Up next at ASMC14 is Jacob Ørmen, whose interest is in the processes of news engagement. News has always been conveyed to others through many different channels, importantly also including ordinary political conversations between everyday people. Social media and similar sites facilitate such conversations, but this also needs to be placed in a wider context that also recognises other such conversations.
In which situations, then, do people engage in such conversations about politics? When and where do they do so? Jacob has examined this for the case of Denmark, where political engagement generally is fairly strong; Danes generally like to talk about politics, but do not necessarily do so online. Jacob's approach to researching this has used surveys and interviews to explore how people choose their spaces for political discussion.
He has defined a number of types: mixed sharers, who talk face to face, but mostly on social media; conversationalists who mainly use face to face; news consumers who receive but do not discuss political news; and disengaged citizens. Conversationalists and news consumers receive information via face to face, email, SMS, phone, and social media, but do not themselves further the discussion through electronic media forms; conversationalists tend to be older or of school age, while mixed sharers are largely early to middle-aged adults.
People who do not themselves share much information identify the strong ties in their family and friendship networks as being important in framing and setting the agenda on specific issues. Their approach is not one of lurking, however, but of active audiencing; for them, sharing is a positive network externality, and embodied interaction is important. This is also a process of translation from a public to a personal agenda: discussion of such issues by their friend and family shows these disengaged people how general issues affect them personally, and makes them relevant for them.