05
Oct 15

From ‘villains’ to ‘heroes’, by IOM – perceptions about migration in the public sphere

by Isabel Marques da Silva

herois

The 21st century’s (big) enthusiasm about the potential of new media for fast and generalised social change is not without conceptual basis, and has been underpinned by its theoretically established features: ubiquity, interactivity, recombination, and networking (Leah Lievrouw, 2011, p. 15). But recent research shows that online activism and advocacy are not a contemporary magic wand with super catalytic powers for mobilisation and civic engagement. The ‘click activism’ shortcomings are well documented in the article about the “Save Darfur Cause” on Facebook, (1 billion members, 100,000 USD in donations) where Kevin Lewis, Kurt Gray and Jens Meierhenrich (2014, p.7) state that “Facebook is less useful a mobilization tool than a marketing tool (…) it largely failed to transform these initial acts of movement participation into “a deep and sustained commitment to the work” (Land, 2009, p.220)”.

But halfway between marketing (of trends/concepts) and mobilisation (for action/participation), I argue that new media can have a ‘transitional’ role in what concerns discussion in the public sphere. An example is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) use of new media to influence perceptions about migration, specifically in Europe, with internal campaigns, but also in association with external partners.

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21
Sep 15

Perpetual power struggle – new leftist nostalgia built on capitalist media foundations

by Mindaugas Jocbalis

Newleftistarticle

New Media political activism and social media optimism has reached new heights this year, with a revitalised socialist agenda resulting in changed leftist political party discourses across Europe. With new rightists (UKIP, Freedom Party, Jobbik, Sweden Democrats, PVV) emerging last year, and new leftists this year, new media are presenting idealisations of transformative social change. But are they really making a difference? Or is this just a set-up, a cheer for failure, a capitalist trap for the weak, and the vulnerable? With Syriza failing, and traditional media mockery of CorbynMania, Podemos and SNP, how is socialism represented into the 21st century?

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