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Title: Curated conflicts : media witnessing and representation in curated news coverage of the Syria conflict
Author: Steel, Holly Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 0328
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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This research will address the proliferation of witnessing social media and the consequent emergence of curation for online news coverage. World events are increasingly mediated; acts of violence and protest are documented by those within the conflict zone, who transmit scenes and testimonies from streets to screens around the world. These witnessing media offer new opportunities for the ways in which conflict is covered in the news, with the potential to transform representations of the conflict and those within it. News organisations have responded to these developments through the practice of curation: content from across the web is aggregated and curated onto a single page in order to cover events in real-time. This thesis will critically examine curation as a representational practice based upon witnessing social media by focusing upon a case study analysis of the 21st August 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta, Syria. It draws upon interviews with journalists who work with social media at the BBC, The Guardian and Storyful, and qualitative analyses of three curated texts produced by Al-Jazeera English, The Guardian and The New York Times. This research will empirically examine the role of social media in the newsroom, the witnessing affordances of the social media curation, and the resulting representations of the conflict. I conclude that witnessing social media largely operate backstage to provide wider contextual understanding to the journalist curator, and offer limited opportunities for media witnessing for distant audiences. The curated text in this context reveals the ways in which news organisations have asserted their professional norms over the deluge of information emerging from the conflict zone. What results from the strategies developed to reassert these norms is the curated other, who is present and networked, but unacknowledged and framed with uncertainty within the space of appearance.
Supervisor: Loader, Brian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available