Lioba Suchenwirth

Oligarchy reloaded and pirate media: The state of peace journalism in Guatemala

This paper presents a case study of the state of peace journalism (PJ) in Guatemala, based on the critical assumption that analysts need to broaden the definition of PJ to encompass current local level and alternative media initiatives. It investigates current PJ in Guatemala through interviews with those who analyse the media (media experts), produce the media (journalists and volunteers), and those whose representation in the media is essential for the peace process (indigenous groups). While profound racism and a violent environment hamper peace journalistic work for both mainstream and alternative outlets, the paper argues that the opening for media for the people and by the people in Guatemala is to be found within alternative channels rather than commercial outlets.

Keywords: peace journalism theory and practice, Guatemala, alternative media


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Note on the contributor

Lioba Suchenwirth is writing her PhD at Lincoln University's School of Journalism, focusing on peace journalism projects in post-conflict societies. She holds an M.Phil in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Oslo and has been working as a freelance journalist from Central America and Mexico since 2005.