conflict & communication online, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2011
ISSN 1618-0747




Joice Biazoto
Peace journalism where there is no war. Conflict-sensitive reporting on urban violence and public security in Brazil and its potential role in conflict transformation

The absence of war in a country like Brazil does not mean peace for its population. High murder rates, police killings, and violent urban conflict (in the favelas and beyond) are part of Brazilians’ daily lives. The national media helps construct the discourses of violence which contribute to maintain the status quo – but can the media play a positive role in the conflict and become a force for peace? In attempting to determine whether Peace Journalism is a useful tool for reporting about urban violence in Brazil, this qualitative case study analyzes a special series in Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo about a novel public security model in the city – the Pacifier Police Units (UPP) – by employing adapted De-Escalation-Oriented Conflict Coverage (DEOCC) criteria. The analysis reveals a combination of escalation and de-escalation elements in the series, and while this particular example does not prove to be conflict sensitive, the Peace Journalism framework itself shows great potential if implemented to improve coverage of urban violence in Brazil.


  full text in English  
On the author:
Joice Biazoto is a Brazilian journalist who started her career in the United States. She has an M.A. in Journalism from Indiana University and an M.P.S. (Master in Peace and Security) from the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. She is interested in the role that journalism and media play in constructing more just and peaceful societies.

Address: Lessingstraße 6, 69115 Heidelberg, Deutschland.