Heterogeneity in Alternative Media Spheres: Oppositional Media and the Framing of Sectarianism in the Syrian Conflict

Yazan Badran, Kevin Smets



The 2011 uprisings in the Middle East have deeply shaken the traditional media landscape in the region. They have also reinvigorated scholarly interest in the role of the media in the region’s conflicts. Alternative media has emerged as an important avenue for investigation—in particular with resistance and counterhegemonic narratives. However, the complexity and heterogeneity of this sphere have received less attention. The aim of this article is to reveal the heterogeneity in the alternative media sphere that developed in Syria after the 2011 uprising. The article contributes, first, to an understanding of the conflict itself and the role of sectarianism therein and, second, to a more complex conceptualization of alternative media within conflict contexts. We explore these issues by analyzing the diverse framings of sectarian divisions in Syrian oppositional media.


alternative media, conflict, mediatization, framing, sectarianism, Middle East, Syria

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