Dr Shixin Ivy Zhang (School of International Communications) published a paper

13 May 2020

In August, Associate Professor Dr Shixin Ivy Zhang from the School of International Communications published a paper in the prestigious journal, Journalism. The paper is entitled ‘Mediatization of conflict in the social media era: A case study of Sino-Indian border crisis in 2017’. This project was funded by an FHSS Competitive Bid in 2018-2019.


Inspired by the concepts of Arrested War and actor–network theory, this study has traced and analysed four main actors in the wars and conflicts in the social media age: social media platform, the mainstream news organisations, online users, and social media content. These four human and non-human actors associate, interact, and negotiate with each other in the social media network surrounding specific issues. Based on the case study of Sino-Indian border crisis in 2017, the central argument is that social media is playing an enabling role in contemporary wars and conflicts. Both professional media outlets and web users employ the functionalities of social media platforms to set, counter-set, or expand the public agenda. Social media platforms embody a web of technological and human complexities with different actors, factors, interests, and relations. These actor-networks and the macro social-political context are influential in the mediatisation of conflict in the social media era.

Dr Shixin Ivy Zhang presented this paper at the July 2019 conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research held in Madrid, Spain.