Maena Berger

Maena Berger is a PhD student at EHESS and PhD associate at Ifpo Beirut. Her research focuses on the contemporary transformation of journalistic work during wartime. More specifically, she looks at the co-production” of information among development actors (NGOs), journalists from international and national media, press agencies (AFP, Reuters, AP), and mostly on the fixers” who play a mediator role between those different professional worlds. Her case study is the Syrian war which has been, since 2011, the subject of many media reports. Despite very complicated and risky access to Syria, the production of information was still very intense, thanks to the fixers” who played a decisive role. Beyond simple logistical assistance (translation, transfer, the introduction of key actors…), they affect the narrative in the media. This is particularly the case in Syria since it was nearly infeasible for western journalists to go there. Therefore the fixers” became almost the only ones to be able to transfer and to pass through the information needed to cover this war. This shift is revealed by the relocation of the productions spot to the neighbouring countries.
This thesis aims for an understanding of the international division of journalistic work from those local social spaces where all the main actors are. It also asks more general questions regarding source access and conflict analyses while it’s not possible to go to the relevant country. Her fieldwork is located mainly in Lebanon and Turkey but also in Iraqi Kurdistan and Jordan.