Synopses & Reviews
What impact do mass media portrayals of atrocities have on activism? Media, Mobilization and Human Rights challenges the assumption that exposure to human rights violations in countries far away causes people to respond with activism to end atrocities. Turning a critical eye on existing scholarship, the authors argue that the reality is complex, and that there is nothing inherently positive or negative about exposure to the suffering of others. In exploring this, the book offers an array of case studies and examines a variety of media forms - from television and radio through to social networking - to present radical new ways of thinking about the intersection of media portrayals of human suffering and activist responses to them.
About the Author
Tristan Anne Borer (BA, University of Texas at San Antonio; PhD, University of Notre Dame) is Professor of Government and International Relations at Connecticut College in New London, CT. She is the author of Challenging the State: Churches as Political Actors in South Africa, 1980-1994 (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), the editor of Telling the Truths: Truth-Telling and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Societies (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), and the co-author (with John Darby and Siobhan McEvoy-Levy) of Peacebuilding After Peace Accords: The Challenges of Violence, Truth and Youth (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006). She has also published several articles in the field of human rights in journals including Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, Violence Against Women, African Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Church and State. Her research has been funded by the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the United States Institute of Peace.
Table of Contents
Introduction: willful ignorance - news production, audience reception, and responses to suffering
1 Humanitarian intervention in the 1990s: cultural remembrance and the reading of Somalia as Vietnam
2 Framing a rights ethos: artistic media and the dream of a culture without borders
3 How editors choose which human rights news to cover: a case study of Mexican newspapers
4 Framing strategies for economic and social rights in the United States
5 ‘Fresh, wet tears’: shock media and human rights awareness campaigns
6 Celebrity diplomats as mobilizers? Celebrities and activism in a hypermediated time
7 Amplifying individual impact: social media’s emerging role in activism
8 The spectacle of suffering and humanitarian intervention in Somalia