Moving Media and Conflict Studies Beyond the CNN Effect
Review of International Studies, March 2016
19 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 3, 2016
After the ‘CNN Effect’ concept was coined two decades ago, it quickly became a useful shorthand to understand media-conflict interactions. Although the connection has probably always been more complex than what was captured in this concept, current research even more so reflects the need to have updated mechanisms to better understand the complex contemporary environments of both media and conflict. There are growing numbers and types of media sources, and more nuanced interactions between media and conflict actors, policymakers and engaged publics from the local to the global and back. Understanding the impact of media reporting on conflict requires a new framework that is better equipped to understand the multi-level and hybrid media environments of contemporary conflicts. This paper provides a roadmap of how to systematically unpack this environment. It accounts for how different levels, interactions, and forms of news reporting shape conflicts and peacebuilding in local, national and regional contexts, and for how international responses interact with multiple media “narratives”. With these tools, comprehensive understandings of contemporary local to global media interactions can be incorporated into new research on peace and conflict.
Keywords: CNN Effect, Communication, Media Studies, New Media, Peace and Conflict Studies, Digital Media, Mass Communication, Political communication, Social Media, Conflict Management, News Media Ethics, Mass media, Mass Communication and New Media, Communication Studies, Social Conflicts and Media
JEL Classification: L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation