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Kamala Sarup: Responsible Media and Peace Process

Responsible Media and Peace Process


From Global Perspectives
Kamala Sarup, PhD

The ongoing conflicts in over 35 countries, as well as global concerns about terrorism, responsible Media can play an effective role. Responsible media can thus be seen as an important part of the natural immune system of the body politic, which should be mobilized to prevent conflict and to help resolve the factors which give rise to conflicts.

Combating international terrorism had become the world's prime objective after terrorist attacks on the US. The General Assembly had also adopted a resolution underlining the need for strengthening multilateral cooperation on disarmament and non-proliferation as a contribution to the fight against terrorism. There could be no peace or progress as long as there were threats of terrorism and destruction.

According to UN reports, some 30,000 nuclear weapons reportedly remain in stockpiles around the world. Many of the important treaties that help to address the threat include the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons Conventions. A total ban on nuclear testing and fissile material production will be achieved through an early entry of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and an expeditious conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. So, responsible media should continue to work towards global disarmament and a complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction. On the other side, toward bringing g peace in the nation responsible media should work between the government political parties and rebels and support a negotiated settlement. Responsible media must expand its role and program. It is also true responsible media need training, educational program on peace and financial assistance to create peace programs.

Therefore, the role of responsible media at the peace process is crucial and they will remain an important part of the process. Responsible media must demonstrate a strong commitment to moving beyond analysis and deeper understanding to actually undertaking concrete actions in their respective sectors. On the other side, around the world the struggle for equality in media is a constant battle for recognition of peace process. Globally, the media shows little interest in peace issues and among what has been covered, most is rather negative and wrong. The media does not seem to have given adequate attention to important issues that concern people's welfare.

Therefore, the responsible media should give importance to such subject matters which inform the people of the socio-political context of the country with particular focus on peace issues, their contemporary problems and necessities. The responsible media should inspire all to make opinions and decisions on development, human rights, in a society. Thus, responsible media can serve to disseminate information about peace and war. They can improve knowledge and shape perceptions and attitudes about a variety of subjects, and they can influence peace issues and behavior. It is imperative that the responsible media workers should have a positive attitude towards peace process issues. The government's efforts alone are not sufficient in dealing with the multiple causes of conflict because it often is the party to a conflict. Responsible media is the whole complex of distinctive intellectual features that characterize a society or social group. It includes modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs.

We also can compare hidden parts of Media mainstream or traditional. Some kind of Media may emphasise individualism and independence while another values collectivism and interdependence. When people from different views come together there is often misunderstanding and conflict.

So, responsible Media' support is essential to give validity to the peace process. All the journalists should demonstrate that they are for larger public interest. Responsible media should realize that people's wish and feeling are the most important. And also responsible Media can assist civilian movements in framing and carrying out well-conceived strategies for nonviolent conflict, setting the agenda for negotiations.

The role of the responsible media is still more crucial when politics and political leaders fail. An active responsible media is needed for leading the social movement because a strong responsible media is the foundation of democratic stable, peaceful and development and creation of a just and equitable society. In any time of conflict, it is the responsible media that plays the lead role in bringing about tangible and lasting solution to the problem facing the nation and the people.

The role of responsible media in creating a secure atmosphere is really needed by society. Responsible media can exacerbate conflict, but it can also educate the people, facilitate peace process and even mediate and work in conflict management. Responsible media know how once violence is allowed to become a means of addressing such internal political problems, the ability to resolve the conflict is greatly complicated?.

Responsible media must demonstrate a strong commitment to moving beyond analysis and deeper understanding to actually undertaking concrete actions in their respective sectors. Finally, responsible media must be considered in the decision-making process leading to the waging of armed conflict. During on-going violent conflict the roles of responsible media are more circumscribed, but may include: providing necessary channels for dialogue in crisis situations; facilitating and mediating in conflict situations; mobilizing and uniting communities in support of peace; and providing essential social services and humanitarian support. Effective conflict prevention, therefore, requires the design of institutions and strategies that address the sources of conflict both before it initially erupts and once violence has been quelled.

Given the failure of the existing development paradigms, there is an urgent need for responsible media to formulate and promote alternative development strategies that are friendly toward both entrepreneurs and the environment, and are rooted in their realities and traditions.

Responsible media can play an important role in facilitating the "truth and reconciliation" type of tribunal by systematically exploring. So, responsible media should also seek to reduce the influence of forces promoting exclusionary policies or violence. With the help of responsible media, civil society, governments and the UN should aim to strengthen the national self-confidence and social fabric of traumatized peoples, to encourage and help them to overcome enormous human security challenges. This challenge involves three critical components, the development of power-sharing mechanisms, the economic disparities.

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(Kamala Sarup is editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )


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