Communication and Glocal Development Challenges in the Digital Era
In a time when online territories are evolving as mediated practices and social spaces, how do we assess civic action and participation in social change processes? Moreover, how relevant is the debate about online territories when assessed from an East African reality where Internet access is minimal? There are some of the questions addressed in this chapter. In the first section I assess communication for social change in the digital era from a citizen’s perspective. Secondly, I provide an example of a civil society driven media platform which seeks to enhance processes of empowerment and ultimately influence good governance and promote social change. The example is from Tanzania in Eastern Africa. Thirdly, I introduce Roger Silverstone’s (2007) notion of ‘mediapolis’ as a conceptual approach to explore the mediated public sphere as a space for civic action and participation. In the fourth section I present the concept of ‘human (in)security’ which refers to how cultures of fear and insecurity permeate public discourse, public sentiment and ultimately civic action. Finally, I discuss how to theorize communication for social change in a digital era, approaching it from a citizens perspective and connecting the contexts outlined in this paper – human (in)security, mediápolis and citizenship - with the Tanzanian reality.
Digital Formations: Globalization, Mediated Practice and Social Space, 2011, p. 113-131
Globalization; Communication for Development; East Africa