Journalists Must Decide What Type of Journalism

Smith-Johns: Peace journalism a viable option

Tevita Vuibau
Friday, September 07, 2012
JOURNALISTS in Fiji need to rise up and decide for themselves what type of journalists they are going to be.
This was the view of permanent secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns in response to questions from The Fiji Times on whether she felt peace journalism was a viable option for local journalists.
The idea of peace journalism as opposed to conflict journalism was presented to Ms Smith-Johns and other attendees at the two-day Media and Democracy Conference at the University of the South Pacific.
It is defined by Lynch and McGoldrick (2005) as "when editors and reporters make choices of what stories to report and how to report them that create opportunities for society at large to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict".
Mrs Smith-Johns said while peace journalism was a viable option, it was something journalists needed to decide for themselves.
"Local journalists need to take ownership and define who they really are and what type of journalists they want to be instead of letting other people tell them who they are," she said.
"It should really be up to journalists to make that decision on what types of journalists they are going to be," she added.
Director of the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology Prof David Robie said his affinity with peace journalism stemmed from his experiences as a journalist.
"As an educator, it is my role to look into the varieties and of journalism and my sympathies of peace journalism come from my experience in reporting conflict," he said.


I like this idea - but isn't this already achievable in basic reporting by being a subjective reporter and not an objective one. By avoiding sensationalizing issues and such.
Disappointed said…
Smith-Johns should step aside now in this new and wonderful world of press freedom she's referencing. She did her job very well when freedom of speech was disallowed. Now that journalists are being guilted into doing the right thing, we need Ministry of Information staff who are believable and trustworthy. It's time to move on.
Credibility problem said…
Smith Johns has a serious credibility problem. Time to go and get new blood in MINFO?
desmond said…
what she means is 'passive journalism' where you get to print verbatim any garbage the regime of the day deigns to release as absolute fact and don't dare involve yourelf in investgative journaism lest you find yourself with a government scandal or two.As with most regimes, when you print what they want they are happy, when you don't or ask questions, you are either deported, killed, bashed or otherwise intimidated.
rusi said…
in any other mans language this means craven subjugation and you may as well work for the ministry of Information. The regime want 'Pro' regime stories not necessarily 'pro fiji' stories and their idea of negative reporting means don't go looking where they don't want you, stay on 'their' message or else. We all saw the reaction when media were not allowed to print what the military wanted to see and left the pages blank....

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