William L. Ury once asked: "What if fighting, violence, and war were preventable—and we simply didn’t know it? What if we didn’t know it because we had never fully tried to prevent them? What if we had never really tried because we had never really believed prevention to be possible?"

Most people understandably steer clear of violent conflict, only reading about it in their morning newspaper or online, or watching it on the evening news from the safety of their homes. Others, however, choose work that takes them directly into harm’s way. Soldiers, of course, are in a profession that can send them to the epicenter of war. Many journalists specialize in the reporting of war, and this takes them, too, to places where their lives are at risk. A third group, conflict management professionals, also seeks out conflict zones, working with people to help prevent violence and develop and implement strategies for dealing with differences and living in peace.

This Essay studies the work of two of these groups, the journalists and the conflict management professionals, who operate in the demanding domain of violent conflict. It examines the commonalities and differences of the roles each plays and offers suggestions for further study and connection. The comments and examples are drawn primarily from Western media, but the recommendation that journalists and conflict management professionals learn from each other could apply globally.

Included in

Law Commons