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Media witnessing and the crowd-sourced video revolution'
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2013 (English)In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 12, no 3, 341-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Focusing on the critical case of the mobile phone footage of Gaddafi's death in the context of Swedish television news and its audiences, this article considers how the nature of media witnessing' is being transformed through the employment of user-generated footage. On the basis of a combined text/audience analysis study, it shows that citizen video encodes an extraordinary sense of presence and participation. Critically, however, its facilitation of pseudo-eyewitnessing' is not enough in itself to sustain practices of bearing witness. Rather, the author shows that moral responsibility is fundamentally conditioned by the symbolic management of distance - which, audiences stress, is most efficiently provided by professional news packages. Importantly, then, this empirical study corroborates the so far mainly theoretical claim in literature on media witnessing which advocates that media representations need to maintain a proper distance' in order to construct scenes of suffering and violence as a moral cause to spectators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 12, no 3, 341-357 p.
Keyword [en]
Arab uprisings 2011-, audience studies, citizen journalism, citizen witnessing, Gaddafi's capture and death, new social media, photojournalism, user-generated content
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92623DOI: 10.1177/1470357213483055ISI: 000321440200006OAI: diva2:641800


Available from: 2013-08-19 Created: 2013-08-14 Last updated: 2013-08-19Bibliographically approved

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