Media Created Conflicts in Virtual Communities

Dušan Aleksić, Ivana Stamenković


From the very beginning of its existence the media has represented an important part of people’s livesand media generated messages significantly affected the forming of attitudes and opinions of the public.No matter how advanced technology was, the media has always succeeded to find the way to theaudience. In contemporary society, in the age of the Internet, finding that way is easier than ever. The Internet provided a possibility that various contents become available to everyone on the Earth, which is important from media aspect because state borders are removed and people can easily find out about events from any part of the world. In such conditions the public doesn’t need to wait or to rely oninformation sourced from a traditional media, so masmedia communication gets completely new outlines. This concept of informing can be very useful for sure, but it can also be very dangerous. If weconsider how popular social networks are, which represent some sort of virtual communities and whichserve as an important platform to the media in online environment, although they can be observed assome sort of media themselves, possibilities for creating different trends are clear. Such platform can beabused, for instance, for attracting a huge number of readers. It can specifically be applied to countriesof ex-Yugoslavia among which many questions have remained unsolved, so that creates a convenientbase for a constant revitalization of conflicts. Considering not so distant war past between Serbia and Croatia, for a case study in this paper the reporting of Serbian and Croatian most popular online media about official visit of Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić to Croatia was chosen. The applied method was the quantitative-qualitative analysis of the content focused on media presentation of the other one through topic selection, titles, the way of reporting and visual representation.


the Internet; conflicts; Serbia; Croatia; new media; reporting

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