Writing about Terrorism: Journalistic Methodology and Peace Journalism
Sammanfattning: Mass media and journalists have faced criticism from academia due to a perceived tendency to present conflicts without paying sufficient attention to details, instead focusing on ‘sensational’ aspects, which will attract the interest of readers. Because of this, one academic debate within the field of journalism is whether ‘traditional’ media has served its purpose and needs to be replaced with newer forms of journalism which seeks to provide a more nuanced and balanced portrayal of conflicts. One of those paradigms is the concept of ‘Peace Journalism’. Peace Journalism argues that journalists need to be given new tools to provide a broader, fairer and more accurate way of news reporting. Some of these tools may be to frame conflicts in interlocking patterns, focusing less on ‘blame’, and attempt to examine how the pursuit of incompatible goals affects the experience of people in conflict areas. The aim of this thesis is to analyze journalistic methodology in practice and provide some practical examples on the challenges that journalists face when they report on events distant in geography from both themselves and their audience. The aim will be achieved by conducting a case study on bombings which have taken place in Lahore, Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan. The main research question will try to identify if traces of Peace Journalism can be found in the work of the interviewed journalists. The main question will be complemented by three questions regarding the challenges, strategy and role of the journalist according to the respondents. By using semi-structural interviews, some of the findings in this study is that journalists write on topics which they have no direct experience or knowledge of, that journalists are restricted by factors such as time, space and their audience, and one possible suggestion for improvement is on expanding the use of sources to be more inclusive towards actors from local grass roots. The institutional aspect has also been highlighted as an issue, which Peace Journalism doesn’t fully address. The main question for future research would therefore be to what extent institutional factors serves as an obstacle for Peace Journalism to be further implemented within traditional media.
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