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Navigating the Complexities of Media Roles in Conflict: The INFOCORE Approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christoph Meyer, Marie-Soleil Frère, Christian Baden

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalMedia, War & Conflict
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date11 Aug 2017
DOIs
Accepted/In press30 May 2017
E-pub ahead of print11 Aug 2017
Published1 Mar 2018

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Abstract

The article draws on the first findings of the INFOCORE project to better
understand the ways in which different types of media matter to the
emergence, escalation or conversely, the pacification and prevention of
violence. It makes the case for combining an interactionalist approach of
media influence, which is centred on the effects of evidential claims,
frames and agendas made by various actors over time, with greater
sensitivity for the factors that make conflict cases so different. We argued
that the specific role played by the media depends, chiefly, a) on the ways
in which it transforms conflict actors’ claims, interpretations and
prescriptions into media content and b) their ability to amplify these
contents and endow them with reach, visibility and consonance. We found
significant variation in media roles across six conflict cases and suggest
that they are best explained by: four interlocking conditioning factors: (i)
the the degree to which the media landscape is diverse and free, or
conversely, controlled and instrumentalised by conflict parties; (ii) societal
attitudes to and uses of different media by audiences; (iii) different
degrees of conflict intensity and dynamics between the conflict parties; (iv)
the degree and nature of the involvement of regional and international
actors. We argue that de-escalatory media influence will be most effective
over the longer term, in settings of low intensity conflict and when tailored
carefully to local conditions.

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