We've been writing a lot about journalism and violence since the recent attacks in Brussels and Lahore. Media outlets quote each other more than any other source in stories about violent extremism. Journalists too often parachute into election-related conflicts, take a snapshot, and then leave without getting the whole story. And for the brave few who write do try to write about violence and peace in news ways? There's only a very small audience for this writing and almost no coversation to plug into in today's news.
These trends didn't start by accident. There are many contributing factors, including ever-greater cuts to newsroom staff, less time and money to travel, and danger to journalists working in conflict zones. Difference-making on the part of readers and reporters makes it difficult to start, and sustain, these kinds of conversations. The odds for journalists interested in covering war and peace in new ways, to paraphrase the Hunger Games, are never in your favor. But after a guest post yesterday on how communications research can contribute to peace building, aimed at researchers interested in this kind of work, we thought we would share some of our favorite resources for journalists taking on this challenge.
Here's a run-down of our favorite resources for journalists writing about, and for, a more peaceful world:
- Internews builds on the lessons learned from journalism in the wake of mass violence in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina in their toolkit for journalists covering conflict.
- The United States Institute for Peace creates and curates awesome content on the intersection of media and peacebuilding. Their new PeaceTech Lab is a hub of innovation in this area. Also they have an actual lab. #jealous.
- The Center for Peace Journalism, run by Steven Youngblood, teaches a new generation of media makers and peace builders about covering war and peace. Steven has a forthcoming book on this issue, we'll let you know when it's out. In the meantime, you can check out our joint panel on peace building and journalism at #PeaceCon2016 later this spring.
- There are a lot of great books out there about jounalism and it role in starting or ending conflicts. This is one - on journalism and "counterterrorism" - is one of our favorites. It demonstrates in painstaking detail what happens when major media outlets stop playing their watch-dog role, while arguing powerfully for the importance of rigorous journalism.
As we develop more resources for peace builders and journalists, we'll write about them here. Our hope is that resources like these can help shape new odds, that are more in your favor. What do you think of these toolkits and recommendations? What works and what doesn't? Tell us in the comments.