Informed citizenship and democratic participation in the contemporary media ecosystem
Maria Elizabeth (Betsi) Grabe
Professor and Associate Dean,
The Media School, Indiana University (Bloomington), USA
Oettingenstraße 67, Hörsaal B001
In democracies across the world, voting rates are declining while media use is growing. As a consequence, alarming conclusions about a democratic crisis are advanced. Yet, it might be time to suspend such concern and calibrate research practices to accommodate an explication of informed citizenship and democratic participation fitted more closely to contemporary life. Doing so requires straying from dominant research paradigms that are grounded in convictions about the eminence of rational thought, the superiority of the written word, and the objectivity standard of news as cold hard facts. During this talk, the outcomes of experimental studies on the information value and participatory potential of images and emotionally personalized news will be presented. The goal is to exchange thought and research approaches on how to study news in the current media ecosystem of democratic systems.