Assessment of peace journalism practice in South Sudan : A case study of Radio Miraya Juba South Sudan
Ochan, Anthony Materno
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This study assessed peace journalism practice in South Sudan, grounded on the Galtung peace/conflict reporting versus violence/war reporting model. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the practice of peace journalism in South Sudan with a case study of Radio Miraya, the United Nations radio station and the widest covering radio station in the country. The objectives that guided the study were to: assess the knowledge of working journalists about the concept of peace journalism, explore the factors influencing the implementation of peace journalism in South Sudan, examine the Peace Journalism practice of Radio Miraya in contributing to the UN’s peace building mission in the country and using Radio Miraya programing to evaluate the journalism norms within the Galtung model of peace/conflict reporting versus war/violence reporting. The mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) research approach was used for the study. The quantitative approach, using content analysis as a method aided in examining the content of Radio Miraya's five peace programs and the qualitative method, using key informant interviews and a survey aided in giving detailed explanation and meaning to the findings. The study established that Radio Miraya practices peace/conflict reporting in its peace programing, although aspects of violence/war reporting are still commonly used in the programing. The study further reveals that although journalists have positive attitudes towards peace journalism, their knowledge about the concept and its operationalization is very limited. And lastly, the study reveals that factors affecting implementation of peace journalism include knowledge of peace journalism, the media environment in South Sudan, ownership, attitudes of working journalists and journalism norms. The study concluded with the observation that peace journalism is not fully implemented due to the aforementioned factors. The researcher, therefore, made a number of recommendations including training for journalists to increase knowledge of the peace journalism concept, creation of a conducive journalism environment by adherence to the media laws, and repealing laws that impinge on media rights among others.