The CPNN bulletin this month is in great contrast to the headlines of the commercial mass media.
CPNN tells us of progress in participatory democracy in the cities of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and the United States. Ordinary citizens are deciding directly what should be the priorities for the budget in their neighborhoods. And the results are to the benefit of all the citizens of their neighborhoods; not only the rich or a privileged ethnic group, not to the detriment of other neighborhoods or other cities. The culture of peace is advancing and it is not surprising that this began and continues to develop in Latin America, which as we have seen in the blogs of March 2014 and February 2013, is at the leading edge of progress.
The commercial media feed us a starkly different picture of war in Israel/Palestine and in the Ukraine, not to mention plenty of plane crashes to make us afraid to venture outside our doors.
‘The news of participatory budgeting is carried by the local media, since citizens need to be informed about when and where they should go to vote and what are the choices that they can make. But the major commercial media like Fox News, the New York Times and CNN do not include this on their front pages. In the words on top of the front page of the New York Times, this news is not “fit to print.” Instead, they consider that war and plane crashes are fit to print on the front page.
In fact, all of this is true. There are wars and plane crashes, and there is progress in culture of peace at the local level. But there are two kinds of media, one for the culture of war and another for the culture of peace, and so it seems like there are two realities.
There are two realities as it would seem that the world is in transition from one culture to another.
The major commercial media continue to serve the culture of war. As I have shown in the History of the Culture of War, over the course of the past few centuries the media have become its most important tool. Its coverage of war is designed to convince people that a culture of war is inevitable and/or necessary and that it should be supported by them. Its coverage of disastrous events like plane crashes is designed to convince people that they are helpless in the face of superior forces and there is no way for them to change the course of history.
Media like CPNN, on the other hand, can be a major tool for the culture of peace, letting people know that a culture of peace is possible, and how they can support it. It can give people confidence that they are the creators of history. As we said in the slogan for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace, “Peace is in our hands.”
At the present time, there are not enough media sources like CPNN. I have seen a few new internet sites that provide news on a regular basis about the culture of peace, such as the Good News Agency (in English and Italian) and the People’s World Peace Project (English only). I have not found culture of peace news sites in other languages, although CPNN carries some articles in French, Spanish and Portuguese. We need sites in Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Swahili, Urdu, Hindi, etc., as well as in local languages. And we need many more readers and reporters!
As the number of culture of peace news sites increases, and our readership increases, the commercial media will be forced to cover more culture of peace news in order to avoid losing their readership. If and when that time comes, we will be able to say that the tide is turning towards a culture of peace!