Thematic reporting

Academic studies & papers on thematic reporting, media development and journalism reports.

Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies - JAKE LYNCH & GIULIANA TIRIPELLI

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 is one of a series of articles published in the special edition, "What's next for media development" (Volume 11) of the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies.

Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies - FABIOLA ORTIZ DOS SANTOS & VIVIANE SCHONBACHLER

When conflicts emerge the media often become, intended or not, a key actor. It is through media that every party within a conflict attempts to convey its own narrative, contributing to a complex reality that affects journalists’ work in many different ways. This article aims to reflect on Bläsi’s (2004) factors of influence on conflict coverage in the context of media development in Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic.

Developed from a western standpoint on war reporters covering foreign conflicts, we propose to adapt this model to ‘local’ contexts in order to provide a more holistic analysis of journalism in conflict settings, but also to propose entry points for constructive coordination among multiple media development actors. In this article, we discuss the audience dimension, the pressure put through lobbies, the journalists’ personal features, the situation on-site, structural factors referring to the broader media and information system, and the political climate.

We strive to offer a critique so as to adapt to the relevance of ‘local’ journalists living and reporting in conflict-affected areas, in which media development assistance often takes place, in opposition to international foreign correspondents that are deployed to cover far-away violent conflicts.

This is one of a series of articles published in the special edition, "What's next for media development" (Volume 11) of the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies.

University of Baltimore - CHEQ

Online publishers face a hotbed of challenges in funding news. Rising pressures include economic instability; competition from giant tech companies, and thousands of layoffs across digital media. This comes at the same time as the industry has witnessed only a small rise in the number of people paying for news1.

Online news publishers also face another daily and persistent economic challenge in the struggle for monetization. In this report, we show how online news sites, vying for crucial online ad revenue, are suffering from the widespread use of "keyword blacklists" applied across their inventory. For the first time, we reveal the economic costs of this growing problem for news sites and its impact on the wider economy.


The entire research review including conclusions for practitioners is available here: The publication series has been initiated by the German “Forum for Media and Development” fome and the graduate program MEDAS 21 with the aim to inform practitioners and researchers about key debates, evidence, and emerging issues in international media development.

The study of peace journalism emerged in the 60s, drawing on the overlapping fields of conflict analysis and peace research. The seeds of this notion were first introduced in a paper authored by Johan Galtung and Mari Ruge in 1965. Their study was instrumental in the development of the theoretical perspectives called ‘peace/ conflict journalism’ on the one hand, and ‘war/ violence journalism’ on the other.

The concept of peace journalism, however, is not without its critics, who blame it for its advocacy role and ‘false morality’. According to the critics, this notion cannot be imposed from the outside, and can only evolve within a culture of peace in each society. Questions posed by scholars and practitioners have raised doubts as to whether the peace journalism approach can be implemented by journalists in their day-to-day reporting and if the circumstances of news production can be adjusted to the different contexts.

The label ‘peace journalism’, or ‘conflict-sensitive journalism’, is usually reflective of the practitioners’ perception of what is more context-relevant and likely to be conducive to the engagement of the donors, the audience, and the public at large. Regardless of how it is framed, the underlying precept is that professionals are willing to question their own prejudices, opinions, and biases when striving to accurately present the various perspectives involved in a conflict.

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