highlight on current research: Rethinking Media, Democracy, and Citizenship

Exciting new findings are rolling in as we conclude three years of SSHRC-funded research on “Digital Dissent”: What motivates people to blog, post movies, engage in online political activities? To what extent does frustration with corporate-owned media motivate those who engage in such practices as the MoveOn.org Bushin30Seconds contest, writing political blogs, blogging about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and producing creative/political digital art?

We have now presented our research findings at national and international conferences and published our analyses in journals and books. Through close analysis of online productions, an online survey to 157 online author/producers, and interviews with 35 digital media artists/writers, our findings include that:

  • increased online engagement requires that we redefine what counts as political citizenship
  • online web-based practices do NOT take away from offline organizing or activism
  • digital media does impact practices and industry of journalism
  • people from all sides of the political spectrum are frustrated with media and politicians, and that this skepticism and lack of faith is a key factor in motivating online political expression
  • satire and “fake news” has extreme appeal in an era characterized by crises of truth, evidenced by the flagrant lies and abuses of media by politicians which are now daily “evidenced” through digital media practices such as remix.

For more on Rethinking Media, Democracy, and Citizenship, see our conferences papers, publications, and findings under “Projects“.