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Media as Conflict Environment: Peace Journalism and the De-Escalation of Strife

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Peleg, Samuel
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This chapter analyzes conflict and conflict resolution dynamics from the vantage point of systems’ theory (Vallacher, Coleman, Nowak & Bui-Wrzosinska, 2010; Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2014). It focuses on altering the conflict landscape in order to create favorable conditions for de-escalation. Traditional journalism is underlined here as egging on or at least condoning conflict, whereas peace journalism is highlighted as enhancing prospects of resolution by contextualizing and balancing coverage. The chapter explains why and in what ways traditional media coverage perpetuates conflicts by drawing on and feeding back reinforcing images of self and other. Then, various options of ameliorating media reports of conflict by changing the attractors’ landscape are suggested. Options such as reconfiguration of attractors, creation of latent attractors or changing the number and types of attractors constitute the backbone of peace journalism.