Dear all: This is a PS to our course. Once more my sincerest thanks and good luck to each and everyone!
Ida and I took a final look at the map you all created. While the media reformers you added do not represent a systematic, representative selection, here are some ideas our map points towards to.
First, Ida’s reflections:
The map indicates a relatively high concentration of individual media reformists and non-profit organisations in Europe and the Western world. Western issues revolve around the concepts of power, censorship, transparency and agenda setting in media. Media reform organisations in China and the rest of Asia battle content issues, legal issues pertaining to human rights, and censorship. This probably has something to do with their governments’ tendency to filter, restrict and censor certain content. Since Latin American and African countries struggle with freedom of expression, I was surprised to find that media reform organisations in third world countries are the least represented on the map. Whether this is due to backward attitudes, lack of resources or plain indifference, it seems that Europe and the Western world are pioneers in advocating media pluralism, freedom of press and ethical issues around the world.
I promised to think of categories of reformers. Instead, I’m proposing some dimensions that could be applied to these organizations. Without me intending to form these, it seems I came up with these dualisms, or rather continuums between two approaches:
- Insiders/margins. This is something Hackett&Carroll also discuss: Some reformers focus specifically on the media / comm tech, others discuss it as their work tangents the media. For example, human rights activists may address online hate speech but also other non-media issues…
- Creators/observers. Some reformers create alternative content or services (community radio, bloggers, AdBusters, open access/source/knowledge), others monitor and act as watchdogs.
- Professional/grassroots. Self-evident: institutional policy advocates vs. citizen initiatives.
- Long-term/short-term. Self-evident: Reporters without Borders vs. SOPA/PIPA activism.
What would you add?
Please remember to check out the Policy Briefs and other material by 15.4. I will delete our Dropbox then.