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Archive – Volume 7, No. 1

Volume 7, No. 1
Spring/Summer 2017

Peer Reviewed Articles

Lisa-Maria Kretschmer
Imagine There Is War and It Is Tweeted Live –
An Analysis of Digital Diplomacy in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

(article in English)
| PDF-Fulltext

Philip Baugut & Sebastian Scherr
Who Justifies Questionable Reporting Practices?
Answers from a Representative Survey of Journalists in Germany

(article in English)
| PDF-Fulltext

Invited Articles

Anja Wollenberg, Sarah El-Richani & Maral Jekta
In Defense of the Iraqi Media:
Between Fueling Conflict and Healthy Pluralism

(article in English)
| PDF-Fulltext

Book Reviews

Almut Woller
Fuchs, Christian (2016): Reading Marx in the Information Age. A Media and Communication Studies Perspective on Capital Volume 1
(review in English)
Read Review

Anna Antonakis
Tufekci, Zeynep (2017): Twitter and Tear Gas – The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest
(review in English)
Read Review

Christine Horz
Goebel, Simon (2017): Politische Talkshows über Flucht. Wirklichkeitskonstruktionen und Diskurse. Eine kritische Analyse
(review in German)
Read Review

The interplay between use of force in conflicts and involved parties’ rhetorical efforts to determine related international discourse has long been subject of research and debate. However, how and why states adopt digital media in conflict, as well as how the emerging opportunity for “Digital Diplomacy” influences their actual communication warrants further consideration. This question raised in public, media and academia during Israel’s eight-day operation “Pillar of Defense” in Gaza in November 2012, when the military confrontation between Israel and Hamas was mirrored in a clash on social media as additional battlefield. The presented analysis of Israel’s online performance bases on Ben Mor’s self-presentation framework (2007, 2012), which explains constraints for structure and substance of communication by which states seek to build, maintain or defend their image in home and foreign audiences. Relevant Israeli Twitter feeds are analyzed and results flanked by semi-structured interviews with Israeli communication officials. Accordingly, Israel more than other political actors engages in proactive Digital Diplomacy, expecting benefits of directly reaching crucial publics and providing an alternative story, while accepting a certain loss of control. The constant communication aims at explaining and thus “humanizing” Israel’s militarized image in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, with a focus on hard-power messages (threat scenarios, delegitimization, in-group/ out-group thinking, military instead of political successes) and the absence of political solutions, it is unlikely to convey a peace-oriented image or even – taking a longer view – to prepare the ground for a political solution.
Based on a secondary analysis of representative survey data of journalists in Germany (n= 1536), this paper draws attention to two variables that are important when it comes to explain whether journalists accept questionable reporting practices, such as paying people to obtain information or using confidential government documents without permission. First, perceived role achievement is important, as journalists who do not feel able to achieve an active role tend to accept questionable reporting practices more often. Second, however, this relationship is only true for journalists having a moderate tendency to the political left. Findings are explained by means of the theory of cognitive dissonance.
Despite the occupation and ensuing war, Iraq has experienced the emergence of a truly pluralistic media landscape after the fall of the Baath regime in 2003. Today, media coverage of domestic affairs is characterized not only by pluralism but also by bias and partiality reflecting strong ties between political actors and media outlets. Accordingly, the Iraqi media are often accused of fueling conflict and deepening the ethno-sectarian divide in society. Based on a qualitative frame analysis of Iraqi news bulletins, this study reveals that Iraqi media outlets provide indeed contesting frames on even the most divisive issues. Only the coverage of the armed war against IS is characterized by a non-pluralistic conformity among Iraqi channels that unequivocally focus on military successes against IS and jointly refrain from any criticism against the varied forces fighting IS in Iraq.

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