Media discourses of public participation
|Year of publication
|Chapter of a book
|MU Faculty or unit
|The chapter discusses the notion of 'public participation' in relation to media discourses. While it argues for an integrated interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of participation in media contexts, it draws on sociopragmatic theory to identify several modalities of public participation in traditional, broadcase as well as online media. It also identifies several problematic aspects of public participation and their effects on media discourses: content customization; user-generated content; remediation and ripple and tsunami effects; merging of private and public spheres; accidental participation; dispreferred participation; and humorous participation. It notes that the shift to digital communication has resulted in multi-platform engagement and participation across various platforms, which construct different participatory roles and possibilities for users. We see the intertwiting of news media and social media, leading to context collapse and sometimes problematic - or even socially pathological - forms of online participation. The chapter concludes that users' engagement with the media is inherently political; not just because of its frequently critical nature, with users demanding accountability of public figures and questioning public policies and actions, but also because of their often ambivalent relationship to the mainstream media, reflecting the frequent distrust in the existing power structures.