New Development is a collaborative production of two students as a part of a group-work assignment for the New Media, ICTs, and Development course under Malmö University Master’s programme Communication for Development. As such, the blog is a part of Malmö University Blog Site.
The focus of this blog is to explore the connections between new media, activism, and social change in our contemporary digital world. More particularly, our interest lies in exploring what activism is (concepts as participation, engagement, and mobilization are a few that comes to mind that are often used synonymously with activism), and in the way different new media technologies can either enhance or, rather, hinder social change. Therefore, we will write about a range of different new developments that are happening in the development/social change arena and that are concerned with different practices of new media by discussing and relating those to scholarly works.
One important note we would like to clarify, though, is the term new media. Since it is a contested term that is also often misused, we thought to clarify our understanding of it that is based on Lievrouw (2011). New media combine features and capabilities from different kinds of ICTs, and, thus blur the distinctions between media producers and consumers (p. 7). New media are:
“the product of the continuous interweaving of innovative activities, services, systems, and uses that blend or even eliminate familiar distinctions between telephone calls, movies, letters, newspapers, television, photography, or music, for example.” (p. 7)
Since these features and capabilities are often created to be modified, recreated, and improvised, they tend not only to change significantly faster than older media systems but also continuously change, which is the reason for the “new” in new media (p. 9)
We hope you’ll enjoy reading our posts, and we encourage any kind of activism by our readers, so you are more than welcome to interact with us and comment on our posts or follow us on Twitter!
Alona and Antonio