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Arrested war: the third phase of mediatization

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After Broadcast War and Diffused War comes Arrested War, the latest paradigm of war and media. Each paradigm coincides with a discrete phase of mediatization. This article explains how war and media operated during each phase, describing the key characteristics of war, the form and nature of the prevailing media ecology, and how power was exercised by and distributed within government, military, and media elites. Following the sense of flux and uncertainty during the second phase of mediatization, when digital content and non-linear communication dynamics generated Diffused War, Arrested War is characterized by the appropriation and control of previously chaotic dynamics by mainstream media and, at a slower pace, government and military policy-makers. We use the ongoing Ukraine crisis to examine Arrested War in operation. In setting out a new paradigm of war and media, we also reflect on the difficulties of periodizing and historicizing these themes and ask what theoretical and conceptual tools are likely to be needed to understand and explain Arrested War.
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Keywords: Ukraine; conflict; journalism; mediatization; power; war

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow, 66 Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LS, UK 2: Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK

Publication date: November 2, 2015

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