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The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts

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Edited By Mikkel Fugl Eskjær, Stig Hjarvard and Mette Mortensen

This book engages with the mediatized dynamics of political, military and cultural conflicts. In today’s global and converging media environment, the interrelationship between media and conflict has been altered and intensified. No longer limited to the realms of journalism and political communication, various forms of new media have allowed other social actors to communicate and act through media networks. Thus, the media not only play an important role by reporting conflicts; they have also become co-constitutive of the ways conflicts develop and spread.
The first part of the book, Transnational Networks, addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by transnational media to actors seeking to engage in and manage conflicts through new media platforms. The second part, Mobilising the Personal: Crossing Public and Private Boundaries, concerns the ways in which media framings of conflicts often revolve around personal aspects of public figures. The third part, Military, War, and Media, engages with a classic theme of media studies – the power relationship between media, state, and military – but in light of the mediatized condition of modern warfare, in which the media have become an integrated part of military strategies.
The book develops new theoretical arguments and a series of empirical studies that are essential reading for students and scholars interested in the complex roles of media in contemporary conflicts.
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Conclusion: The Mediatization of Conflicts: Prospects and Challenges

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Conclusion

The Mediatization of Conflicts: Prospects and Challenges

METTE MORTENSEN, MIKKEL FUGL ESKJÆR, AND STIG HJARVARD



This book has sought to shed light on the diversity and interplay of mediatized dynamics in different types of conflicts, including armed, political, social, ethnic, cultural, and environmental conflicts, ranging from political contestation to physical confrontation. As highlighted in the introduction, conflicts may be regarded as socially functional or dysfunctional, depending on their contexts, perspectives, and normative deliberations (Putnam, 2013). Research on mediatized conflicts has typically focused on armed military conflicts arising from geopolitical disputes over division of power and territory (Cottle, 2006; Horten, 2011; Maltby, 2012; Mortensen, 2015). The broad notion of conflict in this book has permitted studies of both extremely disruptive conflicts such as war and other types of conflicts, which may be considered a feature of democratic societies such as political scandals, fierce online debates, campaigns to support asylum seekers, and controversies over the legacy of public figures.

Conflicts are inevitable within all types of social organisations. This is perhaps especially the case in open and democratic societies, which protect the right to contest social conditions, moral values, and political opinions. Only autocratic regimes pretend not to be conflict ridden, an illusion typically obtained through censorship, suppression, and other coercive means. Thus, when the news media in particular and the media industry in general pay great attention to conflict, this is not...

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