Technological, cultural and economic forces are transforming political communication, posing challenges and opportunities for politicians and media organisations, while at the same time many governments and civil society express concerns about the extent and nature of political empowerment and civic engagement.
This book offers an international perspective on current thinking and practice about civic and audience empowerment, focusing on the ways and means through which media can empower or dis-empower citizens as audiences. It features theoretical and empirical chapters that draw specific attention to a reappraisal of the theories, methods and issues that inform our understanding of citizens and audiences in contemporary politics. The authors address the following questions:
- How much and what sorts of civic and audience empowerment are most desirable, and how does this differ cross-nationally?
- How do citizens relate to private and public spaces?
- How do citizens function in online, networked, liminal and alternative spaces?
- How do audiences of ‘non-political’ media spaces relate their experiences to politics?
- How are political parties and movements utilising audiences as co-creators of political communication and what are the consequences for democracy?
With examples from the UK, USA, Holland, France, Germany, The Middle East, South Africa and Mexico, this innovative volume will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, marketing, journalism, cultural studies, public relations, media and international relations.
1. Introduction to agents of (dis)empowerment: exploring the media’s contribution to civic engagement Part 1: Political communication: empowering or disempowering? 2. Media, politics and empowerment: In whose interests? Heather Savigny 3. Empowering the Citizen? Political communication, coproduction and the harnessed crowd Darren G. Lilleker 4. Attack Advertising as an Agent of British Youth Political Disempowerment? A Review of Empirical Evidence from the 2010 British General Election Janine Dermody, Stuart Hanmer-Lloyd, Nicole Koenig-Lewis and Anita L. Zhao 5. Governmentality, Populism and Empowerment: David Cameron’s rhetoric of the Big Society Michael Higgins 6. Closing the Gap? Twitter as an instrument for connected representation Todd Graham, Marcel Broersma and Karin Hazelhoff Part 2: Political participation in mediated spaces: merely ‘soft’ empowerment? 7. Is "empowerment" still a useful concept? Rethinking media practice with Rancière and the "emancipated spectator" Felicitas Macgilchrist 8. Digital participation in news media: ‘Minimalist’ views versus meaningful interaction Tamara Witschge 9. Routinisation of Audience Participation: BBC News Online, Citizenship and Democratic Debate Einar Thorsen 10. Facadelifts: New media installations, public space and the negotiation of civic identity Gabriel Menotti 11. Claims-makers versus counter claims-makers: new sites of civic empowerment in the construction, affirmation and contestation of moral panic narratives through online newspaper discussion-threads James Morrison Part 3: Citizen (public) mediated acts of empowerment: challenging the status quo? 12. Introducing ‘Citizen diplomacy 2.0’: A framework for the study of online engagement with global affairs Roman Gerodimos 13. Disabled People, Digital Campaigns, and Contentious Politics: Upload Successful or Connection Failed? Filippo Trevisan 14. What are UK youth doing online? Exploring dimensions of participation and use Janelle Ward 15. Did you read about that bloody politician in the papers’ Mediated political events and how they penetrate everyday discussion online Daniel Jackson, Richard Scullion and Mike Molesworth 16. Audience empowerment and the politics of representation in two radio talk shows in post-apartheid South Africa Jendele Hungbo 17. Civic and audience empowerment: the role of citizen journalism Mick Temple Conclusion 18. Concluding remarks Richard Scullion, Darren Lilleker, Roman Gerodimos and Daniel Jackson 19. Afterword Stuart Allan