The internet and the changing global media environment

McNair, Brian (2009) The internet and the changing global media environment. In Chadwick, Andrew & Howard, Philip N. (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics. Routledge, pp. 217-229.

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This chapter describes current trends in the global media environment, with a focus on their implications for the management of public agendas and political processes. It assesses the extent to which trends such as the growth of the blogosphere, "citizen journalism," and other forms if user-generated content, have complicated and problematized news and agenda management as engaged in by both media and political elites. It argues that, in large part due to the rise of the internet and the proliferation if online producers of information and commentary, alongside 24-hour news channels such as CNN and Al Jazeera, political and social actors today face a much more complex, chaotic communication environment than ever bifore, an environment characterized as one of cultural chaos. Having outlined the roots of this trend in the emergence of an expanded, globalized public sphere, the chapter goes on to ask if elite control over the political agenda has been eroded, and if it has, what the consequences for governmmt and the exercise if power might be. Can authoritarian regimes in China, the Middle East, and elsewhere survive the onset if internet-fueled global journalism, for example? In a political environment where public opinion is driven and buffeted by news coverage if unprecedented speed and volume, can democratic governments retain sufficient control over decision- and policy-making processes to enable competent social administration al'ld political management? Can the citizens of contemporary democracies use the emerging media environment to enhance elite accountability and strengthen the democratic process? The chapter concludes that the changing global media environment has the potmtial to strengthen democratic processes, though there is no sil'lgle template for the impact of the internet and other new media on specific countries.

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ID Code: 48046
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9780415429146
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Deposited On: 12 Jan 2012 07:20
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:35

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