This special issue of The Communication Review will address issues relating to hypermedia in the production of history and news in political conflict. Of particular interest is how digital media products and activities may be testing the boundaries—or exploiting the changes—in popular conceptions of “news” and “primary source” information.
We borrow the term “hypermedia space” from Ronald Deibert (1997) and Marwan Kraidy (2006, 2010, 2016) to describe today's near instantaneous, highly networked, trans-mediated, global communication environment.
From Tunisia to South Korea, from Latin America to Russia, today's communication technology is allowing individuals to watch and participate in political developments occurring continents away. Equipped only with a mobile phone, an eyewitness can make an audio-visual recording of an event and disseminate it around the world, semi-anonymously and within minutes. Yet the same communication technology that is serving as the great equalizer in society and politics is also vulnerable to more nefarious usages. It is enabling individuals, groups, and states to wage war, execute violence, and alter the historical record on a whole new scale.
Contributing papers will address questions related to hypermedia in the production of news reports, historical narratives, and outcomes in domestic, national, and international conflict. Of particular interest is how hypermedia products and transactions may be testing the boundaries-- or exploiting the changes—in traditional standards of “news” and “primary" evidence. Related lines of inquiry include (but are not limited to):
- How communication practices relate to concrete, material situations and notions of trust and authenticity
- Distinctions between propaganda and public relations
- Distinctions between news and political spectacle
- Representations of progress and stasis in protracted and/or asymmetrical conflict
- Efforts of states and/or non-state actors to alter the historical record and/or collective memory in hypermedia space
- Consequences of ”new media" and "new war” for state sovereignty and international law
The deadline for full manuscript submission is February 1st, 2017.
Prof. E L Blout, PhD