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Genres of communication in activist eParticipation:

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Presentation of paper at the International conference on theory and practice of electronic governance (ICEGOV)

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Genres of communication in activist eParticipation:

  1. 1. Genres of communication in activist eParticipation:A comparison of new and old media Marius Rohde Johannessen Department of Information Systems University of Agder, Norway ICEGOV 2012 | Albany, NY 22-25 October
  2. 2. Outline • Numbers on Norwegian newspapers • Case description • Activism in local urban planning • Research approach • Genre analysis • Case findings 2
  3. 3. Newspapers in Norway•5 million people, 233 newspapers in 177 locations• Readership in decline, but 73% (over 12 y.o.) still reads at least one paper each day.• Local newspapers have stable readership• Case municipality: • 43.000 people • 62.000 readers of local newspaper (print) 25.000 (web) • 88% of municipality’s inhabitants reads either print or web 3
  4. 4. Case description • Contested piece of seaside land – only place left • 30 years of various plans • Past five years two opposing sides: • Land owner: development. Activists: park • Communication activities: • Public workshops, surveys • Newspaper – online and offline editions • Social media – mostly Facebook 4
  5. 5. Research approach• Content analysis comparing newspaper editorial column and Facebook group communication genres (old vs. New media)• Analyzedusing 5W1H framework (where, why, when, who, what, how)• Purpose: examine maturity of online communication examine public sphere outcome of debate 5
  6. 6. Case findings: Genres in old media Genre Opinion, formal Opinion, informal Convince others through Convince others through appeals to Why presenting facts emotions Presents a view, followed by supporting facts and Presents a view, supported by emotional What arguments statements or unsupported views Genre Poem Personal attacks Gain attention through an Why discredit opponent’s opinion unusual genre Short rhymes, aimed at Points to previous letter or quote and What touching people’s emotions argues against it. Often in a harsh tone 6
  7. 7. Case findings: Genres in new media Genre Opinion, formal Opinion, informal Convince others through Present short opinion on Why presenting facts something Presents a view, w/supporting Presents a view, supported by What facts and arguments. links, emotional statements. Sometimes pictures, video with links, pictures, video Genre Call to action Personal attacks Get people to act on Why Discredit opponents Something Invites people to demonstrations, What unprovoked short comments contact politicians etc Genre Links Greetings/cheers Inform others about content Congratulate each other after Why posted elsewhere victories, raise morale Links to other online spaces, often Positive comments about a recent What multimedia content event, or about the activists’’ work 7
  8. 8. Case findings: Public sphere outcomesConcept Case observations Concept Case observationsDeliberative participants are not Deliberative Discourse is more one-way andcriteria attempting to understand the criteria less argument-based than in others’ perspective. the old media, as there are Debate is fairly rational and mainly activists taking part in reflective these groups.community Readers and writers all Community There is a sense of shared belong to the same local objectives and common community, some have interest in the groups, which regular contact outside of help create a sense of editorial columns community.Type of PS Discourse-based (after some Type of PS Political protest. There are time more towards political very few posts disagreeing protest) with the activists.Old media New media 8
  9. 9. New vs old & contribution to democracy• Genres: • New genres emerging in social media (greetings, linking) • Social media taking advantage of multimedia and network • Social media posts shorter, less fact-based/improvised • Old media posts provides better insight/argument• Public sphere • Old media better at deliberation and rational discourse • New media more a meeting place for like-minded people 9
  10. 10. Thank you for listening! QA & marius.johannessen@uia.no 10

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