Kamala Sarup: Can The Nepali Media Bring Peace?
Can The Nepali Media Bring Peace?
By Kamala Sarup
The media is vital to a peace when it informs readers and viewers about current events and their consequences. When Media that take one sides on controversial subjects and events limit the information presented to the readers who will then take misinformed and incorrect actions to improve events. Accurate news is the utmost priority of responsible media because media must live up to higher values and serve the interests of truth, justice and peace. The media's pervasive and positive persuasive influence can be put to strengthen peace building processes.
"We cann't forget how the media can work to deflate rumors and propaganda that promotes ethnic cleansing, ethnicity, selfish hegemony, reprisal, repression, racism, genocide such as was in Rwanda. So, Media must play a very constructive role in educating the people about the military solution, sincere dialogue among peoples, about alternative structures of government to accommodate our multi ethnic, multi religious situation etc". says Monica Kozawolowski, New Jersey based journalist.
Media's growing role in highlighting terrorism and violence against people and stressed the need for creating awareness among the victim people, women and children and about their rights, so that they could protect themselves. Media also have a duty to report accurately on acts of violence against people. Media can highlight how injustices meted out to people by the Maoists.This conflict, however, appears more dangerous than any other.
Nepali Media organizations also can build a better case for monitoring and early intervention and encourage appropriate support for peace. If we see British operations in Northern Ireland, and the role that impartiality played in these operations. If we see how media coverage during the Vietnam war, and the media coverage in Bosnia and Kosovo and how media in India and Pakistan had prevented all the conflicts.
A key function of the media is to give the public the information necessary to make good decisions. The media can create pressure to address the conflict. The media may also help maintain a balance of power between the political parties in Nepal.
Media can have a significant impact on the conflict situation. Reconciliation-oriented articles or radio or TV programs can contribute to and build support for efforts to prevent or mitigate conflict.
Even, much of Asia's media (In Nepal too) is either partisan or outright controlled by, for example, the government, political party or leaders, -ies. Some examples: In Thailand, the Army owns a national TV station; In Sri Lanka, the largest English-language daily is government-controlled; In Indonesia, the largest English-language newspaper is pro-government.
Even in U.S., Australian, and some "conservative" British media probably sometimes portray conflict as necessitating intervention. In Europe, we see much less of that perspective. Generally, when we Nepali people speak of "western media", they are including both US and European (as well as Australian) media. The US and European news providers differ in that there are probably more conservatives sources in the US, as opposed to Europe.
To the extent that the media can bring conflicts to people's attention,which can help peace. It said the northern European countries of Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway were a "haven of peace for journalists.
Even, we can compare hidden parts of media mainstream or traditional. One kind of media may emphasise individualism and independence while another values collectivism and interdependence.
Even the Maoist philosophy, like the communist philosophy, has been unworkable in practice. Several communist utopian communities were attempted in the 19th century in the U.S. and in Europe, and every one failed and was abandoned. On a national scale, the Soviet communist state left the country underdeveloped and had to be completely abandoned and made into a capitalist economy.
The Chinese Maoist state did not result in a developed society and had to be revised to include substantial capitalist economic structures. In Soviet Union, the theory of a communist "classless society" never occurred. Instead, they became class societies where the rulers enjoyed freedom and wealth while the people were oppressed and poor. Media can bring such a story to get more Nepali reader's attention.
But It is true that closing the door on dialogue with the Maoists is not politically acceptable.Nepali Media have called upon both the government and Maoist rebels to immediately go for cease fire and resume peace negotiations in the country.But Nepali Media had still not played effective roles in minimizing Maoists conflict.
Media advocates make a serious mistake if they approach issues of justice as if they were non-negotiable matters. Justice without reconciliation is an oxymoron and so is reconciliation without justice.Even Nepali media are facing huge challenges barriers include a lack of infrastructure.
Media can do is to keep writing and keep publicizing the problems of Maoists and violence to get more people attention and pressure on decision-makers, political parties, human rights organizations, and begun peace talks and to work honestly for the betterment of the country and its people. If media play effective role as a last resort, dissatisfied readers can change their government representatives at regular voting intervals to keep events consistent with their views.
On the other hand, the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of media people by Maoists in Nepal violates the basic principles of international humanitarian law. Any journalists covering war should be able to report effectively on violations of the rules of war, including war crimes; second, because a number of provisions of the conventions apply directly to journalists. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, journalists must be treated humanely. Maoists should remember that media can be an instrument of conflict resolution. It is a media that reduces conflict and fosters human security.
(Kamala Sarup is editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )