Between the Homefront and Battleground, Between TV and Smartphone: Evaluating the Use of a Second Screen in the May 2021 Israel-Palestine Crisis

Vered Elishar Malka, Yaron Ariel, Dana Weimann-Saks


Second-screen use has attracted significant scholarly attention over the last decade. Although media usage is important during crises, no study has examined second screening in times of violent conflict, when civilians are directly affected. This study examines the role of second-screen usage in Israeli citizens’ lives during the May 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis. It focuses on correlations between users’ level of concern, their immediate degree of threat (based on their proximity to the warzone), and their usage of a second, new media screen, in addition to televisions. Results indicate that the higher the threat level users faced, the more frequently they used second screens. Furthermore, the intensity of second screening rose with the degree of threat and their accompanying level of concern and cognitive needs. The findings advance our understanding of media’s wartime role from the perspective of civilians under threat, indicating that as technology enables people to remain constantly connected and not limit themselves to a single platform, they are likely to take advantage of a wide range of communication options.


second screen, new media, cognitive needs, war, civilians under threat, Israel

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