As Pressenza readers will know by now, 2 years ago we decided to systematise our style of journalism, explaining the ideologial foundations of our work and the principles and tools that guide our original content and the selection of articles we republish from our extensive network of media partners. The result of this work was the book Nonviolent Journalism: A humanist approach to communication. In this wonderful process, we reached out to Jan Oberg, co-founder of The Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research – an independent think tank, a global network that aims to bring about peace by peaceful means, for a prologue. Jan’s important contribution clearly explains the negative tendencies present in mainstream media providing perfect context for the rest of the book. We publish below, the book review published on TFF. Thank you, Jan!


Is there such a thing: Nonviolent journalism? Of course, there is. It’s only that we live in a perverted militarist culture and era in which nobody questions the concept of war reporting – rampant everywhere – but in which most people would probably respond to “nonviolent journalism” with a: What?

Those of us in the profession of peace have long known and cherished the theory and practice of peace journalism pioneered by TFF Associates like Johan Galtung, Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick. I don’t think it is a good term in the specific sense that journalists should never promote this or that value but report as honestly and multi-faceted what they see and hear. But its specific quality, in my view, is that peace journalism is about reporting the conflicts that violence and wars are rooted in – and not only the violence that most media wallow in today (and implicitly legitimate).

It also reports on those who work against war and not only those who promote and conduct war – and searches among the parties for answers to questions like: How can the violence stop and what must be done to move to a more peaceful – nonviolent – future and heal the hurt and harm?

When did you last see a media report – daily, journal, radio or television report – which did that as well as reporting the violence and all the military details?

The very least we should reasonably expect of our media is that they don’t directly promote warfare – by their choice and priorities of stories, warzones, perspectives, footage, reliance on certain experts from military establishments etc. But that is, tragically, exactly what the Western mainstream media (MSM) do 24/7.

If you want to explore these issues as presented by professionals around the globe – both conceptual and as practical manual with fine examples – I warmly recommend a book just published by the alternative international press agency Pressenza, “Nonviolent Journalism. A Humanist Approach to Communication.” You may order it here from Barnes & Noble.

Pressenza presents its book here, and here you’ll find two enlightening discussions with one of the editing nonviolent journalists, Tony Robinson – whom we have recently featured here at The Transnational. One would wish that other news agencies spent time and resources on serious reflecting on what they do and its consequences…

I also recommend that you acquaint yourself with Pressenza – the most high-quality and urgently important global news agency that you have probably never heard about. All about it here – where you may also subscribe to its newsletter – which I have done for years and look forward to every day.

There are alternatives to the intellectually decaying mainstream media and their embedded militarism. Indeed, there are only alternatives. Like Pressenza.

I am honoured to have been asked to write the book’s Prologue – “Selected mainstream media trends over the last 50 years. And how the media became the largest single obstacle to an understanding of our complex world.”

Thank you for asking me and for providing such fine cooperation and partnership, dear Tony and Pressenza!

The original article can be found here