The Mediatisation of MFAS: Diplomacy in the New Media Ecology

Manor, Ilan and Crilley, Rhys (2020). The Mediatisation of MFAS: Diplomacy in the New Media Ecology. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 15(1-2) pp. 66–92.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191x-15101051

Abstract

The proliferation of social media has had a profound impact on the practice of diplomacy; diplomats can bypass the press and communicate their messages directly to online audiences. Subsequently, ministries of foreign affairs (MFAS) are now mediatised; they produce media content, circulate content through social media and adopt media logics in their daily operations. Through a case study of the Israeli MFA during the 2014 Gaza War, this article explores the mediatisation of MFAS. It does so by analysing how the Israeli MFA crafted frames through which online audiences could understand the war and demonstrates that these frames evolved as the conflict unfolded. It then draws attention to the important way in which MFAS are now media actors through a statistical analysis, which demonstrates that the use of images in tweets increased engagement with the Israeli MFA’s frames. Finally, the article illustrates how these frames were used to legitimize Israel’s actions, and delegitimise those of Hamas.

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