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Examining Diaspora Journalists' Digital Networks and Role Perceptions: A Case Study of Syrian Post-Conflict Advocacy Journalism

Arafat, R. (2021). Examining Diaspora Journalists' Digital Networks and Role Perceptions: A Case Study of Syrian Post-Conflict Advocacy Journalism. Journalism Studies, 22(16), pp. 2174-2196. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.1990110


Using digital ethnography and in-depth interviews, this study offers a comprehensive understanding of how diaspora journalists maintain connections with their conflict-torn homeland and advocate for transnational human rights and political reforms after fleeing its repressive political sphere. To this end, the paper examines how Syrian diaspora journalists engage in transnational advocacy practices through building digital networks that blur boundaries between journalism, activism, human rights advocacy, social movements, and civil society work. The paper further investigates how these advocacy practices shape the diaspora journalists’ perceptions of their roles as well as their understanding of the different political, economic, procedural, organizational, and professional factors that influence how they perform them. Findings demonstrate that diaspora advocacy journalism poses various challenges to traditional journalism paradigms as journalists’ roles go beyond news gathering and publishing to include petitioning, creating transnational solidarity, collaborating with civil society organizations, and carrying out various institutional work. In so doing, the paper rethinks hybridity in journalistic role perceptions proposing two unique approaches for serving democracy from exile. A novel definition of diaspora advocacy journalism and comprehensive discussion of the various sources of influence on news reporting and advocacy networking in the unique transnational conflict context are further proposed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Studies on 22 Oct 2021, available at:
Publisher Keywords: Diaspora advocacy journalism, Syrian conflict, diaspora journalists, transnational contextconflict reporting, case study, digital networks
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JZ International relations
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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