Issue Dec 2012; 5 (3)

mwc coverARTICLES

Florian Otto and Christoph O Meyer
Missing the story? Changes in foreign news reporting and their implications for conflict prevention

One consequence of the eroding business model of quality newspapers in Western countries is the reduction in the number of permanent correspondents and regional bureaus. It has been argued that the importance of foreign correspondents has been overstated and that news agencies, social networks and citizen-journalism can fill the gap. In contrast, the authors argue that the loss of presence in foreign countries has harmed the news media’s ability to uncover evolving crises and provide in-depth and reliable background reporting. This is particularly problematic for conflict prevention because decision-makers use quality news media alongside intelligence reports for identifying and prioritizing threats. Cost-considerations stand in the way of re-opening foreign bureaus, but quality news providers need to become more inventive in how they can preserve the early warning function of quality news coverage. One way forward is to cultivate links with country and area specialists from academia, NGOs and the non-profit media.

 

Katherine Lacasse and Larissa Forster
The war next door: Peace journalism in US local and distant newspapers’ coverage of Mexico

One consequence of the eroding business model of quality newspapers in Western countries is the reduction in the number of permanent correspondents and regional bureaus. It has been argued that the importance of foreign correspondents has been overstated and that news agencies, social networks and citizen-journalism can fill the gap. In contrast, the authors argue that the loss of presence in foreign countries has harmed the news media’s ability to uncover evolving crises and provide in-depth and reliable background reporting. This is particularly problematic for conflict prevention because decision-makers use quality news media alongside intelligence reports for identifying and prioritizing threats. Cost-considerations stand in the way of re-opening foreign bureaus, but quality news providers need to become more inventive in how they can preserve the early warning function of quality news coverage. One way forward is to cultivate links with country and area specialists from academia, NGOs and the non-profit media.

 

Rekha Sharma
News on the rocks: Exploring the agenda-setting effects of Blood Diamond in print and broadcast news 

This article explores cinematic and journalistic treatments of issues, focusing on the movie Blood Diamond (2006, dir. Edward Zwick) and news coverage of conflict diamonds. First, the author examines Hollywood’s impact on news, highlighting central ideas of agenda-setting theory and framing as well as the potential for synergistic influences on news due to concentration of media ownership. Second, she discusses the themes and narrative techniques of Blood Diamond, as well as its messages about the diamond trade, American consumerism, and journalistic norms and responsibilities. Third, she assesses print and broadcast news regarding conflict diamonds in the wake of the movie’s release. Finally, she suggests areas for research into linkages between film and news as industries and forms of mass communication.

 

Sarah Maltby
The mediatization of the military

Through an examination of military media management strategies, this article argues that the military are increasingly ‘mediatized’ where the media act as both a rationale and interface for communication within the military, and between the military and their audiences. Informed by ethnographic work with the British military, it is argued that military media management strategies are increasingly organised to appeal to, reassure and elicit support from multiple audiences – particularly the state and the military’s own internal personnel. In an attempt to move beyond conceptualisation of military media management as merely state propaganda, the author explores the degree to which the military, as a relatively autonomous institution, attempts to harness the power of media influence – whilst also protecting against it – in a manner that may be transforming the media–polity–military relationship and is reflective of the processes of mediatization.

 

Peter Mantello
Playing discreet war in the US: Negotiating subjecthood and sovereignty through Special Forces video games

This article examines the War on Terror and US response strategies of discreet war through the lens of the Special Forces video game as a site of contestation between the real and the imaginary world, the nation-state and market-state, the West and the Rest. While mainstream films and news media increasingly pay homage to discreet war, the author argues that the Special Forces shooter goes a step further, by providing a participatory middle ground that seeks to naturalize and legitimize covert force solutions as acceptable instruments of statecraft. Thus, the intention of this article is to analyze the various ways in which the aesthetics and politics of the Special Forces shooter organizes, structures, and legitimates frameworks of subjecthood and sovereignty.

Book Reviews

Barry Richards
Book Review: Blood that Cries Out from the Earth. The Psychology of Religious Terrorism

Giuliana Tiripelli
Book Review: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Media: Producing Shared Memory and National Identity in the Global Television Era

Mark Finney
Book Review: Battles to Bridges: U.S. Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11

Pieter Maeseele
Book Review: Media & Environment: Conflict, Politics and the News

Wil McCarthy
Book Review: Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies

Media, War & Conflict December 2012 5: 292-294,doi:10.1177/1750635212461225d

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