Volume 9, Number 18/19 (2014)
A publication of the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies
and the University Research Institute of Applied Communication
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
FROM INTERACTION TO PARTICIPATION: A COMMENTARY ON THE DETERMINANT FACTORS OF NEW MEDIA
The difficulty of finding and formulating a universally accepted definition of new media, with a classificatory effect, has led to the acceptance of descriptive definitions which converge on technological characteristics. The paper at hand aims to contribute to the discussion on the determinant factors of new media in an effort to further clarify their characteristics in the dynamically evolving communication environment. The elaboration of the issue focuses selectively firstly on interaction, as a characteristic arising from the technological properties of new media, and secondly on participation, as a characteristic resulting from the conditions of use. The interactive nature of new media is re-examined under the light of hypertextuality, while the participatory aspect is discussed on the basis of the potentiality, inherent in the concept of participativeness, and the participation practices as a measurable size.
CONCEPTUALIZATIONS, FORMS AND FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE ONLINE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
The interactive communicative structure of the Internet has introduced new ways and forms of political communication and citizen participation in social and political life. The innovations in relation to the capabilities and the modes of citizens’ activity in the digital public sphere were invested with increased democratic expectations for the renewal of democratic institutions. The aforementioned democratic expectations, however, were accompanied with democratic concerns, the most important of them being the loose connection between forms of online activity and their effects on the level of real politics. Academic research highlights a plurality of components and factors that should be analyzed thoroughly and in combination for the articulation of valid judgments in relation to the features and the political characteristics that are associated with the new forms of political participation. This paper attempts to provide a “meta-analysis” of the factors and the variables of online political participation as they accrue from recent studies at the field of political communication. The ultimate goal is the formulation of conclusions for the political stake of online political participation, which remains to be the active involvement of citizens in shaping politics.
MEDIATIZATED PLACES AND SPACES
The history of mediated communication demonstrates the power of different cultural technologies to shape the social reality, as well as the epistemology of space and time, place and community. Today, following a century of technological evolution in the modern world, our place-related practices and conceptions about space, place and belonging are produced under conditions of high technological mediatization. Today, we are increasingly dependent on the available digital media not only to “move” in space, but also to communicate with others and create places of meaningful human interaction. Given the dialectical relation between space and technology, this essay examines how our contemporary digital media-related practices on the internet and through mobile media help construct different types of space, spatial consciousness and a series of mediated places, thus forcing us to redefine the fundamental concepts of space, time and place, to fit the current condition of the multimediation of social life.
OPEN GOVERNMENTAL DATA AND THEIR ROLE IN ACHIEVING ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSPARENCY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES
The adoption of open government policies and open governmental data services has gradually evolved in a key component of the way of functioning in most national governments and the European Union. The United States and the United Kingdom are pioneers in the adoption of government policies based on open governmental data. In our country the last four years several services based on open governmental data have been adopted in order to ensure the integrity and transparency of government work and the accountability of public officials. The purpose of this study is to present key open governmental data initiatives in national and international level and to discuss their contribution to achieving (a) administrative transparency and (b) economic development.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS: REGARDING HUMAN INTERACTION WITH DIGITAL ARTEFACTS AND WITH THE ENVIRONMENTS THAT THESE DETERMINE
This paper investigates the ways in which the emergence of pervasive computing technologies and the Internet of Things are transforming the communication of humans with interactive systems, as well as our conception of them. In order to achieve that, the paper takes into account the relevant technological advancements as well as a selection of theoretical approaches which deal with the emergent relations between humans and things, the potential of digital artefacts to function as agents and the environmental experiences that these artefacts may afford. More specifically, theoretical approaches from the area of post-materialist philosophy, which discuss the issue of human-thing relation, as well as post-cognitivist theories, which have been utilized in the context of human-computer interaction studies, are taken into account. Ultimately, the paper works towards formulating a theoretical context, for aiding our understanding of the situation which is emerging as result of the deployment of pervasive computing technologies and the Internet of Things onto the physical and social environment.
POLITICAL NEWS REPORTING DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
This research aims to explore the coverage of Greek political news by the three major media categories (television, newspapers, and the internet) over a specific phase of the financial crisis. Specifically, the research focuses on three main areas: a) the detection of the key issues included in the daily media agenda, b) the substance of political decisions regarding key social issues, as portrayed by the mainstream media, c) the identification of some key frames, exploited by the journalistic world for the presentation of political news. Adopting the quantitative content analysis, this research ultimately attempts to illuminate the particularities of journalistic practice in relation to the presentation of politics, an important field from which emanate the most crucial public policies.