Issue August 2013; 6 (2)

mwc coverEDITORIAL

Sarah Maltby, Ben O’Loughlin, Barry Richards, and Philip Seib

ARTICLES

Lisa Silvestri
Surprise homecomings and vicarious sacrifices

The recent popularity of ‘surprise military homecomings’ on YouTube offers an opportunity to revisit debates about the role of online spectatorship in performances of citizenship, particularly during times of war. This article argues that these videos position spectatorship as a civic duty and allow for a mediated form of affective participation, which the author refers to as vicarious sacrifice.

 

Nenad Golčevski, Johannes von Engelhardt, and Hajo G Boomgaarden
Facing the past: Media framing of war crimes in post-conflict Serbia

Although it is generally acknowledged that national elites and the mass media play an important role in the way that societies come to terms with a legacy of war crimes, there is little empirical knowledge about whether and how the mass media actually do contribute to a process of ‘facing the past’. Based on the case of Serbia, this study examines press media coverage of war crimes and war crime judiciary during the country’s recent post-war period. Adopting a novel approach to the conceptualization and measurement of media frames, the article compares the reporting of war crimes issues in four Serbian newspapers during the period from 2004 to 2006. Five frames were identified: an injustice frame, a denial frame, a factual frame, a benefits frame, and a rejection frame. In conclusion, the study reveals a discourse that is both ‘perpetrator centered’ and – particularly for the nationalistic press – ethnically biased.

 

Victoria Davis
Reading anonymity: Narrative difference and framework selection in the claiming of terrorist violence

Despite the supposed importance of media coverage in achieving terrorist objectives, data indicate that terrorist groups increasingly commit unclaimed acts of violence. This article hopes to draw connections between the constitutive role of the press in framing attack narratives and the counterintuitive tendency for terrorists to refrain from claiming responsibility for violence. Using a comparative approach to assess representations from 13 newspapers and wire services, this article examines the presumption of difference and causal linkage between the claimed/unclaimed status of al Qaeda/al Qaeda affiliate attacks and the transmission of salient narrative elements to the target audience. Findings suggest variation in the narrative framework of both attack styles and identify this disparity as a potential factor influencing terrorists’ declining tendency to claim credit for violence.

 

Cameron Riopelle and Parthiban Muniandy
Drones, maps and crescents: CBS News’ visual construction of the Middle East

Over the last two years, the authors have noticed in CBS World News online an increased reliance on graphics inset into news articles in place of photojournalism, particularly in articles about Middle Eastern conflicts. What are the emergent patterns of this change? By analyzing the visual symbolism of these graphics, they discuss a number of distinct patterns, which they interpret by examining the following aspects: disconnections in the article between the visual and written text; the use of an image bank in composing these images; the de-contextualization of maps as out of place; the conflation of Islam and the Middle East through the juxtaposition of Islamic symbols with those of current military conflicts; the prevalence and influence of Arab exceptionalism; and finally the representation of Islam as monolithic.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Adi Kuntsman
Private pictures: Soldiers’ inside view of war

Nicholas Gilewicz
Networked: A contemporary history of news in transition

Holger Pötzsch
Picturing Afghanistan: The photography of foreign conflict

Omar Al-Ghazzi
Arab media: Globalization and emerging media industries

Monisa Qadri
Writing war: The best contemporary journalism about warfare and conflict from around the World

Rosemary Avance
Media, culture, and society: An introduction

Yeny Serrano
Military media management: Negotiating the ‘Front’ line in mediatized war

Benjamin Schuetze
Democracy’s arsenal – Creating a twenty-first-century defense industry

 

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