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Mobile and Ubiquitous Media

Critical and International Perspectives


Edited By Michael S. Daubs and Vincent R. Manzerolle

What does the phrase "ubiquitous media" actually mean? Individual definitions are just as varied and ubiquitous as the media to which they refer. As a result, there is to date no large-scale theoretical framework through which we can understand the term. The goal of this volume is to provide a diverse set of critical, theoretical, and international approaches useful to those looking for a more diverse and nuanced understanding of what ubiquitous media means analytically.

In contrast to other existing texts on mobile media, these contributions on mobile media are contextualised within a larger discussion on the nature and history of ubiquitous media. Other sections of this edited volume are dedicated to historical perspectives on ubiquitous media, ubiquitous media and visual culture, the role of ubiquitous media in surveillance, the political economy of ubiquitous media, and the way a ubiquitous media environment affects communities, spaces, and places throughout the world.

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Chapter Two: The Ubiquitous Media War (Tanner Mirrlees)


chapter two

The Ubiquitous Media War

Tanner Mirrlees

Introduction: Media War in a Ubiquitous Media Age

From the First World War to the Global War on Terror of the present, the US Department of Defense (DOD) has tried to influence the way the media industries frame the policy, personnel, practices and events surrounding the wars it fights, so as to effectively command and control how war is perceived and responded to by citizens. With great efficacy, the DOD has combined persuasion and censorship to shape the war-time conduct of media firms and the content of their products and exerted tremendous influence upon public opinion (Andersen 2006; Carruthers 2011; Freedman and Thussu 2012; Knightley 1975; Taylor 1997, 2008). All too often, newspapers, advertisers, radio and TV news broadcasters, film studios, and even video game companies have aligned with DOD campaigns aimed at “manufacturing consent” to war (Boggs and Pollard 2007; Freedman and Thussu 2012; Martin and Steuter 2010; Stahl 2010). The DOD does not own or control the market-embedded media industries, but media firms have nonetheless served the DOD well by cooperating, collaborating and synergizing with the DOD’s public affairs agencies.

The goal of this chapter is to explore media war dynamics in an age of ubiquitous, interactive, and many-to-many digital networks and platforms. By attending to the dialectics of change and continuity in the recent history of media war and exploring how the dynamics of media war today are quite...

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