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Public Service Broadcasting in a Post-Habermasian Public Sphere

The final speaker in this ECREA 2012 session is Peter Lunt, who notes that Habermas was initially especially attracted to the diverse and disorganised nature of the early formations of the public sphere, before the massification of the mass media. How are these institutionalised forms of mass media going to respond to the transformation of the contemporary media environment, then, which returns the mediasphere to a more complex, diverse, disorganised state, then?

Online Discussion Spaces as Rational and Carnivalesque

The next speaker at ECREA 2012 is Maria Bakardjieva, who begins by noting the legacy of the public sphere concept – it has been enormously influential, especially also on central and eastern European scholars after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Making Sense of the Public Sphere with Big Data from Social Media

My own paper starts the ICA-flavoured session at ECREA 2012 this afternoon; my presentation built on our research into the uses of Twitter to explore how we might reconceptualise the public sphere. The slides are below; audio will follow. now online, too.

Social Media, Big Data, and the Public Sphere from Axel Bruns

Heterogeneous Rural Environmental Protest Groups

The final speaker at this ECREA 2012 session is Marco Bräuer, whose interest is in rural protests in Germany against the extension of major powerlines. These protest could be seen simply as a NIMBY phenomenon, but they involve a wide range of participants and protest repertoires; they appropriate innovative protest repertoires of global protest movements.

Cloud Protests as Customisable Activism

We move on to Stefania Milan as the next presenter at ECREA 2012. Her interests are in the social organisation of protest movements, especially through social media; what is the role of such media in the overall process, both at micro and meso levels? Collective action is a social construct which results for the interactions of social actors; their meaning construction is contextually embedded.

Radical and Reformist Activism against Climate Change

The next speaker in this ECREA 2012 session is Julie Uldam, who shifts our focus to the climate change debate, in the context of the UN climate change conferences. When the conference came to Copenhagen in 2009, it generated a substantial amount of activity by the climate change activists who are based in London, but the same cannot be said for the 2011 conference in Dublin.

The Corporate Hijacking of Internet Blackout Protests

The next speaker in this ECREA 2012 session is Tessa Houghton, who begins by noting the 2009 New Zealand blackout of Websites and avatars, in protest against new copyright legislation. This is a form of spectacular viral publicity, and has been repeated in a number of national contexts over the past years – variously protesting copyright or Internet regulations. The anti-SOPA/PIPA blackout of early 2012 is another example for this.

Strategic, Spectacular Transparency in WikiLeaks

For the next ECREA 2012 session, I'm attending a panel which starts with Christian Christensen's presentation on WikiLeaks. His interest is in how WikiLeaks has been engaging with mainstream media in its publishing of leaked content; WikiLeaks relied on mainstream outlets as a means of summarising and promoting such materials.

Towards a Considered View of Citizens' Media

The second ECREA 2012 keynote speaker this morning is Clemencia Rodríguez, who will be shifting our focus further towards citizens' media. She notes that it is important to take historical precedents seriously – reacting against the popular representation of recent political unrest as driven and determined by social media, and as leaderless revolutions.

Rethinking Democracy in the Current Political Context

From the excitement of a thoroughly inspiring AoIR 2012 conference, I've now made my way to Istanbul for this year's European Communications Conference, ECREA 2012. We open the conference with a keynote on e-democracy by Donatella dells Porta, considering the types of democracy which new social movements are envisaging.

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