Simon Gwyn Roberts
Shades of Expression: Online Political Journalism in the Post-Colour Revolution Nations
The Colour Revolutions in the former Soviet Union were arguably the twenty-first century’s first successful attempts to overthrow political elites through mass protest and civic society activism. They are of intrinsic interest to media scholars because concepts of media freedom were located at the heart of the protests against semiautocratic post-Communist regimes and have continued to characterise political debate in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
The ideals that underpinned the events were echoed several years later in the Arab world, and both initially involved influential networks of activists ranged against political elites. The events of the Arab Spring were often facilitated and given added impetus by the advances in news media technology which had taken place over the latter half of the decade and which allowed for more effective networked communications and a more open public sphere to thrive, even in autocratic environments. But while the role of evolving media technologies has been extensively analysed and critiqued in the context of the Arab world, its use in the more mature post-Revolution environments of the former Soviet Union has been largely overlooked.
This book captures a “snapshot” of the contemporary role of online journalism in rapidly evolving post-Soviet, post-Colour Revolution political environments, exploring the wider journalistic and political context alongside the use and influence of online news sites. In particular, it aims to fill a gap in the literature by undertaking qualitative work in the post-Colour Revolution nations which seeks to assess the views of active journalists on the role of online political journalism in those environments.
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