Overcoming the Peace Journalism paradox: A case study in journalist training as media development aid




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Peer reviewed



Peace journalism (PJ), originally proposed by Johan Galtung as a set of ideational distinctions in representations of conflict, has served as the organizing principle for both scholarly research and practical application. Much of the latter has come through media development aid, generally taking the form of professional training courses for editors and reporters. The effectiveness of such schemes depends on activating and galvanizing journalistic agency to change the content of reporting. This highlights a paradox: PJ is the policy response to Galtung’s landmark 1965 essay, published with Mari Holmboe Ruge, ‘The structure of foreign news’, which, instead, attributed the chief influences on news content to the political economy of media. This article presents and considers two sets of data. One comes from interviews with sixteen alumni of PJ training courses, in which they disclose which aspects proved most readily applicable in their work. The other is based on a survey of 55 articles from The Peace Journalist, a biannual magazine published by the Global Peace Journalism Center at Park University, Missouri, which, between them, report on training courses in 33 countries over ten years. It shows which aspects of PJ are most often emphasized in such initiatives, and in what kind of conflict contexts. The two data sets are then compared and cross-referenced to show how both trainers and trainees set out to supplement and circumvent structural constraints and thus overcome the PJ paradox.



peace journalism, training, media development


Lynch, J. and Tiripelli, G. (2022) Overcoming the peace journalism paradox: A case study in journalist training as media development aid. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 11 (2), pp.211-226


Research Institute

Media Discourse Centre (MDC)