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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict


Mervi Pantti

How are media and communications transforming armed conflicts? How are conflicts made visible in the media in different national and transnational settings? How does the media serve as a means by which
various actors manage and communicate conflict?

These are some of the questions addressed in this book. Using a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, contributors discuss the complex, multi-level Ukraine conflict as it is imagined and enacted in and through various media. Covering a wide range of media forms and content, including television news, newspapers, PR campaigns, and social media content, they offer new, empirically grounded insight into the ways in which traditional mass media and new media forms are involved in narrating and shaping conflict.

This book is suitable for students of conflict and media courses in journalism, media and communication, politics, security, and Russian and Eastern European studies.

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Chapter Three: Citizens’ Right to Look: Repurposing Amateur Images in the Ukraine Conflict


Citizens’ Right TO Look

Repurposing Amateur Images in the Ukraine Conflict


A wave of scholarship has discussed the importance of amateur images in relation to news media representations of conflict, drawing on analyses of image use practices connected to the crises in Burma in 2007 (Andersen, 2015a) and Iran in 2009 (Andersen, 2012; Mortensen, 2011; Semati & Brookey, 2014), as well as the Arab Spring (Chouliaraki, 2013a). Amateur images have been shown to fundamentally alter the reporting of conflict—reconfiguring sourcing practices (Andersen, 2012; Kristensen & Mortensen, 2013; Pantti & Andén-Papadopoulos, 2011), editorial roles and standards, journalistic ideologies (Andén-Papadopoulos & Pantti, 2013), as well of the representation of selves and others (Chouliaraki, 2013b). Citizens’ imaging practices, and the ways in which they affect news practices, have also been shown to be important not only to media culture and the media industry but also to the conduct of war and conflict (e.g., Andersen, 2013; Esser, 2009; Seib, 2003). In this chapter I continue the trajectory of these strands of inquiry by looking into how citizen-produced images are mobilised as resources not only by news media but also by governmental and nongovernmental actors using quotidian visual media to take part in the conduct of a conflict.

Media organisations were, perhaps naturally, among the first to notice and exploit how new digital visual media encouraged the emergence of citizen image producers whose images—often from dangerous conflict zones—were freely...

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