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An issue of attribution: The Tunisian revolution, media interaction, and agency

Wolover, Dj

New Media & Society, February 2016, Vol.18(2), pp.185-200 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    An issue of attribution: The Tunisian revolution, media interaction, and agency
  • Author/Creator: Wolover, Dj
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Arab Spring ; Distributed Media ; Media Interaction ; New Media ; News Production ; Social Media ; Tunisia ; Computer Science
  • Is Part Of: New Media & Society, February 2016, Vol.18(2), pp.185-200
  • Description: Studies of the Arab Spring have been populated with two kinds of media scholarship: while one acknowledges the role of social media in popular uprisings, the other argues that their role has been overblown. Drawing on recent theories of the media, this article seeks to resolve the debate through a media interaction approach, which shows how it is impossible to study the effects of one media form in isolation from those of others. First, how social media and the mainstream news media have interacted in providing the coverage of Tunisian uprising is outlined. This study suggests that not only did these influential news sources rely on a developing distributed mediascape to provide information, they also influenced distributed media in return, suggesting not only an intersection of traditional and distributed media but rather their reformulation. Second, the putative role of social media in popular uprisings shows regional bias in the early days of media coverage while also being indicative of a shift in what constitutes a reliable source within the culture of journalism with Western media displaying a technological determinist slant while the Arab source displays an organic determinist position.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1461-4448 ; E-ISSN: 1461-7315 ; DOI: 10.1177/1461444814541216