No deviation from peace journalism

No deviation from peace journalism

I had written about it when talking about “peace journalism” was fashionable in pro-government media. 

“Journalism experiences in the world show that doing journalism with the mindset of official views does not contribute to peace.”

The vindication of this view I expressed two years ago has now been proven once again. As the political power ended “the solution process,” “peace journalism” is no longer on the agenda for the media that unconditionally supports the government. Each day new examples of “confrontational journalism” are displayed. As if they are not the ones that supported the government’s “mothers should not cry rhetoric,” and glorified peace journalism just a year ago.

There is nothing to be surprised about the fact they endorse being a spokesperson for the government and change their editorial line in parallel to the politicians instead of journalism. At any rate, they had not internalized peace journalism and they had given up on journalism many years ago. Yet, nowadays not only do they refrain from doing journalism, they also harass those who are trying to do journalism. They are trying to prevent independent and critical journalism by exerting pressure and addressing unfair baseless accusations. 

The way to neutralize these attacks passes from insisting on critical and independent journalism. The best answer is to avoid self-censorship and to produce news that is well researched, in conformity with universal journalism rules and publication principles, penned with utmost attention and subjected to meticulous editorial controls.

The rules on reporting about a terrorist organization

The road block by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has news value for instance. It is our mission to inform our readers about this incident.

They can opt to object that this type of news should not be reported and raise accusations. This is journalism so long it is written with an unbiased style that does not approve of it.

Whatever these circles say, we should not deviate from the “protecting the language of peace,” a warning that Aydin Doğan, the honorary president of Doğan Holding, made two years ago on developments concerning “the solution of the terror problem and the Kurdish problem.”

It is much more important today, more than ever, to internalize peace journalism. Because people die every day and peace has turned one more time into a distant dream. 

I know that even talking about peace journalism can sound like a luxury to some in such an environment. But journalism has humanity as its focus; its contribution is to end the environment of conflict and killings only and only through peace journalism. 

We need to focus on the essential principles of peace journalism while we should condemn terror and object to murders committed for whatever reason.

This is only possible with a cool-headed approach that stays equal distant to the sufferings of both sides and stays outside the framework of the official view. 

Obviously this is not enough. We should also refrain from ethnic discrimination, a rhetoric that can fuel feelings of hatred. We should also refrain from publishing violence in an exaggerated and sensational way as well as from becoming a tool to spread the effect of horror. 

No one can know how hard the results of warmongering can be from today.