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Response to :Responsible reporting during religious wars"

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Anonymous (not verified)
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Response to :Responsible reporting during religious wars"

In the article by A'an Suryana entitled, "Responsible reporting during religious wars" it makes me question the role of media and what the media should when reporting conflicts between religious groups causes more civil unrest.

This article foucesses on a situation in Indonesia. The article explains tha initially under the New Order Government was not allowed to report the truth, because there would be fighting from different religious groups on the various islands. The ideal of "national stability" came first and foremost and everything was done to ensure that the media did not threaten the harmony of Indonesia.

When the New Order ended the media was allowed to report on many subjects including specific battles between religious groups. What's happened because of these reports is that different news reporters have taken sides and are fueling the conflicts.

The journalists and editors are beginning to work together to try to create news that discusses the wrongdoings of the individual and not focus on the merely the religious group.

But I think that A'an Suryana that justice can come to pass in the news agencies are reporting the news accurately as if not to add fuel to the fire is premature.

Suryana states the following: "However, unlike those early years of press freedom, th journalist should now no longer report the conflicts in the same way. The journalists and editors have to help promote peace in the area prone to conflicts. "
And then Suryana states his solution for the problem, "While disclosing the names of the protagonists in the conflict, we should also emphasize a sense of justice. Journalists should push police personnel and the judiciary to thoroughly investigate the conflict and punish the perpetrators, regardless of religion." I think this is a very basic ideology that places a different type of function on the journalist. I think this is a very unrealistic take on how the problem of reporting that creates civil unrest can be diminished.

The final part of the article hit me as being false. Suryana states, "If justice is done, it can be assured that there will not be religious conflicts in the country." I think that Suryana is trying to simplify his basic beliefs that justice--concerning those of a legal system can resolve all the other religious injustices within the country. I don't know if I fully believe this. I think there needs to be infrastructures created based on the concerns of the population and political leaders of the country who want to put an end to the bloody religious conflicts. It is overwhelming to think that mere journalist hold the notion of justice in their hands.

It seems as if this problem of religious discontent is deeply imbedded into the structure of a society and those attitudes and beliefs need to be questioned if they are producing hatred toward others.

http:www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=21463[Edit by="ldriscoll on Mar 16, 5:36:28 PM"][/Edit]

Anonymous (not verified)
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Message from sperez

Responsible reporting about religious issues should also extend to our own government's underplaying the religious repression that exists in China. The L.A Times reported that Secretary of State Rice's recent trip to China included only cursory mention of China's terrible record in regard to both civil and religious rights. Apparently the Bush administration's outrage at a nation's mistreatment of its people depends on whether that nation's government can help produce economic benefits to the U.S. I doubt that we will see any military or even moral crusades directed at China from the Bush administration any time soon. [Edit by="sperez on Mar 22, 1:09:16 PM"][/Edit]

Anonymous (not verified)
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just a thought related to the topic of religious restriction/persecution.
i commonly study atheist v. religious arguments and it turns out that a major point repetitively used by the religious community is the 'representation' of nonreligious states. for instance, Communist nations like China are commonly used as an example by religion defenders, where the gvoernment repressed/represses religious expression. most of the time they claim that such institutions are "bulwarks of atheism", since they all order that "god be dead" in the state. atheists would of course counter that it is ridiculous to say communism is the 'ultimate form of atheism', and that religious people are having a double standard in blaming atheists for everything associated with 'godlessness' such as communism.
just a thought ^^

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Message from tbarbarossa

I think the role of the journalist should be completely unbiased. Personal values do not belong in the reporting of events in the world. The truth, which is never easy to ascertain, is at stake. In fact, my sister and I were discussing the nature of television media just last night. In the days of Vietnam, we saw story after story reported daily on network TV which showed the brutal truth --- remember The Girl in the Picture: the Story of Kim Phuc? How could a generation have stopped that war without having access to that truth and other truths? Certainly, there was a campaign to suppress reality at that time. Everyone watched network news; remember Walter? One might argue that the photo of the "Girl in the Picture" was prejudicial; of course, it was, but it was the gritty, horrible truth, it happened. Nowadays, all our television media is owned by huge monopolies who have vested interests in what is transmitted to the public. There is a conflict of interest with businesses that deal directly with the current war in Iraq. In no way has reporting been truthful or unbiased in the mainstream media. The American public loses because without the whole, true story, life continues as usual without involvement (except when it touches us personally), and of course, a sleeping nation, especially a powerful one, can cause disaster. I suggest NPR (not perfect, perhaps), Pacifica news, and there is another radio free show on AM radio, I think. I guess these thoughts are on my mind because I firmly believe that it is not the job of a journalist to "promote" anything.

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Message from selwood

The final part of the article hit me as being false. Suryana states, "If justice is done, it can be assured that there will not be religious conflicts in the country."

I quite agree. Justice will probably always look different depending upon which side of a conflict someone sits. I friend of mine, whose husband is Iranian, feels sympathy for the Palestinian cause. She told me that it is ridiculous that people can't understand why a Palestinian girl would make herself into a human bomb and blow up herself and other people up after her own family has been murdered. But I don't think people are questioning why. People are desperately hoping that this horrible violence will end. And when these situations are resolved, to what ever extent they ever can be, all sides concerned will probably be left feeling like they lost.