MEGAPHONE: SOCIAL-MEDIA-NATIVE OUTLETS BETWEEN EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE AND ALGORITHMIC CONSTRAINTS
Keywords:Independent digital media, social-media-native, protest movements, algorithms, journalism
AbstractThough the role of digital media in protest movements has received plenty of attention since the onset of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Uprisings a decade ago, the way that protest movements have enabled the institutional development of independent digital news media has received less attention. How do protest movements enable the rise of independent digital news media? How do these emerging outlets interact with components of pre-existing media? And what techno political constraints do these outlets face? To answer these questions, we zoom in on Lebanon where an uprising broke out in 2019 and gave rise to a network of independent and interdependent digital media outlets. We focus on the rise of Megaphone, an independent social-media-native news outlet that left its mark on the country’s political and media scene. Based on a politico-economic analysis of the emerging digital media scene in Lebanon, a historical analysis of the distinctive meaning of media independence in that context, and a case study of Megaphone, we examine the notion of independent digital media in the context of protest movements and analyze the distinctive travails of social-media-native outlets. We also show how, in Lebanon, independence movements, protest movements, and uprisings have historically contributed to introducing new media forms and outlets and shaping Lebanon’s media. Our paper contributes to a techno-political and algorithmic notion of media independence and begins to theorize social-media-native independent news outlets as a peculiar form of emerging, and increasingly prevalent, media institution.
How to Cite
Frayha, A., & Kraidy, M. M. (2021). MEGAPHONE: SOCIAL-MEDIA-NATIVE OUTLETS BETWEEN EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE AND ALGORITHMIC CONSTRAINTS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12167