Working Practices Of Local Journalists Covering Internal Conflict In Swat, Pakistan (From 2006 To 2012)
Keywords:Local journalism, Internal Conflict, Field theory, Habitus, Working Practices
This paper examines local journalists’ practices and routines in a state of war in the Swat district of Pakistan. In the backdrop of the U.S.-led “war on terror,” Pakistan launched lingering ‘counter-terror operations’ targeting a militant network called the Taliban. Based on in-depth interviews with journalists in Swat and its surrounding troubled districts, this research investigates the challenges local journalists went through while reporting death and destruction. It investigates how local journalists dealt with the trauma of visceral violence in their local, national, and international media coverage. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s Field Theory, especially its concepts of ‘capital’, ‘habitus’, and ‘doxa’, this research situates journalists and their routines at the center of troubled social life without distinguishing between the professional world and the newsroom from the community and its challenges. The paper argues that these journalists possess enough cultural and social capital; however, reporting was a challenging task as these journalists compromised journalistic principles of neutrality, objectivity, and professionalism.