Communication for Governance & Accountability

I enjoyed how he discussed how there are practical ways to create citizen mobilization by inspiring and through motivation. I liked how there is a difference between the “forum movement” that tries to create a face-to-face discussion in citizen democracy. I think it is important to highlight that the growth in powerful countries has made the growth of globalization promote widely used and more advanced forms of communication. This new world of communication has created a “smaller world” which links new practical ways of face-to-face diplomacy together.

I think it is extremely important to note that we should place attention on the context surrounding civic participation. The context forms how citizens create their personal opinion from the information that they are given. Their opinions do not simply arise out of no background, rather context plays a key role in developing sentiments. The types of rule that citizens are living under dramatically effect how the public forms their opinion on a matter–certainly when the concepts are political.

A very intriguing piece to me is that the author discusses how journalists can live in a state of fear in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With threats of death, killings, torture, and capture, the nation has established a poor national brand for journalists that I argue negatively affects on public and traditional diplomacy. This limited role that media can play creates silence and gives arguably dangerous power to the government.

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Soft Power and Public Diplomacy

I enjoyed the article that mentioned John Kerry’s line about how social media has dramatically changed the arena for soft power and public diplomacy. His statement that when one person says something through social media, a thousand people hear it is almost an intimidating idea but it also holds validity. Our nation’s leaders have been able to take ideas around the world with a click of a button. This type of power comes also with responsibility. Our markets have been widening, and our audience is much larger than traditionally seen before. Because we have the means and can attempt to spread democracy to more people, does this mean that we have a responsibility to capture a grander audience than in the past?

I agree that risk management needs to be a part of a digital diplomacy strategy. With the mass of people using media outlets such as Twitter in times of chaos or crisis, we see that errors in social media are crucial to the communication strategy for large amounts of groups trying or organize or form a unified voice. I think it is important to know that foreign policy is not “risk free”.

We see social media as  way to create a conversation between the citizens, US, and the other country. This reminds me of the concept of convergence culture between consumer and producer. We now see a dialogue that is no longer “formal” in the sense that the professional is the only one talking to the public or even giving a monologue. Instead, (like in the discussion we had regarding convergence culture) we are seeing the “amateurs” having a conversation with leaders, ambassadors, and diplomats. There is a two-way street that is being used to spread information and ideas with less boundaries and formalities.

Convergence Culture and Creative Industries

I loved the metaphor that Deuze creates when he states that the consumers of media have now become the controller, very similarly to how a person controls a game with a joystick or a tv-watcher uses a remote. I find that there is truth in this statement because of the increased amount of power that has been granted to the consumer. However, this consumer becoming the producer can also give a false sense of power as well. Is it not partly the producers who have handed over this idea that the consumer is now in control?

As we will see in our group discussion tomorrow, I want to highlight the question that Dueze raises when he discusses the ending of the Truman show. Here we see the possibility of an alternative ending that would shape the future of global media and communication. I agree that had Truman taken advantage of the on going reality tv and recording of this life, he could have created his own network and could have started a “fan community of lead users to run the show just liek the hundred of media professionals in Atlanta run CNN…” Here is the end of the Truman show that Dueze was talking about:

I thought it was interesting in Miller’s article that it is physical sales of movies that are the dominant method of Nollywood distribution. I never truly considered that they would not have “a virtually theatrical film based distribution”. Therefore, there is a high dependence on DVD sales and small dedicated shops. How does this effect the growing trend of creating unauthorized copies and illegal reproduction? Is this an international problem or just a African issue?

The Rise of Netpolitik

I agree with Pollier’s argument that the internet is a catalyst for change. We can see that the internet and the resources that it has provided has dramatically changed marketing, economics, public correspondence (whether through government forums or the private sector), and social networking. I would even argue that our social practices and identities are somewhat dictated by the power of the internet. We see this through the influential change that Facebook has forced upon the communication sector with regards to event planning and even international communication.

I think that in the article, “Soft Power, Hard Issues” we see a valid discussion regarding the heightened need for better research methods in order to fully improve the arena of international communication. With better research, we are able to potentially engage the private sector to invest in improving local communities with the combination of governmental and non-governmental actors. I loved the line that “US public diplomacy cannot be separated by US politics and actions.” It is important to remember that our actions and policies have a direct effect on other’s perspectives–both internationally and domestically. I think we must rid our mindsets of this “quick fix” solution in order to create more effective public image through our diplomacy outlets and focus on better research.

In “People, Networks, and Power”, I was focused deeply on the idea that “In the age of the Internet, domestic news routinely migrates into the foreign press and directly to citizens of other nations. A message that resonates well with an American audience may turn out to be deeply offensive to Middle Eastern audiences.” Our news has an effect on our allies and potential allies. It cannot be stressed enough that what is on the internet “stays forever.” There is a sense that our media and our speech is untouchable, and that is a slippery path to go down because our “domestic communications have been internationalized.”

Oct 21: Network and Activism

I found that the discussion that “scholars from the other side argue that the commercialization of the global Internet as well as the digital divide maintains the Internet as a public sphere dominated by elite groups”. I offer that this may not truly be the case, but I have read literature that some scholars and the public believe that twitter is dominated by the elite. A read an article recently that a large handful of ‘elite’ Twitter users are creating around half of all tweets shared on the micro blogging website, according to new research. Is this helpful or harmful for social media?

I was unaware that China’s government wanted to strategically create a “harmonious society” to bring balance and not focus on economical growth. Is this goal feasible? Is a government truly making a harmonious society if there is censorship? Could this promote a sense of ignorance and fear to the unknown? With the activists having to fear their own government, doesn’t that create a set back in activism.

After looking at Table 2, I found it very interesting that Latin Americans and the Chinese use the social media sites as a way to promote discussion and activism while Americans use the social media outlets to post announcements about their group or organization. I found that surprising because I was unaware that Americans were not prone to use the social media for activism discussion. Could these findings show that Americans use different outlets for activism, what are they?

October 20th Readings: Network and Activism

I found that the discussion that “scholars from the other side argue that the commercialization of the global Internet as well as the digital divide maintains the Internet as a public sphere dominated by elite groups”. I offer that this may not truly be the case, but I have read literature that some scholars and the public believe that twitter is dominated by the elite. A read an article recently that a large handful of ‘elite’ Twitter users are creating around half of all tweets shared on the micro blogging website, according to new research. Is this helpful or harmful for social media?

I was unaware that China’s government wanted to strategically create a “harmonious society” to bring balance and not focus on economical growth. Is this goal feasible? Is a government truly making a harmonious society if there is censorship? Could this promote a sense of ignorance and fear to the unknown? With the activists having to fear their own government, doesn’t that create a set back in activism.

After looking at Table 2, I found it very interesting that Latin Americans and the Chinese use the social media sites as a way to promote discussion and activism while Americans use the social media outlets to post announcements about their group or organization. I found that surprising because I was unaware that Americans were not prone to use the social media for activism discussion. Could these findings show that Americans use different outlets for activism, what are they?

Organization and Management of Information Flow

In the Castells and Arsenault article, I enjoyed the discussion about the rise of the digital communication era. I think that the increase in internet communication, satellite, and wireless interaction has been a major catalyst in the rise of globalization and has created a wireless world. I agree that these platforms have “diminished traditional firewalls to ownership expansion” and have created a new marketplace for media businesses. These concepts of globalization and our information age relying on the internet reminded me of this relevant video:

Second, I liked how Castells and Arsenault pointed to fact that our internet is global in a way that television simply can’t be. I obviously believe that dominate cultures run the media, however, I support the argument that overtime we may see that intercultural communication might have the power to break the mold of a dominate culture shaping the way we look at the news. Culture plays an extremely important role with regards to media beacuse our values and ways of thinking will be seen through the way we focus our delievery of information. Maybe in the future, we will see an intercultural media arena.

In the Arsnault article, I think it is important to realize that media companies are indeed a business. This means they are trying to attract viewers, and at the end of the day, they are aiming to make money for their stockholders, etc. How does this effect the quality of the product that these media companies are presenting to the audience? Is there a way to serve the people quality news and still meet the economic demands of the corporate media market?