Changing trends in political engagement

by Lucia Mati on October 13, 2013

in Media Production,Participatory Journalism,Social Movements

Social media are considered as a potentially effective means of improving the relationship between citizens and the representatives. The web encourage actively contributing, collaboration, social networking and interacting. Citizens are no longer viewed as passive receivers, but rather as actively contributing, collaborating in political processes. The traditional relationship between political elites and citizens is transfomered.

With the rise of the media culture social media had a dramatic increase in usage such as weblogs and wikis, and social media applications and services such as YouTube, Facebook and twitter. Many political powers have noticed the change and therefore adopted the participatory approach in their campaigns. This is a result of changing trends in political engagement.

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Therese Sjödin October 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

I agree Lucia, that the relationship b/w citizens and politicians is clearly transforming. The question is though, how collaborative and interactive social media actually is? It has the possibilities to be very participatory but I feel it is mostly used for sharing links, reports, videos or other information like status updates. And how collaborative is that? I totally agree that citizens are not passive receivers any more but perhaps we have turned into passive contributors instead… /Therese

Lucia Mati October 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Hi Therese, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern regarding the relation of social media and citizens as passive contributors. However I believe that social media makes it possible to create communities on a grassroot level which is very important. Information can now be spread efficent and fast to each one of us. The question would rather be, who are able to take a part of the information and join the communities for social change? Who are participating?

Therese Sjödin October 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

Exactly! I agree that the more basic question is who can participate and take part. Especially if we look worldwide. There are many obstacles to participation that often are ignored in the common debate I feel. But if we look at our part of the world I still think problematizing how we (who are able to take part) are using social media is relevant, as a “next step” of the debate. But I think we all have been connecting to this topic in this blog, that the fast spread of information that you mention is a great advantage for awareness. And this can hopefully create active participation even in our part of the world that in some cases seems to be taking this possibility for granted.

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