Interrogating Truth and Objectivity in Syrian Conflict Reporting

Access: If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can get to the Centre for Digital Scholarship through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery. You will need to check any bags into a locker (£1 returnable deposit) before you head upstairs. If you do not have access to the Weston Library you are more than welcome to attend the talk: please contact the organizer when you book.

The recent uproar over “fake news” in the so-called “Western world” is not new to observers of the ongoing Syrian conflict. For years, participants have fought a physical war as well as one over competing claims of “truth”. This presentation will uncover some of these competing claims from the perspective of an observer, analysing how truth is manipulated and for what purpose, as well as its consequences on how we research and understand conflicts in the digital age.

Nate Rosenblatt is an MSc student in the Sociology Department studying conflict in MENA states. In 2016, Nate conducted ceasefire violations monitoring in Syria by triangulating satellite imagery analysis, social media monitoring, and on the ground reporting. From 2011-2014, Nate helped train and manage field research teams reporting primarily on local governance in the Syrian conflict, and designed and managed research utilizing mapping technology to chart conflict dynamics in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. You can find Nate on Twitter: @naterosenblatt.