News blogs: strengthening democracy through conflict prevention
journal contributionposted on 18.06.2010, 11:43 by Maria Touri
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer greater insight in the role of blogs in the creation of a more transparent news media system and a more democratic political reality. Design/methodology/approach – Framing theory is employed as a conceptual tool to re-interpret existing evidence of the performance of news blogs during situations of political conflict and war. A theoretical analysis is developed setting out the premises of the challenge that blogs can pose to the framing of conflict by mainstream media. The analysis incorporates empirical examples of reporting conflict and war in the blogosphere. Finally, with the aid of international relations theories, the role of blogs is evaluated in terms of the political transparency and accountability they could offer during conflict and war. Findings – The analysis demonstrated that by promoting alternative and progressive voices, blogs have the capacity to shift the power over framing away from the usual sources in the news reporting of political conflict and turn the media system into a greater constraining factor for governments than even before. Originality/value – The paper presents a novel approach to the interaction between blogs and mainstream media by combining theories from the disciplines of communications and international relations. The analysis generated a hypothesis that can be empirically assessed with the investigation of the framing output of influential news blogs and mainstream news media during political conflict and war.