Monday, August 7, 2017

Call for Papers—The Peace Journalist magazine
The Peace Journalist magazine is seeking submissions for our October, 2017 edition. The Peace Journalist is a semi-annual publication (print and .pdf) of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. The Peace Journalist is dedicated to disseminating news and information for and about teachers, students, and practitioners of peace and conflict sensitive journalism.

Submissions are welcome from all. For the next edition of The Peace Journalist, we are seeking short submissions (300-550 words) detailing peace journalism projects, classes, proposals, academic works in the field, etc. We also welcome longer submissions (800-1200 words) about peace or conflict sensitive journalism projects or program.

Please submit your article via email to steve.youngblood@park.edu. Also send a 2-3 sentence biography of the author, as well as a small head and shoulders photo of the author. In addition, please submit photos and graphics that could accompany your article.s, as well as academic works from the field. The Peace Journalist will not run general articles about peace initiatives or projects, but rather seeks only articles with a strong peace media/peace journalism/conflict sensitive journalism angle.
The magazine submission deadline is September 4. However, given the limited space available, it’s advisable to submit your article early.

To see or download a .pdf of the April 2017 edition, go to:

Finally, the peace journalism community is still coming together to support one of our own—Uganda’s peace journalist extraordinaire Gloria Laker, who urgently needs cataract surgery to avoid
going blind. Please help if you can, or at least, share this link with those who might be able to support her:


Thank you.


Steven L. Youngblood, Editor, The Peace Journalist
Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism
Author, “Peace Journalism Principles and Practices”
Park University, Parkville, MO USA
www.park.edu/peacecenter
steve.youngblood@park.edu

Twitter: @PeaceJourn

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Reflections on 3 weeks in Ethiopia and Cameroon
Random observations as I reflect back on the previous three weeks in Ethiopia and Cameroon:

1. In both places, everyone was extremely eager to find out about and learn peace journalism. In fact, of the 30 or so countries where I’ve taught, I can say that nowhere have I found journalists, academics, and students more interested and curious about PJ. Lecture halls were full, and, in Ethiopia, 19,000 people even watched one of my presentations on Facebook Live.
Press conference, Kumba, Cameroon


2. In both places, the journalists are aware of the many obstacles they face, starting with heavy handed governments. Although I did encounter a few reporters who threw their hands up and basically said that they were powerless to change things, most others saw in peace journalism an opportunity to change the harsh situation for journalists, and to improve their profession.

3. Ethiopians and Cameroonians are keen to continue learning about peace journalism. In Ethiopia, my colleagues are working on a proposal for a long term (6 months or so) project that would entail teaching and developing PJ curriculum at one or more universities. In Cameroon, the community media network is putting together a plan for a peace and electoral journalism project to head off media-induced election related violence in 2018.

At the American Center in Addis Ababa.
My sponsors during the weeks were tremendous. I was on a State Dept. program in Ethiopia, and my colleagues at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa did a tremendous job setting up meetings, handling logistics, and so on. It’s always a pleasure to work with embassy personnel. 

In Cameroon, Alexander Vojvoda of the Cameroon Media Network nearly worked me to death meeting nearly everyone in Cameroon, but I would have died a happy man since the meetings, and workshops and lectures, were uniformly interesting and satisfying. Handling logistics in Cameroon can be challenging, yet Alex had the whole project running like a finely tuned Swiss clock. I look forward to our continuing collaborations.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

CBS radio, Buea
Audio report: Is PJ needed in Cameroon? Can it be practiced here?
As our in-house trainings wrapped up today, I got a chance to sit down the the organizer of the Cameroon Community Media Network and several journalists at CBS Radio in Buea about the potential for peace journalism here. My audio report can be found here.

Please also check out the great insights about this peace journalism project from Alex Vojvoda on the Cameroon Community Media Network website/blog.

I wrap up my two weeks in Cameroon with a two day workshop beginning tomorrow in Buea.
Training seminar, CBS, Buea

Monday, July 24, 2017

Discussion, radio show focus on PJ in Cameroon
LIMBE, CAMEROON-One of my favorite parts of our peace journalism project here are the “in house trainings” that we’ve been conducting over the last several days. Today, we visited Eden Radio and Newspaper and the Cameroon Association of Media Professionals and Advocate Newspaper in Limbe, on the Atlantic coast.

At Eden radio/newspaper, journalists talked about the need for short courses in peace journalism, as well as to question whether PJ is objective. My response is that PJ is objective since it doesn’t advocate for peace or for any given solution, but instead is about exploring and leading a discussion about various positions and options.

We also discussed how to put PJ into action in Cameroon. I told the journalists that since I’ve only been here a short time, that they were the ones to decide which of the principles of PJ are implementable here.

The discussion was followed by a 30-minute radio program on Radio Eden about PJ. Alexander Vojvoda of the Cameroon Media Network sat in on the interview, which featured a robust discussion about the nature of peace journalism, as well as its applicability in covering the 2018 elections and the refugee crisis in Northern Cameroon (Nigerians fleeing Boko Haram).


I look forward to more in house visits to radio stations in the coming days.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Journalists: Threat of election violence is real
BAMENDA, CAMEROON--Journalists at our one day peace journalism workshop today in Bamenda, in English speaking Cameroon, left me with one overriding concern: violence in the 2018 Cameroonian elections.
PJ seminar, Bamenda, Cameroon

When I asked about the possibility of election violence at my seminar a few days ago in French speaking Yaounde, the capital, the journalists were split three ways. One third predicted there would be no violence, one third said that there might be, and one third said there would be. Here, the journalists unanimously predicted that there would be violence during at least one of next year’s elections. (Separate elections on different dates are held for different offices). This is predictable given the ongoing crisis in Anglophone Cameroon which includes deadly protests, strikes by teachers and lawyers, and the incarceration of eight journalists. Emotions are running high here, understandably, so while their prediction was no surprise, it was unnerving nonetheless.


Bonus photo: One cool sight on the way to Bamenda!
It’s my hope that journalists can apply some of the lessons of peace journalism proactively to ease the tension and circumvent violence in the country’s Anglophone regions. If not, 2018 could be a long, and sad, year for Cameroon.