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Information dissemination in new media: YouTube and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

media-war-conflictJournal abstract

This work examines the ways in which YouTube videos inform audiences about international news, issues, and events. As new media increasingly becomes the public’s primary news source, research has produced conflicting contentions of how, and to whom, information is conveyed. Some studies have found Twitter and Facebook to be important tools for social organization and facilitating political involvement. Others, however, assert that these media act as echo chambers, reinforcing preexisting views rather than providing new information or perceptions. This research analyzes videos pertaining to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to reveal how they provide information. The findings show that the methods – empirical and visceral – used to frame information in YouTube videos correspond to the narratives supported by the uploaders. Additionally, the results indicate YouTube videos are watched by a heterogeneous public and have the potential to transcend selective exposure and present viewers with new information and perspectives.