Archive for April 2010

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[ecrea] CfP "(Re)creating public sphere, civic culture and civic engagement : public service media vs online social networks", Special Issue of the IJEG

Thu Apr 15 14:35:58 GMT 2010

>International Journal of Electronic Governance (IJEG)
>Call For Papers " Special Issue
>(Re)creating public sphere, civic culture and civic engagement :
>public service media vs. online social networks
>Guest Editors
>Prof. Petros Iosifidis
>Dept of Sociology
>City University London, UK
>e-mail: <mailto:(P.Iosifidis /at/>(P.Iosifidis /at/
>Prof. Michael Meimaris
>Dept of Communication and Media Studies
>University of Athens, Greece
>e-mail: <mailto:(mmeimaris /at/>(mmeimaris /at/
>Deadline for paper submission : September 10, 2010
>The net generation, growing up with the internet 
>and other online media, is widely assumed to 
>consist of more responsible citizens, using 
>their technological expertise to campaign on 
>social and political issues, exercise closer 
>scrutiny over their governments, genuinely being 
>more politically engaged. Citizens of the 
>so-called global village, virtual democracy, 
>electronic agora or blogosphere are said to 
>fulfil the dream of a unified and interconnected 
>world. The unprecedented expansion of Online 
>Social Networks (OSN) such as Facebook, MySpace, 
>LinkedIn & Twitter offers vast opportunities for 
>communication, entertainment & chatting. These 
>online forums differ from traditional media, 
>such as Public Service Media (PSM), in that they 
>allow more interactivity and many-to-many 
>communication. But they have some similarities 
>to Habermas concept of the public sphere: net 
>spheres are public places that are outside of 
>control by the state; they allow individuals to 
>exchange views and knowledge as well as critical 
>points of view; they are spaces where 
>public-minded rational consensus can be developed.
>The advantages of cyber-media are that they are 
>not confined to frequency bandwidth; any one can 
>be a publisher (ability to voice ones 
>opinion; collective action); they provide access 
>(to all with internet account); they are 
>self-generating social networks, allowing 
>networks to form from participation, rather than 
>structuring relationships from the top. However, 
>the net can turn to be a noisy, uncontrolled 
>environment; the open participation may turn 
>chaotic, so there can be no model rules of 
>behaviour or structured conversation; texts and 
>voices may result in anarchic, rather than 
>democratic forms of participation. What is more, 
>there are linguistic barriers and blogging sites 
>are typically dominated by white male voices & 
>polarized opinion. The very notion of openness 
>is at stake as there is limited competition 
>among providers. Inclusiveness can be an issue 
>too  not all people use the Net due to cost 
>considerations or lack of skills, especially in 
>the developing world. Most crucially, critical 
>discussion  the very notion of the Public 
>Sphere  is often absent on the Net, whose content is highly partisan.
>So, is it a myth that the Internet can revamp 
>the Public Sphere, tackle political apathy and 
>mobilize citizens? Not entirely, for there are 
>plenty of good examples to show the opposite, as 
>evidenced by Barack Obamas online campaign to 
>activism on Facebook and Twitter and the 
>Twitter-aided demonstrators in Moldova and Iran 
>against the fraud parliamentary election results 
>and the Iranian authoritarian government 
>respectively. Groups in Facebook can choose to 
>support the lineralisation of Tibet; Twitter 
>often has real-time updates on events like the 
>Mumbai terrorist attacks. These examples 
>highlight the Nets informative and mobilising power.
>Subject Coverage
>This special issue seeks research articles and 
>case studies that can address the broad theme of 
>(re)creating public sphere, civic culture and 
>civic engagement through Public Service Media 
>vs. Online Social Networks and offer 
>argumentation and analysis on the following issues:
>·         Has the mobilising and democratising 
>power of the Internet been exaggerated?
>·         Has the Net the ability to offer critical political discussion?
>·         Can the OSN contribute to the 
>(re)creation of Public Sphere, Civic Culture, 
>Civic Engagement, and therefore address the Democratic deficit?
>·         Is violation of privacy in pursuit of profit an issue of concern?
>·         Will the networks be viable, or are we 
>heading for another Internet bubble, given that 
>people log in to chat with friends, thus not 
>paying attention to ads, as well as ad firms 
>scepticism to advertising their products and services next to user-gen content?
>·         Is it about time we looked again at 
>PSM for recreating the Public Sphere, tackling 
>political apathy, and offering a better space 
>for rational debate and culture dissemination in 
>light of their openness to all at affordable 
>prices; offerings of new open forms of 
>distribution & access, including archives, 
>pod-casts and digital distribution; 
>trustworthiness as credible information source and safe spaces for discussion?
>Notes for Intending Authors
>Submitted papers should not have been previously 
>published or be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.
>All papers are refereed through a double blind 
>process. A guide for authors, sample copies and 
>other relevant information for submitting papers 
>are available on the IJEG 
><>Submission of Papers web-page.
>All papers must be submitted online through the 
><>IJEG On-line 
>Submissions System. If you experience any 
>problems submitting your paper online, please 
><mailto:(submissions /at/>(submissions /at/, 
>describing the exact problem you experience. 
>Please include in your email the title of the Journal.
>Important Dates
>Deadline for paper submission :               September 10, 2010
>Notification of review results :                  December 10, 2010
>Submission of revised manuscripts :        January 10, 2011
>The special issue will be published in Spring 2011.
>IJEG Editor-in-Chief
>Prof. Panagiotis Georgiadis
>University of Athens, E-Government Laboratory
>IJEG Executive Editor
>Prof. Dimitris Gouscos
>University of Athens, Department of Communication and Media Studies

Nico Carpentier (Phd)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University of Brussels
Centre for Studies on Media and Culture (CeMeSO)
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-629.18.56
F: ++ 32 (0)2-629.36.84
Office: 5B.401a
European Communication Research and Education Association
E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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