step procedure to break down war discourse and violence-oriented war reporting and transform such reporting into conflict-oriented peace journalism.

Kempf’s two-step model suggested the use of a de-escalation–oriented style of conflict reporting during violent phases of the conflict, when peace is to be made, and a solution-oriented style of conflict reporting only after a peace treaty or agreement is in place, when peace is to be built. The de-escalation–oriented conflict coverage promotes neutrality and critical distance from all parties in the conflict. Journalists working in this mode must be equipped with knowledge related to conflict theory and must use it for exploring the conflict formation with a win-win orientation and also practice fair reporting of peace initiatives and attempts at mediation (Kempf, 2003). When a peace agreement has been reached, solution-oriented conflict reporting would be applied by focusing on the people-oriented, proactive role of the journalists; the invisible effects of war and conflict, and reconciliation perspectives (Kempf, 2003).

Later, both Kempf (2007) and Schaefer (2006) conducted experimental research to gauge differential reader responses to “escalation-oriented” and “de-escalation–oriented framing” in newspaper stories about conflict in Yugoslavia. Kempf adjusted the content of articles about episodes of conflict in South-East Europe to exhibit characteristics of “escalation-oriented framing”; “moderately de-escalation–oriented framing,” and “more strongly de-escalation–oriented framing,” thus producing four versions (also including the original, taken in each case from a German newspaper). A total of 128 subjects read different combinations of versions of the three articles, then answered a 16-item questionnaire, with patterns of response identified using latent class analysis.

The results “speak in favour” of Peace Journalism, since “the de-escalation oriented text versions were accepted to a greater degree and resulted in less polarised mental models of the events” (Kempf, 2007, p. 142) portrayed in the stories. The most significant evaluation pattern revealed by latent class analysis was of subjects expressing “strong interest in [receiving] further information” (Kempf, 2007, p. 144). This applied to 22.4% of readers of escalation-oriented versions but also to 23.1% of readers of strongly de-escalation–oriented versions. “Escalation-oriented coverage is not the only type that can arouse audience interest, de-escalation oriented coverage can also do so” (Kempf, 2007, p. 144).

Schaefer produced two versions of each text (escalation-oriented and de-escalation–oriented, respectively) and asked 96 subjects to read them, recording similar findings. Participants registered a preference for the Peace Journalism version: “De-escalation-oriented texts were judged to be better than escalation-orientated ones.” After reading War Journalism, subjects were receptive to proposals for violent responses to conflict, showing a somewhat “higher degree of acceptance of military measures than did [the readers of the] de-escalation-oriented texts,” in a ratio of about 6:5 (Schaefer, 2006, p. 12).

Lynch and McGoldrick (2013) built on these experiments in a study with fieldwork in four countries—Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, and Mexico—in which multiple methods were combined. First, an exercise in content analysis, on a sample of conflict reporting drawn from media spanning the “centre of gravity” (Lynch, 2014, p. 53) of journalism in the country in question, was carried out using the fivefold description of Peace Journalism by Shinar as a set of headings. Under these headings, evaluative criteria were developed through a process of critical discourse analysis (van Dijk, 1993). These criteria were supplemented with three linguistic indicators, originally deployed by Lee and Maslog (2005), namely for the avoidance of escalatory, divisive, and inflammatory language. Each individual story was allotted a score, based on these criteria, with the scores then arranged in order of magnitude.

Material for the study was created in the form of (1) a “bulletin” of War Journalism items of television reporting dealing with conflict stories prominent on the news agenda in the country at the time of the research and (2) a “bulletin” of Peace Journalism, comprising different versions of the same stories. The latter were re-edited with new pictures and interviews to go with some of the original material, with the voice-over recorded by the same reporter. The War Journalism versions were coded with scores on or below the lower quintile of results from content analysis for the country in question, and the Peace Journalism versions with scores on or above the upper quintile. These two “bulletins” were shown to different audiences, with a range of methods used to gather both qualitative results—such as in focus group discussions—and quantitative results from questionnaires designed to record self-reported emotional and cognitive responses.

The results revealed significant interactions between the War Journalism and Peace Journalism codings of the research material and audience responses. In general, viewers of Peace Journalism reported themselves as feeling happier, more hopeful, and more empathetic, whereas War Journalism viewers were more angry, frustrated, and hopeless. In terms of cognitive responses, the study concluded:

When audiences watch television news items created as War Journalism and Peace Journalism respectively, their responses reflect a process of meaning-making . . . linking perceived causes and effects that predicate, respectively, a lesser or greater receptiveness to cooperative, nonviolent responses to conflict. Peace Journalism advocates, who are aiming to expand opportunities for society at large to value and consider such responses, are on the right track.

(Lynch & McGoldrick, 2013, p. 1056)

The third of the major research questions raised by Peace Journalism has been addressed more tentatively by comparison. Whether, how, and how far journalists can change or influence the content of their reporting to implement the constituent elements of Peace Journalism has been considered chiefly in works by practicing or former journalists. First into print was a German reporter, Nadine Bilke, who published a monograph in 2002 titled, simply, Friedens Journalismus (Peace Journalism). In it, she drew on her professional experience, notably during an attachment in Ghana, West Africa, to consider the exigencies and opportunities for practical application, taking account of context and sensitivity to journalistic culture and role perceptions: “There can be no universally valid model for peace journalistic action. . . . How this fundamental direction can be implemented depends on many factors” (Bilke, 2002, p. 80). And she foreshadowed Kempf’s later emphasis on the suitability of different portions of the Peace Journalism model for different stages of conflict: “For the escalation of a conflict, completely different strategies are conceivable than at the peak of the violence or during a gradual stabilisation” (Bilke, 2002, p. 80).

Later, Lynch and McGoldrick referenced experience of both their own media reporting and as trainers of editors and reporters in many countries in compiling the field-defining volume, Peace Journalism (2005). It combined pedagogical material, in the form of exercises and discussion points, with discussion of theoretical issues of both peace and journalism. In reporting on discussions among participants in the journalist training workshops the authors had devised and facilitated in such places as Indonesia and the Philippines, the book reveals the process by which the original Peace Journalism model had begun to be refined, developed, and articulated by journalists and others around the world.

Examples of conflict reporting with a deficit analysis considered in Peace Journalism include coverage of wars in Iraq, Southeast Europe, and Burma/Myanmar. All these conflicts soon moved into a new phase, raising an arguable need for the arguments to be reworked through a new set of case studies. Such material can be found in what is, in many ways, a successor to the Lynch-McGoldrick book as the defining volume of the field, namely Peace Journalism Principles and Practices: Responsibly Reporting Conflicts, Reconciliation and Solutions, by Steven Youngblood, Director of the Global Center for Peace Journalism at Park University, Missouri. Youngblood has been as active in raising the ideas and perspectives of Peace Journalism “at home,” with fellow journalists and journalism educators in the United States, as abroad, through media development aid. Hence, the book includes material pertaining to the coverage of police shootings in American cities and the Black Lives Matter protest movement, as well as how journalists in countries such as Kenya and Uganda can avoid unintentionally inflaming electoral violence.

The book-length study in which theoretical perspectives are perhaps most closely woven together with qualitative data on the experiences, values, and role perceptions of working journalists in a conflict milieu is perhaps Giuliana Tiripelli’s 2016 monograph, Media and Peace in the Middle East: The Role of Journalism in Israel-Palestine. In it, she also examines the relations between grassroots peace activism and media with roots in the first Palestinian Intifada in the late 1980s. Situating her vision of an attainable and practical form of Peace Journalism in what is, therefore, a richly invoked professional, social, and political context, Tiripelli goes further than any other contributor to the field has done in addressing the question of how far the desiderata of Peace Journalism can be feasibly set before news readers and audiences.

State of Research Today

The feasibility of implementation, by journalists in professional media, is still the major sticking point for Peace Journalism research. Practitioners, who in many cases have devised and facilitated training programs for journalists and witnessed hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of editors and reporters from media in conflict-affected societies discussing, warming to, and—in practical exercises—experimenting with the ideas of Peace Journalism, unavoidably collect anecdotal evidence along the way, often through continued contact with trainees, of both affordances and constraints in their working lives, which affect the potential to implement the changes Peace Journalism calls for in their reporting. But the research record contains little or no data to enable this anecdotal material to be considered in any systematic way.

Indeed, there is a paradox that arguably lies at the heart of Peace Journalism. Whereas its theoretical antecedents lie in “The Structure of Foreign News” (Galtung & Ruge, 1965)—a work whose effect, in Journalism Studies, was to displace a previous emphasis on the individual preferences of journalists as the chief influence on news content in favor of an emphasis on the structures within which they operate—Peace Journalism itself has largely been promulgated, through such means as journalist training, by attempting to stimulate and transform journalistic agency. Trainees are supposed to go back to the office and change their newsgathering routines and the content of their reporting. An early criticism by Thomas Hanitzsch, in an article commissioned for a special edition of Conflict and Communication Online titled “The Peace Journalism Controversy,” still rings true: that Peace Journalism depends on taking “an overly individualistic and voluntaristic approach” (2008, p. 75) to the challenges of reforming the way conflicts are reported.

Earlier, Majid Tehranian, director of the Tokyo-based Toda Institute for Peace and Future Research, had published an essay in the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics proposing Peace Journalism as the underpinning for a globally applicable system of media ethics (2002). However, he sounded a warning note: “structural pluralism is the sine qua non of content pluralism.” If the content of journalistic representations of conflict is constrained by the political economy of the media, then for Peace Journalism to spread would require new structures, almost certainly non-commercial ones, to emerge, grow, and thrive. To this end, he used the essay to propose a Media Development Bank as a new UN specialized agency, to disburse funds to initiatives likely to lead to the diversification of media structures.

For many journalists today, methods of newsgathering and modes of storytelling are evolving rapidly in response to digital and social media as well as changes of ownership and market conditions. If there is one pressing demand in Peace Journalism research, it is for a field-based, comparative study drawing on extensive qualitative data from the experience of journalists as they attempt to practice Peace Journalism. This would enable the creation of a nuanced, contextualized assessment of where unexplored potential lies, along with the major obstacles, for wider implementation. Such a research artefact would be of significant utility in the field of media development aid, to name but one. Commissioning agencies can draw on existing research findings to assure themselves that Peace Journalism is attainable, in general terms—and that audiences exposed to it do indeed respond by making meanings that are more conducive to non-violent initiatives and remedies. If they could be further assured of the precise conditions required to enable journalists who undergo Peace Journalism training to change the content of their reporting, then the rationale for that form of development activity would be significantly boosted. It could, equally, help to make or strengthen a case for interventions to create or extend new structures to enable different forms of journalism. And that would honor the guiding principle of the Peace Journalism movement, namely that research and practice should each inform and strengthen the other.

Primary Sources

The biggest single outlet of scholarly research in Peace Journalism has been Conflict and Communication Online, which is a biannual open-access journal, edited by Wilhelm Kempf, published in English and German. The reader can browse freely through its current edition and extensive archive (

Many project initiatives in Peace Journalism, including those in journalistic practice, training, and research, are chronicled in the biannual publication, The Peace Journalist (, edited by Steven Youngblood, Director of the Global Center for Peace Journalism at Park University, Missouri.

Regular original Peace Journalism editorials appear, along with curated collections of peace-related writings from multiple sources, on the TRANSCEND Media Service ( Many of the editorials are by Johan Galtung. Readers can also arrange to receive the weekly TMS digest in email form free of charge.

For examples of Peace Journalism columns, the reader can browse freely on the website of Robert Kohler (, a Chicago-based syndicated columnist, who has been writing regular Peace Journalism opinion pieces for over 10 years.

Mindanews ( is an online news service and agency, based in Davao, on the Philippines island of Mindanao. Run by a co-operative, the site’s founders adopted Peace Journalism as a set of guiding principles, adding three C’s (Character, Context, and Consequences) to the familiar five W’s and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How) of traditional journalism.

Further Reading

Dente Ross, S., & Tehranian, M. (2008). Peace Journalism in times of war. In Peace and policy (Vol. 13). New York: Transaction.Find this resource:

    Lynch, J. (guest ed.) (2015). Special issue on Peace Journalism. Global Media and Communication, 11(3).Find this resource:

      Hackett, R. A. (2006). Is Peace Journalism possible? Three frameworks for assessing structure and agency in news media. Conflict and Communication Online, 5(2), 1–13.Find this resource:

        Hoffmann, J., & Hawkins, V. (Eds.). (2015). Communication and peace: Mapping an emerging field. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

          Keeble, R., Tulloch, J., & Zollman, F. (Eds.). (2010). Peace Journalism, war and conflict resolution. London: Peter Lang.Find this resource:

            Kempf, W. (2005). Two experiments focusing on de-escalation oriented coverage of post-war conflicts. Conflict and Communication Online, 4(2), 1–17.Find this resource:

              Kempf, W., & Shinar, D. (Eds.). (2007). Peace Journalism: The state of the art. Berlin: Irena Regener.Find this resource:

                Lynch, J. (2013). Is Peace Journalism feasible? Pointers for research and media development. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, 10(2–3), 15–24.Find this resource:

                  Lynch, J. (2014). A global standard for reporting conflict. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

                    Lynch, J., & McGoldrick, A. (2005). Peace Journalism. Stroud, UK: Hawthorn Press.Find this resource:

                      Lynch, J., & Galtung, J. (2010). Reporting conflict: New directions in peace journalism. St Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland Press.Find this resource:

                        Lynch, J., McGoldrick, A., & Heathers, J. (2015). Psychophysiological audience responses to War Journalism and Peace Journalism. Global Media and Communication, 11(3), 201–217.Find this resource:

                          Special Issue: Peace Review, 29(4), 2017. Special edition on Peace Journalism.

                          Shaw, I. S., Lynch, J., & Hackett, R. A. (Eds.). (2011). Expanding Peace Journalism: Comparative and critical approaches. Sydney: Sydney University Press.Find this resource:

                            Ting Lee, S., & Maslog, C. C. (2005). War or Peace Journalism? Asian newspaper coverage of conflicts. Journal of Communication, 55(2), 311–329.Find this resource:

                              Tiripelli, G. (2016). Media and peace in the Middle East: The role of journalism in Israel-Palestine. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Find this resource:

                                Youngblood, S. (2017). Peace Journalism principles and practices: Responsibly reporting conflicts, reconciliation and solutions. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:


                                  Abdul-Nabi, Z. (2015). Based on the peace journalism model: Analysis of Al-Jazeera’s coverage of Bahrain’s uprising and Syria’s chemical attack. Global Media and Communication, 11(3), 71–302.Find this resource:

                                    Bilke, N. (2002). Friedens Journalismus. Münster, Germany: Agenda Verlag.Find this resource:

                                      Chow-White, P. A., & McMahon, R. (2011). Examining the “dark past” and “hopeful future” in representations of race and Canada’s TRC. In I. S. Shaw, J. Lynch, & R. A. Hackett (Eds.), Expanding Peace Journalism (pp. 347–374). Sydney: Sydney University Press.Find this resource:

                                        Entman, R. M. (1993). Framing: towards clarification of a fractured paradigm, Journal of Communication, 43, 51–58.Find this resource:

                                          Galtung, J., & Ruge, M. H. (1965). The structure of foreign news: The presentation of the Congo, Cuba and Cyprus crises in four Norwegian newspapers. Journal of Peace Research, 2(1), 64–91.Find this resource:

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