The way a journalist covers war is very crucial even to the outcome of the war. Question is, what if a journalist is faced with the dilemma of being patriotic versus being objective in news coverage about war?
Well, at the end of the day, one of the main goals of journalists is to serve their country by providing them with up-to-date news that is relevant to them. On the other hand, if a country is facing war with another country, and it is not clear who started the fight and in whose territory it happened in, is that the time for journalists to wave their country’s flag and create patriotic hash tag trends?
OK, the people need to be empowered. The last thing a journalist wants (or should want)is to add to public fear or uncertainty. However, I believe that journalists should still stick to their role of being objective, stating the truth and minimizing harm. That means propaganda is totally out of the question. Not to forget that part of the journalist’s audience may be from the opposing country…
So what to do?
First of all, a journalist would need to consider safety including the safety of those innocent citizens from the country they are fighting. So the last thing one wants to bring out is hatred when covering news as it may lead to violence where locals are attacking innocent citizens from the opposing country.
On the other hand, people need hope. In fact they need to be empowered as I mentioned earlier. Therefore, the element of patriotism still plays a role. However, I do not think that showing the country’s flag when covering the news should be the way to go, especially if there is no confirmation on who started the war. On the other hand, a journalist can show patriotism by presenting on how citizens are helping out the victims of the war. On top of that, journalists could create an agenda of peace by setting trends and hash tags such as #WeStandForPeace or showing how citizens are helping out people from the opposing country. Maybe patriotism and objectivity could work out together!
You can get more information about war and patriotism here.
Tell me what you think?