It’s no secret that the development of technology has provided people and institutions with the ability to instantaneously broadcast local events to the world (Nawawy & Powers 2010). This advancement in technology has also enhanced our ability to watch and learn about events worldwide and cultures different from our own. Today, audiences worldwide have access to an increasing supply of 24-hour news broadcasters, each with a different focus and perspective on current events. Al-Jazeera English, which launched in November 2006, stands out from its competitors as it presents a “challenge to the existing paradigms guiding international news broadcasters” (Nawawy & Powers 2010). Al-Jazeera’s ability to reach out to isolated and ignored audiences throughout the world is due to the fact that geographical or commercial interests don’t dominate it.
According to Nawawy & Powers (2010), the majority of today’s coverage of conflict is dominated by a style of ‘war journalism’. As technology is providing audiences with more intense coverage of war and conflict, the idea that media coverage is integral to shaping the development of war is becoming increasingly clear. The coverage of war is usually focused on the perspective of ‘us versus them’; therefore only one party can win. War journalism is also propaganda oriented as it exposes the enemy’s untruths and maintain their party’s cover-ups a secret.
Until recently power, politics and profit have been the key elements in determining the media’s traditional approach towards conflict and war. Peace journalism is considered as an alternative to ‘war journalism’ as it values non-violent responses to conflict and is oriented to a global public rather than the specific interests of the elite. The main goal is to map the conflict, identify the parties involved, analyse their goals and, and finally supply information according to the specific agenda. Other crucial aspects of peace journalism include exposing untruths on all sides, focusing on the victims and giving voice to the voiceless.