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The Possibilities of the Journalism as Peacebuilding in the Periphery : the Colombian Case

The Possibilities of the Journalism as Peacebuilding in the Periphery : the Colombian Case

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ORDONEZ GARZÓN, Jairo Enrique, 2009. The Possibilities of the Journalism as Peacebuilding in the Periphery : the Colombian Case [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{OrdonezGarzon2009Possi-11126, title={The Possibilities of the Journalism as Peacebuilding in the Periphery : the Colombian Case}, year={2009}, author={Ordonez Garzón, Jairo Enrique}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

The Possibilities of the Journalism as Peacebuilding in the Periphery : the Colombian Case Die Möglichkeiten des Journalismus als Friedenskonsolidierung in der Peripherie: der kolumbianische Fall Ordonez Garzón, Jairo Enrique This dissertation analyzes the way the Colombian conflict is represented in Colombian and international qualitative independent opinion articles and their influence on readers' understanding of the conflict.<br />The Colombian government has carried on an extensive propaganda campaign to promote disinformation in order to disguise the aims of weakening the political opposition and politically and economically 'legalizing' a wide range of Mafia activities in Colombia. This shows the influence that the paramilitary mafia exercises in important areas of Colombian political and economic life. It is inherent in the high level of corruption caused by the 'Narcotraffic'. However, the US War on Drugs demands at least some results, which until now have been minimal with respect to the Narcotraffic, although very successful against the guerrillas, who are to some extent competitors of the paramilitaries in the drug traffic. Due to the War on Drugs, some drug lords have received jail sentences, although under very mild and lax conditions. This seems to be more a legalization than a punishment, at least in the case of the paramilitaries. After a short prison term, the drug dealer is "clean" again and is free to resume his illegal business. All this explains the disinformation promoted by the official propaganda and the lack of knowledge about the war on the part of the average Colombian.<br />Given this situation, it is essential for the public to be able to rely on independent media that can expose the lies of official propaganda and inform the public about the risks of accepting the illegal as the law, the so-called Pax Mafiosa (when an illegal party won the war and imposed its order). Understanding what is happening in Colombia can help people take a stand against violence and criminality as solutions. The current military strategy and the infiltration of the paramilitary mafia into the government represent both violence and criminality.<br />In Colombia there are independent journalists, but according to this research, they are victims of polarization and for this reason are promoting the war, although this is not their intention. Nevertheless, with the help of the international qualitative media it would be possible to reorient Colombian journalism towards a journalism pro peace. In all cases, I selected what I regard as opinion articles, because unlike news articles, opinion articles offer analyses and are very free to be critical.<br />In all, 66 subjects participated in an experimental study designed to measure the impact of the articles on readers. Of them, 94% were German citizens, and on average they were 24 years old. All the subjects had little knowledge of the Colombian conflict. Three groups were set up. The first had to read 22 Colombian opinion articles, the second 22 international articles, and the third both sets of articles. After reading the articles, all the subjects completed the same questionnaires.<br />According to the results of the experiment, obtained with quantitative and qualitative analysis, the Colombian articles belong to the 'journalism of attachment', and the international articles to 'journalism pro peace'.<br />However, the international articles alone do not fully explain the conflict, because they lack the rich details that the Colombian articles offer. For this reason, a first step toward countering the official propaganda would be to combine the two types of journalism to provide Colombians readers with pro-peace, detailed and enlightening information. With more qualitative information, Colombian readers will be able to understand, in a pro-peace style, the conflict and its causes, and to avoid polarization and one-sided attributions of guilt. Additionally, they will be better prepared to look for democratic solutions, such as electing mayors, legislators and a president who are more interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict than in the current military approach.<br />The effort to counter propaganda is only one step on the long and very complex path to peace, but because no one wants Colombia to completely fail as a state, informing and enlightening Colombian citizens about the conflict must be a priority. The research suggests that the Colombian journalism of attachment should be reoriented in a more productive way. The results of this experiment are encouraging, and perhaps if they were transformed into praxis, they would provide an opportunity for a country that desperately needs peace. Ordonez Garzón, Jairo Enrique eng application/pdf 2011-03-25T09:25:44Z 2009 2011-03-25T09:25:44Z terms-of-use

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