Welcome to the CGMC blog

By Dina Matar|April 29, 2019|Latest news|

Centre for Global Media and Communication, sitting in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, welcomes you to engage you in critical debates about the contemporary moment, which is increasingly defined by crises, conflict, divisions, populism, confusion, panic, mistrust in political institutions and, importantly, a breakdown of communication in a digitally connected global world. In this blog, we at CGMC – staff, students and friends – will talk about what we do

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Covid-19: Is the medium the message?

By Dina Matar|March 27, 2020|Latest news|0 comments

The medium is the message? Dina Matar, CGMC The Covid-19 outbreak on an unprecedented global level has further embedded media – as news institutions, as information providers, as spaces for socialisation and as technologies of power – in people’s lives in ways never witnessed before. With information vying with misinformation in the virtual “war against the virus”, news media corporations have reported a monumental rise in traffic as people concerned

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Mark Hobart reflects on Media and Metaphors during COVID-19

By Dina Matar|March 27, 2020|Latest news|0 comments

Mark Hobart, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Global Media and Communication The Covid-19 pandemic has had politicians, the mass and social media reaching for their metaphors. ‘We are at war’, French President Emmanuel Macron declared in a television interview. US President Donald Trump declared himself a ‘wartime president’. Not to be outdone, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson invoked Churchill’s Second World War speeches to declaim the virus a deadly enemy. The

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What does it mean to “muck in?”

By Matti Pohjonen|March 9, 2020|AI, Digital cultures, Research|0 comments

Environmental philosopher Timothy Morton criticises what he calls a “beautiful soul syndrome” sometimes still prevalent in Academia. By this he refers to a kind of critical attitude that tries to look at the world from the safety of detachment, without getting one’s hands dirty, without compromising one’s own ideological purity. He writes that a truly theoretical approach is not allowed to sit smugly outside the area it is examining. It must mix thoroughly

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CNN theory and the humanitarian crisis in Syria? unanswered questions

By Dina Matar|February 24, 2020|Latest news, Media and Syrian conflict, The Middle East|0 comments

Dina Matar, Centre for Global Media and Communication, School of Interdisciplinary Studies The war in Syria that has now been going on for nine years has produced ‘the biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st Century’ according to the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock. However, it is not a horror story, but a terrifying actuality, the latest chapter played out since December 2019 in Idlib, the last stronghold

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A dip in popularity forces Iranian leaders to readjust rhetoric

By Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad|February 20, 2020|Latest news, The Middle East|0 comments

Dr Massoumeh Torfeh explores the upcoming parliametary elections in Iran on TRT: Link Dr Massoumeh Torfeh, Research Associate LSE and SOAS focusing on Iran & AFG. Ex-UN Director of Communication AFG, BBC journalist. Book: BBC & Iran-UK relations. PhD Pol Science LSE. Image credit: “Iran reportage MO*” by MO* is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  

Politics of seeing

By Matti Pohjonen|February 12, 2020|AI, Digital cultures, India, Research, Social media|

“Knowledge is a practical assemblage, a ‘mechanism’ of statements and visibilities.”  — Deleuze People often ask why I bother learning the algorithms and technologies that drive today’s AI innovations – I am a digital anthropologist after all and not a hard-baked computer scientist.  Should I just not focus on the bread-and-butter of qualitative research – thick description, deep contextual knowledge of cultures, in-depth understanding of the nuances of language –

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Media and the Coronavirus—business as usual

By Dina Matar|February 12, 2020|Latest news|0 comments

Dina Matar Centre for Global Media and Communication, SOAS Media reporting of the spread coronavirus in China and elsewhere has underlined their role in normalizing a familiar Western narrative of a dreadful threat from outside. Much of the coverage particularly in Western news media, has framed the issue in the language of concern, anxiety and plain fear. Inevitably it is accompanied by imagery of lockdowns, seclusion, isolation and containment –

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Dr. Zahera Harb discusses fake news and the Lebanese protests

By Dina Matar|November 11, 2019|Arab uprisings, Latest news, Social media, The Middle East|0 comments

Lebanon Protests and ‘fake news’ By Zahera Harb On October 17 a wave of protests erupted in Lebanon against corruption. Almost half of the Lebanese population took to the streets demanding an end to corruption, transparent economic policies, social justice and protection of the environment. Slogans, such as ‘down with the sectarian confessional regime,’ mingled with calls for the resignation of all state officials whose practices were regarded as corrupt

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