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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Reading Twitter in the Newsroom: Web 2.0 and Traditional-Media Reporting of Conflicts

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (PSE)

Tuesday 30 November 2021 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

User-generated online content changes traditional-media news on conflicts. Online posts by citizen journalists — first-hand witnesses of conflict events — change the extent, tonality, and content of traditional-media reporting of conflicts. Using an exogenous and excludable variation in online posts in Israel and Palestine, driven by internet outages as a result of lightning strikes and technical failures, we show that, when the internet in the conflict zone is not muted by outages, conflict news stories on US TV are more numerous and longer. Text analyses reveal that these stories have higher emotional intensity and focus more on the suffering of civilians and less on the role of US foreign policy or elections. They also cite social media sources more. The results suggest that social-media-driven democratization of the conflict news, i.e., the shift of focus from information provided by war gatekeepers to information from ordinary people, helps the narrative on the side of the conflict that has more civilian casualties.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room 32L 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.