This article suggests
that more emphasis should be placed on visual aspects in the concept of
peace journalism. The author argues, through theoretical and practical
examples, that visual aspects of journalism are underestimated when it
comes to analysing how the human brain deals with textual and visual impulses.
Examples such as the controversy around Jyllands-Posten's publication
of the Mohammed cartoons proves the power of the image in a digital and
global media environment. Using as a case study the coverage by Norway's
biggest newspaper, Verdens Gang (VG), of, respectively, Colin Powell's
presentation to the UN Security Council before the Iraq War in 2003, and
the attack on the Iraqi town of Fallujah by US and Iraqi forces in November
2004, the author argues that by placing more emphasis on visual elements
like graphics and photographs, peace journalism can be an ever stronger
instrument for developing a critical journalism during wars and conflicts.
By contrasting VG's coverage in Fallujah with the powerful and emphatic
coverage of the Asian tsunami a month later, the author suggests that
new digital media can be a powerful tool for journalists with ambitions
to promote peace journalism.
On the author:
Rune Ottosen, b. 1950, Cand. polit. in Political Science (University of Oslo, 1984), BA in Journalism (Norwegian College of Journalism, 1973); Journalist in various media (1977-84); Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Norwegian College of Journalism (1984-88); Information Director and Research Fellow at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) (1989-92); Research Fellow at the Norwegian Federation of Journalists (1993-95); Associate Professor at the Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information Science, Oslo College, since 1996; Professor in the same institution from 1999; Ottosen is also the president of the Norwegian Association of Non-Fiction Authors and Translators. Author of several books and articles on journalism history and topics related to war and journalism.
Recent book publications: Journalism and the New World Order, Vol. I. Gulf War, National News Discourses and Globalization (ed. with Stig-Arne Nohrstedt, 2000); Kosovokonflikten, medierna och medlidandet (The Kosovo Conflict, Media and Compassion, 2002).