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The citizen as media critic in periods of media change
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2017-1117
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
2010 (English)In: OBS - Observatorio, ISSN 1646-5954, E-ISSN 1646-5954, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 287-306Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Media criticism often evolve – and grow in strength – during times of media change with new forms of journalism, new media formats, new media markets, new ways of addressing media markets and new media technologies. Different stakeholders may pursue their interests by formulating a media critique that protect their positions and promotes status quo. It is not difficult to find critics who in the name of the citizens formulate criticism against journalism and the media. It is more difficult to find and study representative examples of criticism expressed by the citizens themselves. The technological development on the Internet has paved the way for a number of new communicative tools that enable users to interact with each other and publish content in a way that changes the conditions for citizens to act as media critics radically. This is an aspect of the Internet’s democratic and participatory potential – and a key point in the rhetoric surrounding the concept “web 2.0”. In this paper we analyse and compare media critical debates during two periods of media change in Sweden: A) the debate caused by the launch of the tabloid Expressen in the 1950’s, and B) the critique against the new, commercially driven participatory news- and debate forum called Newsmill, launched in 2008. These historical and contemporary cases are used to enlighten a theoretical discussion about participatory online media’s potential for improving the conditions for citizens to act as media critics in a fruitful way. Both Expressen and Newsmill represent examples of journalistic innovations that affect surrounding media considerably. The result of the comparison point to a new dilemma related to the role of citizens as media critics in the digital age. The fact that the citizens themselves are now increasingly involved in the production of content, also puts them in a new role as defenders of the site that publish their content, against critics from traditional mass media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lisbon: OberCom , 2010. Vol. 4, no 4, p. 287-306
Keywords [en]
Media criticism; tabloid journalism; participatory journalism; Web 2.0; Expressen; Newsmill; Media Accountability
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12661DOI: 10.7458/obs442010432Local ID: DEMICOMOAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-12661DiVA, id: diva2:377441
Projects
Digital Public DiscoursesAvailable from: 2010-12-14 Created: 2010-12-14 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Understanding Media Accountability: Media Accountability in Relation to Media Criticism and Media Governance in Sweden 1940-2010
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Media Accountability: Media Accountability in Relation to Media Criticism and Media Governance in Sweden 1940-2010
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The concepts of media accountability, media criticism and media governance are analysed and discussed in a Swedish setting; how they relate to each other and interact. This is achieved by using various methods – a survey to editors, analy- ses of parliamentary debates, interviews, direct observation and document stu- dies – in studying different stakeholders, media representatives and governance conditions in Sweden during the last 70 years.

The findings point in a direction of dynamic complexities with a central role for media criticism. The type, level and intensity of media criticism may affect the functioning of the media governance structure and is a vital part of the media accountability process. The media governance structure – which in addi- tion to media criticism is influenced by international conditions, technological developments and political factors – may in turn affect the media accountability process. In this process, media representatives aim to defend obtained positions of societal influence, achieve and maintain positive PR and enhance editorial quality at the same time.

Media criticism may start a substantial media accountability process if the discontent is widespread and not countered by market approval or political iner- tia. The process is facilitated if the critique is connected to more than one frame of accountability and if stakeholders see opportunities for dual objectives. Very strong and widespread media criticism may be difficult for media organizations to neglect.

The accountability process in Sweden has become less dependent on corpora- tive negotiations between organized interests and political assemblies. Instead, two other tendencies seem to have emerged: on the one hand a possibility for media organizations to favour such accountability processes that they are able to control, and on the other hand the rise of a rich variety of sometimes short-lived accountability instruments that may develop for specific occasions and are difficult to control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2012. p. 68
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 131
Keywords
media criticism, media responsibility, media accountability, media regulation, media governance, public interest
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16679 (URN)DEMICOM (Local ID)978-91-87103-26-1 (ISBN)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
Public defence
2012-09-07, Lubbesalen M 108, Åkroken, Sundsvall, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-08-14 Created: 2012-07-31 Last updated: 2013-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://obs.obercom.pt/index.php/obs/article/view/432

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Holt, KristofferKrogh, Torbjörn von

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