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New media for global citizens? The future of the digital divide debate

Couldry, Nick ORCID: 0000-0001-8233-3287 (2007) New media for global citizens? The future of the digital divide debate. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 14 (1). pp. 249-261. ISSN 1080-0786

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We often hear the “global citizen” invoked, but it is far from clear who she is, what she will do, and what resources she will need to act. However, when we answer these questions, it is clear that new media will contribute importantly to the answer. How should we think about new media’s relation to global citizenship? What issues do we need to address, and how do those new issues relate to digital divide debates from a decade ago, which asked how communication resources contributed to democracy? A difficulty here is that many things are changing at once. Both the digitalization of media and the rapid expansion of global Internet use mean three things: First, that media are taking on many new and increasingly inter-convertible forms; Second, that the global media audience’s size and distribution is changing rapidly (China now has the second largest population of Internet users and is likely to overtake the United States in the medium term); And third, that what audiences can do with media, and where, is also changing, with new possibilities for non-media professionals to make inputs to media systems from home, work, or on the move. The term new media encompasses all of these dizzying changes, and the resulting uncertainties about what audiences can do with media are being overtaken by the greater uncertainty about what audiences will do with the expanding opportunities that media provide.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Brown University
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2013 11:26
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:40

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