Students, journalists and nonviolence activists met at the launch of the book Nonviolent Journalism in Bogotá and talked with its authors about the importance of thinking about new forms of journalistic practice in Latin America, especially in the moment of transition that Colombia is experiencing.

The FES headquarters in Colombia welcomed the authors and those interested in learning about the proposal of nonviolent journalism presented by the International News Agency Pressenza and published in the Colombian edition together with FES Comunicación and Ediciones Desde Abajo.

The event, presented by Omar Rincón, representative of FES Comunicación and moderated by Iñaki Chaves, from Desde Abajo and contributor to the Colombian edition, allowed Pía Figueroa, Nelsy Lizarazo and Javier Tolcachier, three of the five authors of the book, to discuss its different aspects and some of the most relevant pedagogical proposals.

A book for the public

“Nonviolent Journalism: a humanising approach to communication” is both a manual that can be read by anyone and implemented in faculties of social communication and journalism, as it contributes to the deconstruction and subsequent construction of a style of journalism that departs from the traditional violent scheme, to look for a way of communicating at the grassroots in which the human being is valued.

The book is being presented in a time when Colombia is betting on peace, and for this reason, Nelsy Lizarazo affirmed that “the book is a valuable contribution to the possibility of strengthening a strong line of journalism that allows the recommendations of the Truth Commission to become a reality and for the country to achieve the peace desired by all.”

For his part, Javier Tolcachier spoke of the need to create new narratives that give a different look at reality and do not shy away from investigating and writing about issues that are outside the news agenda of the traditional media and which are of great relevance to the population.

Nonviolent journalism beyond the label

Journalism has been subject to various classifications to indicate the approach taken to the reporting of events and audiovisual content, as well as the treatment of sources. However, the five authors go beyond categorisation and seek to ensure that journalism transcends digital barriers to reach every reader.

In this way, those who access the material may have another point of view on some assertions such as the inherent violence in human beings as a form of defence or survival; although this type of violence only deepens social rifts, generating greater violence and victimisation in society.

Finally, Pía Figueroa reported that, in addition to the different editions of the book, “the first virtual course on nonviolent journalism in English is underway with students from several countries.” Thus, Pressenza hopes to be able to replicate this experience in other languages.

Figueroa announced that this year the English version of the book will be released and there are plans to translate the text into German, Portuguese, Greek, Italian and, soon, French, and possibly also in Mandarin.