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Débora Medeiros, Ana Makhashvili and Margreth Lünenborg at ICA 2021

News from May 28, 2021

Parajournalism’s visuality: affect and emotion in discourses around migration in Germany on YouTube

Panel: Seeing, Feeling, Sharing: Empirical Research Methods for Studying Affect and Emotion in Visual Elements on Social Media

Speakers: Débora Medeiros, Margreth Lünenborg

Visual elements have played a central role in discussions around migration issues in Germany, with various historical scenes permeating the country’s recent memory of migration. At the same time, YouTubers’ significance as interpreters of recent events and of broader discussions in society has been growing, particularly among young viewers (Rihl & Wegener, 2015), who assign YouTubers an informative role in their media consumption (parajournalistic actors). The talk by Débora Medeiros and Margreth Lünenborg focuses on how actors beyond legacy media, in particular YouTubers, articulate and circulate affect and emotion through visual elements in their videos on migration.

Using video analysis and textual analysis, it can be shows that YouTuber’s are using visual elements which generate certain affective registers (Lünenborg et al., in press; Töpper, in press), which consist of formal, aesthetic and narrative elements employed in the production of audiovisual media in order to provoke embodied reactions among the audience as well as a feeling of connection to the content presented.

Focusing on the anti-migration protests that took place in the German city of Chemnitz in 2018, the talk reveals an understanding of the affective character of current publics and shows various forms of how YouTubers emotionally interpret events for their viewers.

Affective Publics on Twitter: Contesting Journalism’s Authority

Panel: Social Media and Their Implications for Journalism and Journalism Practice

Speakers: Ana Makhashvili, Margreth Lünenborg

Ana Makhashvili and Margreth Lünenborg present their analysis of the polarized, affective publics that emerged on Twitter during the far-right protests in #Chemnitz, Germany in 2018. They discuss how journalistic authority and legitimacy is contested through the affective dynamics of these publics.

“Affective publics” (Papacharissi, 2015) are key in this process as they emerge around shared emotions such as anger directed at perceived elites, including the press (Wahl-Jorgensen, 2017). Social media platforms lay grounds for such contestation by providing the space and the technological means for publics to make “affective claims to agency” (Papacharissi, 2015, p. 119). In these settings, journalistic authority is perpetually renegotiated.

You can find more information about ICA 2021 here. 

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