A better C4D: assessing the potential for new media, ICT and development

  In my posts so far, I have offered skepticism about the larger claims made on behalf of new media and ICT in development. I have suggested that old media (especially face to face communication) still plays a dominant role, and that there is little evidence that new media can be used to deliberately shift social norms. In gauging the impact of new media, we might be better off looking at …

What Lies Behind: The power of the technology enabling access to new media

On this blog, I have expressed skepticism about overblown claims as to the power of new media (and about its robustness as an analytical frame). Claims of the sort implied by Parmelee and Bichard’s title, ‘Politics and the Twitter Revolution’ (2012), warrant suspicion, if not quite the vitriol offered by Morozov (2013).* Yet for all the silliness of describing events in Egypt as ‘caused by Twitter’ (as more than one excitable …

The role of new media in fostering social change

The flowers decorating the front entrances of homes in Europe, the coffee sipped daily by millions, H&M’s cotton clothes all come from Ethiopia which is a thoroughly agrarian society. While “sustainable development” may be more of a slogan in other parts of the world, the phrase can inspire a real sense of hope or great disappointment. Ethiopia is one such part of the world where there is ongoing disappointment, and hope is shattered. For the …

Old Media Still Active – Word of mouth and persuasion

Communication for Development likes what’s new. Where most academic communities are bound by cautious incrementalism, C4D has always sought to keep up with the times, trading a little certainty to gain more relevance. That disciplinary bias towards novelty is often helpful – but it is important to look back too. In talking about New Media, we would do well to evaluate how new it really is. And in doing so, we …

How to approach new media and activism

This blog will deal how new media is used by activists and social movements for development. This is a large field of analysis and through the different contributions made, we hope to examine the contemporary state of play highlighting what new information communication technology (ICT) offers social movements, how it is implemented and the discussions around its use. We will reflect on what ICT means for development. The traditional divide between …