A Peace Journalism Approach to Media Images of Wars in the 21st Century

By Minha Kim.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Compared with the traditional news coverage of wars focusing on violence and elite discourse, peace journalism sheds light on the role of grassroots and peace-oriented resolution. While the latter unveils marginalized perspectives and opinions, one might argue that it dramatizes factual information, such as voices of victims. This study examines peace journalism with special attention to developing an approach that incorporates analytical and structural explanations of a conflict with dramatic descriptions of incidences and its victims. To this end, the theory of news communication developed by Kim (2010) is theoretically and methodologically applied. The target of analysis is the Public Broadcasting Service documentary, “Collective Genocide: Worse than War,” dealing with the causes of brutal human conflicts in history. By performing a sentential analysis of interviews with victims, killers, witnesses, and experts, and examining the data with correspondence analysis, the patterns of relationships between character roles, news attributes, and news forms are revealed. The present study shows how images of a war can be constructed in contemporary media coverage by means of journalistic styles. A limitation of this study, which did not tightly capture the fundamental idea of solution-oriented peace journalism is discussed.

Keywords: Peace Journalism, Theory of News Communication, Conversational News, Hard News, Soft News, Documentary, Correspondence Analysis

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 634.841KB).

Prof. Minha Kim

Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea

Currently Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, Minha Kim obtained her PhD in Political Science at the University of Manchester in the UK where she worked as a Hallsworth Research Fellow after completing her doctoral degree. She received the Arthur McDougall Prize for Best Dissertation from the Political Studies Association in the UK in 2006. Her research interests include media and political behavior, news and social capital, alternative journalism, and anthropology of news, and her articles on those topics appear in internationally-renowned scholarly journals including the International Political Science Review, Information Polity, and Korea Observer.