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Brown bag seminar | Reading Twitter in the newsroom: Web 2.0 and traditional-media reporting of conflicts

The excessive use of social media have changed the way we consume and receive news on conflicts. Sophie Hatte, Assistant Professor at ENS de Lyon, explores how online posts by citizen journalists — first-hand witnesses of conflict events — change the extent, tonality, and content of traditional-media reporting of conflicts. Join the SITE brown bag seminar on Tuesday 10 May 12:00 CEST to learn more.

Reading Twitter in the newsroom: Web 2.0 and traditional-media reporting of conflicts

Authors: Sophie HatteEtienne MadinierEkaterina Zhuravskaya

Abstract

User-generated online content changes traditional-media news on conflicts. Online posts by citizen journalists — first-hand witnesses of conflict events — change the extent, tonality, and content of traditional-media reporting of conflicts. Using an exogenous and excludable variation in online posts in Israel and Palestine, driven by internet outages as a result of lightning strikes and technical failures, we show that, when the internet in the conflict zone is not muted by outages, conflict news stories on US TV are more numerous and longer. Text analyses reveal that these stories have higher emotional intensity and focus more on the suffering of civilians and less on the role of US foreign policy or elections. They also cite social media sources more. The results suggest that social-media-driven democratization of the conflict news, i.e., the shift of focus from information provided by war gatekeepers to information from ordinary people, helps the narrative on the side of the conflict that has more civilian casualties.

About the speaker

Sophie Hatte is an Assistant Professor at ENS de Lyon.

Sophie Hatte is an Assistant Professor at ENS de Lyon. She is also one of the co-organizers of the "one-day workshop" series for front-line research in public and political economy at ENS de Lyon.

Her research interests are in political economy, development, and public economics.

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Interested in joining the SITE brown bag seminar?

The link to the seminar will be distributed by invitation only. If you are interested to attend the seminar – please contact site@hhs.se. Follow the instructions below:

  • Type the subject box with “Brown bag seminar *INSERT SEMINAR TITLE*”
  • Indicate your affiliation and field of interest.

For registered applicants, a Zoom link will be provided prior to the event via email with further instructions.

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