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Rotary Happenings: Rotarians learn about peace journalism

By ROTARY CLUB - | Feb 16, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Steven Youngblook, founding director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University, was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club

Today’s news is full of conflict, both locally and worldly. We are constantly bombarded with stories full of details about the conflicts, as well as pictures of the conflicts. All of which are spun to portray a certain feeling by the audience. At a recent meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, its speaker was Steve Youngblood, a leader on the subject of peace journalism.

Peace journalism is reporting that has balance, fairness and accuracy in the reporting. It is a manner of telling the story and a focus on the words that are used to convey that story. It uses objectivity to relay the story, leaving personal feelings behind, and specifically focuses on the language to communicate the story and not sensationalize it. It is not that peacemakers are only reporting on stories involving peace, but reporting in a way that does not make a bad situation worse. Peace journalism covers the issues with a view from all sides of the conflict, creating a comprehensive and credible news story.

Youngblood is the founding director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University in Missouri, where he is a communications and peace studies professor. He has organized and taught peace journalism seminars and workshops in 27 countries/territories. Youngblood is an honorary Rotarian in Parkville, Missouri, and the Rotary District 6040 Peacebuilding Ambassador.

He is a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar (Moldova 2001, Azerbaijan 2007). Youngblood also served as a U.S. State Department senior subject specialist in Ethiopia in 2018. He has been recognized for his contributions to world peace by the U.S. State Department, Rotary International and the World Forum for Peace, which has named him a Luxembourg Peace Prize laureate for 2020.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club holds a meeting on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, at 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel, and via Zoom. To attend in person, email Bill Harkey at William.Harkey@gmail.com; attendance is limited to 20 people. To take part via Zoom, call 239-472-7257. For more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.