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The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts


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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Introduction: Three Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts


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Three Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts


Media studies have a long tradition of considering how media influence the representation and public perception of conflicts (e.g., Allan & Zelizer, 2004; Carruthers, 2000; Thussu & Freedman, 2003). Especially in the case of military and political conflicts, the presence of propaganda and bias in the media has been a major field of enquiry. Such studies continue to provide valuable insights, but a growing awareness has emerged within media studies that the media’s discursive framing of conflicts is only one of several important ways in which media have come to influence conflicts in contemporary society. Aside from reporting on preexisting conflicts, the media increasingly play both performative and constitutive roles (Cottle, 2006a, p. 9) for the development of conflicts in contemporary society. In this book, we build upon these insights and seek to theoretically and empirically develop the perspective of ‘mediatized conflicts’. Conflicts are not only ‘mediated’ through various forms of mass media and social network media; they have also become ‘mediatized’ owing to the general process of mediatization in contemporary societies. Accordingly, we will pursue the argument that the media may add a series of dynamics to conflicts, namely, amplification, framing and performative agency, and co-structuring.

To theorise and analyse the various ways in which mediatization interacts with and influences conflicts, this book takes a deliberatively broad...

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