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In discussing the perspectives of peace activists in the field, and their relation with the mainstream media, this book explains how journalism can support conflict transformation in Palestine. It also contains interviews with professional journalists, who discuss the difficulties inherent in practicing a different journalism.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Abstract
In addressing the role of the media in Israeli—Palestinian relations, this book aims to contribute to the study of conflict transformation through journalism. It revolves around the idea of social change and the conditions for achieving change both from within, and through the agency of the profession. The book seeks to critically support a model of journalism that is deeply rooted in the complexity of the struggle for representation of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict and that can promote change. Specifically, it explores research findings through the lens of peace journalism, discussing the effective application of this model to the Israeli—Palestinian conflict in two ways. First, it offers an in-depth and original analysis of the situation in which this journalism will operate, investigating in particular the interplay between professional practices, the peculiarities of the news production processes and discourses on the conflict. It then examines how these practices and peculiarities affect ways of understanding and representing the conflict which can trigger or facilitate social change. Second, this study is framed around the theory and practices of peace journalism, highlighting areas in which this model could invest. The originality of the analysis lies in the topics chosen for investigation, as well as the approach used for this purpose. Specifically, the book focuses on the practices and beliefs of grassroots peace promoters and their narratives of change, contrasting these with the practices and beliefs of journalists involved in the coverage of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict.
Giuliana Tiripelli

1. Media and Change

Abstract
The task of this first chapter is to frame the state of the relations between media operation and social change, in order to fully place the discussion about journalism and its role in conflict transformation within current dynamics and tendencies. As not all aspects of these relations can be captured here, the chapter offers a walk through selected examples and past research, which help to highlight some of the most important peculiarities and contradictions in the interactions between journalists and their representations on one hand, and events represented (or not) in the news on the other. The chapter thus examines the many different ways in which journalism and the concept of change can be looked at; it debunks simplistic visions of journalism as a detached observer; and it reveals how news reporting is deeply rooted in the historical and cultural contexts in which practitioners live. The complexity highlighted through this contextualisation provides a clear sense of the challenges that transformative models like peace journalism face in the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. These challenges are further historically contextualised in Chapter 2, which is dedicated to the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and their associated narratives since the first Intifada in 1987. Together, these two chapters provide the macro-analytical contextualisation framing the analysis presented in Chapters 3 to 6. In particular, this first chapter provides a conceptual frame for the ethnographic material on grassroots peace promotion and journalists’ perspectives on this conflict.
Giuliana Tiripelli

2. Peace after the Intifada

Abstract
Political representatives worldwide have voiced extensive support for change in Israel and Palestine over the years, making numerous attempts to bring it to fruition. Journalists have been quick to cover these voices, making of peace in the Holy Land a recurring leitmotiv of public debates about Middle Eastern politics. The principles underlying their practice of coverage are the subjects of Chapters 5 and 6. However, despite its extensive presence in public discourse, peace has still to be implemented in the area. Only once in history have Israeli and Palestinian leaders been able to frame an agreement to resolve the conflict. It was the year 1993, when for the first time the world witnessed two bitter enemies shaking hands, generating immense hope and expectations. However, the Oslo agreement failed to transform the conflict and never brought peace to the area.
Giuliana Tiripelli

3. Grassroots Visions of Peace

Abstract
Despite the limitations of diplomatic channels, Rabin and Arafat played important roles in presenting the new idea of peace to their citizens and audiences, and in nourishing support around it. Other politicians, on the other hand, played an important role in ‘selling’ to their audiences the convenience of conflict, alerting them to the costs of generosity when negotiating with an ancient enemy. While these top-down narratives of peace and conflict took shape through the interplay between main developments on the ground and internal and international media coverage, other subjects worked in the field to prepare the cultural changes that peace entailed. These were the peace promoters, individuals who, in their various roles, worked to develop new perspectives in local institutions and communities through grassroots activities in the field. More often than not, they did so against the will of their representatives and without media coverage. The present and following chapters are dedicated to their efforts and visions. While Chapter 4 focuses on the direct relation between media and grassroots peace promotion, the present chapter uses the voices of peace promoters to highlight factors that can transform dominant narratives justifying the conflict, and those that can weaken, or render ineffective, alternative ones.
Giuliana Tiripelli

4. The Media Seen from Below

Abstract
The previous chapter examined shifts over time in grassroots engagement with the conflict, highlighting the social and political factors that nurture alternative perspectives on the Israeli–Palestinian relations. This chapter considers the more direct links between media and peace promotion. In particular, it focuses on peace promoters’ views of the role of the media in the transformation of this conflict, as experienced through their grassroots activity.
Giuliana Tiripelli

5. Journalists Covering Palestine: Old and New Perspectives

Abstract
The previous two chapters explored the views of grassroots peace promoters stemming from their various experiences of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict, and highlighted how these clashed with mediated and mainstream political narratives. Journalistic ideology (see Chapter 1) gives legitimacy to media accounts of this conflict that are distinct from these views and narratives. According to these ideological principles, journalists intervene to reorganise the mix of narratives available and distinguish factual information from opinion in order to give audiences a clear sense of developments on the ground. However, ‘superior’ observers producing socially ‘uncontaminated’ representations cannot exist in the real world; first and foremost, because journalism is about choices of what to keep and what to “suppress” (Lynch and McGoldrick 2005a: xvii), and then because specific visions of the world and professional values underpin these choices and the frames adopted. Media scholars have demonstrated the conservative effects of a system that uncritically worships professional instincts.
Giuliana Tiripelli

6. Journalists and Their Profession

Abstract
This chapter discusses the professional models that journalists refer to when discussing their own work in the context of Israeli—Palestinian relations, how they articulate the meaning of professional standards, and how they evaluate their role in relation to the idea of transforming the conflict. The ideological factors preventing engagement with the idea of journalism as a social product and influencer are considered, and the role of journalism in social change and peace promotion discussed. The chapter is divided into three parts. The first section explores the views of the interviewees on the role of journalism, the requirements and guarantees of professional coverage of Israeli—Palestinian relations, and the tensions between ideals and practices. The second section reviews the factors that push journalists towards “war journalism” practices rather than towards peace and peace journalism. The final section discusses how these journalists define their profession and analyse the role that media could play in transforming this conflict, focusing particularly on internalised ideological constraints that prevent the adoption of alternative practices. Only a small group of interviewees supported the idea that the media should aim to transform society. A second group of journalists believed that this could only occur under specific political conditions. A third group rejected the idea of a transformative role for their profession.
Giuliana Tiripelli

Conclusions: A Strategy for Peace Journalism

Abstract
This book has sought to explain the historical, contextual and professional factors leading journalists to focus on major political events and use mainstream, established perspectives in their coverage of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. It has also considered how the complex interaction between events and perspectives has militated against the transformation of this conflict in the long term. Explaining “the governing logics of news production” in context, this book has highlighted those aspects that need to be tackled in order for an alternative journalism to flourish (Hackett 2006: 2). Many journalists justified these logics to ease the tensions they felt between constraints and ideals, and in this way they maintained a focus on the “political”, as opposed to the wider, social level, from where very political opportunities for change could emerge and become visible. In fact, it was the perceived and established political importance of an event that made a good news story. This was despite the fact that journalists saw themselves as promoters of truthful accounts and rejected the idea of being promoters of politics. In this vision, journalism is conceived as the channel between society and political institutions, a detached field that interacts autonomously with politics and its most visible developments to inform citizens’ choices in democratic societies.
Giuliana Tiripelli

Backmatter

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