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Human rights protests and mediated violence

Jimenez Martinez, Cesar ORCID: 2021. Human rights protests and mediated violence. Chouliaraki, Lilie and Vestergaard, Anne, eds. Routledge Handbook of Humanitarian Communication, London: Routledge,

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News stories and NGO campaigns about protests are clear examples of humanitarian communication. They do not simply intend to report about distant events, but actually aim to mobilise Western audiences in order to protect vulnerable others and defend the right to publicly assemble and express opinions. Significantly, NGOs and news media organisations often express that people have a right to protest as long as it is done peacefully, implying that violence represents a deviation or distortion for protests. Drawing on forty-three interviews conducted with activists, Brazilian journalists and foreign correspondents who covered a series of demonstrations that rocked Brazil in June 2013, this chapter argues about the need to move beyond determinist assumptions about how violence is made visible in and through the media. Although violence was perceived as a key factor throughout the news coverage of these protests, it was framed by different actors in ambivalent ways, supporting or questioning the status quo according to perceived organisational, technological and commercial conditions. The interviews thus portray violence as, echoing Hannah Arendt, an instrument that can be exploited for different political, ideological and economic purposes, and that can be equally beneficial or detrimental to the communication of protests.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: In Press
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Routledge
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:04

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