Media and Uncertainty| Connective Memory Practices: Mourning the Restructuring of a War Desk

Muira McCammon


This exploratory study is about what transpires when a newsroom restructures its war desk. Drawing on Hoskins’ notion of “connective memory,” I examine how a single newsworker’s tweets about the reorganization of a war desk provoke different responses among news consumers, journalists, veterans, active-duty military personnel, and others. Drawing on a case study involving At War, a section of The New York Times, I consider the ways in which Twitter draws readers and writers together and fosters memory work. Their responses: (1) seek to pinpoint what precisely is being lost; (2) object to the decision to reallocate journalistic labor to other beats; (3) express sadness for military communities facing unfulfilled information needs; (4) anticipate the likelihood of increasingly uninformed civilian audiences; (5) blame the “journalism industry” for defunding international conflict reporting; and (6) mourn the persistence of war.


conflict reporting, newsroom restructuring, forever war, journalistic memory, Twitter testimonials

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