JOURNALISTS in Fiji need to rise up and decide for themselves what type of journalists they are going to be.
This was the view of permanent secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns in response to questions from The Fiji Times on whether she felt peace journalism was a viable option for local journalists.
The idea of peace journalism as opposed to conflict journalism was presented to Ms Smith-Johns and other attendees at the two-day Media and Democracy Conference at the University of the South Pacific.
It is defined by Lynch and McGoldrick (2005) as "when editors and reporters make choices of what stories to report and how to report them that create opportunities for society at large to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict".
Mrs Smith-Johns said while peace journalism was a viable option, it was something journalists needed to decide for themselves.
"Local journalists need to take ownership and define who they really are and what type of journalists they want to be instead of letting other people tell them who they are," she said.
"It should really be up to journalists to make that decision on what types of journalists they are going to be," she added.
Director of the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology Prof David Robie said his affinity with peace journalism stemmed from his experiences as a journalist.
"As an educator, it is my role to look into the varieties and of journalism and my sympathies of peace journalism come from my experience in reporting conflict," he said.