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A Quiet Media Revolution? Mediatization, Altered Media Geographies and Insurgent Citizen Tactics

19th October 2011

A Quiet Media Revolution? Mediatization, Altered Media Geographies and Insurgent Citizen Tactics

Prof. Thomas Tufte (Roskilde University)

In a time of increased mediatisation of society, where new social and media geographies are evolving, new opportunities for civic action and participation in social change processes are emerging. This paper wishes to reflect upon these emerging opportunities, discuss key concepts that can help us understand the situation and also provide an empirical grounding of this debate as seen from the global south. The example will come from Tanzania where I will draw on my current research into civil society driven media platforms and their ability to serve participatory governance agendas. The case of Tanzania speaks to a rapidly but rather quietly changing media scene and everyday media practice, yet to be grasped both by the media industry, the politicians and academics.

Consequently, rather than understanding the mechanisms whereby news is produced, consumed and circulated in society this presentation will reflect upon how current social change processes and media development trends reframe the ways and means whereby ordinary citizens can enhance there sense of belonging and engage in society in meaningful ways through an engagement with the media. Consuming – and also producing – news is part and parcel of this process, but doesn’t exclude consumption and (interactive) social use of other genres and media formats.

The presentation will be centred around three analytical perspectives: firstly exploring the overall process of mediatisation of society and how new social geographies are emerging; secondly, digging deeper into the specific media trends and the changing media geographies and public spheres in particular. Finally, particular focus will be given to critically discuss what opportunities the current situation provides for citizen media to evolve and for ordinary people to engage in what I call ‘citizen tactics’. The case from Tanzania will be the empirical focus throughout the presentation.

See mediea.ruc.dk for more information on Professor Tufte’s Tanzania research project. For further information on Professor Tufte’s work, visit: http://www.ruc.dk/komm/Ansatte/vip/ttufte/.

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