Encounters Between Violence and Media| “You Will Never Hear Me Mention His Name”: The (Im)possibility of the Politics of Recognition in Disruptive Hybrid Media Events

Katja Valaskivi, Johanna Sumiala


This article explores how the present-day disruptive hybrid media events shape the conditions for the politics of recognition in political communication. The article sets off with the premise that disruptive hybrid media events provide a substantial context for the activation of the politics of recognition as a communicative response to violations of the value of human life enforced by terrorist mass violence. The article uses the media coverage and the communication of New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks as an empirical case study and examines, in particular, how Ardern’s political communication is intertwined with the attention economy and the related communicative capitalism, and how these essentials of hybrid media events weakened her possibilities for the realization of the politics of recognition as a communicative response to the violence, and threatened to reduce her political communication to a battle over attention, reputation, and identity politics with the perpetrator.


politics of recognition, Jacinda Ardern, hybrid media events, attention apparatus, attention economy, Christchurch attacks

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