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Citizen eyewitness images and audience engagement in crisis coverage
Univ Tampere, Tampere 33014, Finland..
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section.
2015 (English)In: International Communication Gazette, ISSN 1748-0485, E-ISSN 1748-0493, Vol. 77, no 7, 668-681 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Amateur imagery has become an important component of news coverage of distant crisis events, and it plays a decisive role in shaping how audiences respond to crises. In this article, we discuss how the factors of authenticity, affectivity, and ethics play a role in the ways in which citizen images engage or disengage the distant audience. The article is based on 17 focus group interviews in Sweden and Finland that centred on a selection of visual news coverage of the Arab Spring in Syria and Libya - landmark news events in the use of citizen eyewitness images in the Nordic countries. The results indicate that citizen imagery is indeed a potential tool with strongly engaging characteristics, especially in terms of its authenticity and to some degree also its affectivity. However, disengagement may also result, especially due to the interpreted deficiencies in terms of ethics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 77, no 7, 668-681 p.
Keyword [en]
activist footage, amateur images, Arab Spring, audience engagement, citizen eyewitnessing, crisis coverage, distant suffering
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5677DOI: 10.1177/1748048515601559ISI: 000366159300006OAI: diva2:890469
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-10-24Bibliographically approved

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