conflict & communication online, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2016
ISSN 1618-0747




Saumava Mitra
Display-through-foregrounding by photojournalists as self-reflexivity in photojournalism: Two case studies of accidental peace photojournalism

This article explores media self-reflexivity as understood within Peace Journalism (PJ) in the case of photojournalists and photojournalism. Carrying forward the discussion started by Allan (2011) for research into ‘peace photography’ to be extended to ‘tacit, unspoken rules’ underlying photojournalistic images, the article shows, through two examples of mainstream news images, how photojournalists can and may break from diktats of ‘news values’ to advertently or inadvertently critique the myths of the very practice they function within. Such self-reflexive, synecdochic images which display media’s own role in covering conflict are examples from which PJ can take lessons for a new visual grammar where visual peace journalism is understood to not only ‘expose the untruths’ behind propaganda but also expose the truths behind how such propaganda is reified by the media.


  englischer Volltext  

The author:
Saumava Mitra’s research interest as a PhD candidate is in building nuanced understandings of the role visuals play in conflict and crises news with a particular focus on Peace Journalism. His research publications so far have explored the discursive context of visuals and their relationship to progressive and positive depiction of war-torn societies as well as the overarching typology of media initiatives which aim for peace in post-conflict societies. Before his current doctoral position, he was an independent researcher and lecturer at the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica where he is still involved as Master’s thesis supervisor and external examiner. He has also worked as a journalist and communication consultant in India, Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya for organizations like Associated Press, Bloomberg and Radio Netherlands. He holds an Erasmus Mundus MA in Journalism with a specialization in conflict reporting jointly from Aarhus University, Denmark and Swansea University, UK.

Address: Saumava Mitra, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, North Campus Building, Room 240, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, N6A 5B7