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Politics

Factors Affecting Media Trust in the Czech Republic

The third speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Jakob Macek, who turns out focus to the apparently increasing polarisation of political discourses in many developed nations – he cites Brexit, the U.S. elections, elections in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and other countries as examples. This generates huge challenges for the social sciences: for opinion polling, most obviously, as well as for other forms of studying public debate and public opinions.

Does e-Participation Generate More Positive Attitudes towards Democracy?

The second speaker in this ECREA 2016 speakers are Dennis Friess and Pablo Porten Cheé, who shift our attention to e-participation tools and platforms. They begin by noting that there is a democratic crisis which manifests itself in growing scepticism about representative policy-making. One response to this is a call for more opportunities for citizen participation, especially also through online platforms; but does such e-participation lead to more positive attitudes towards democratic processes?

Do Conspiracy Theorists Leave More Critical Comments on News Websites?

The next ECREA 2016 session starts with Marc Ziegele, whose focus is on the presence of conspiracy theories and truth demands in user comments on the news. Some theorists have had high hopes for the role of user comments as a deliberative medium, increasing the diversity of viewpoints and enabling a broad discussion about the news by ordinary participants.

Platform Power in Turbulent Times

The second keynote speaker at ECREA 2016 today is Rasmus Kleis Nielsen from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He begins by noting the rise of platforms such as Google and Facebook as new digital intermediaries: these major global companies enable interactions between at least two different kinds of actors, host public information, organise access to it, and give rise to new information formats, and influence incentive structures around investment in public communication (including journalism).

Twitter in Frankfurt's Blockupy Protests

The final speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is the great Luca Rossi, whose focus is on the Blockupy Frankfurt protests, directed against the inauguration of the new European Central Bank building. These protests used social media as a central means of generating engagement and activity.

Social Media in the 2012 Québec Student Strikes

I'm afraid my blogging app decided to delete my notes on the next presentation at ECREA 2016, so we're moving on directly to the paper by Mireille Lalancette, whose interest is in the role of social media in Canadian politics. Québec experienced a major student strike during the first half of 2012, protesting against an increase in tuition fees but also linking with a number of other social issues.

Social Media Networks in the Tunisian Spring

The second morning at ECREA 2016 starts with Laura Pérez-Altable, whose focus is on the Arab Spring in Tunisia. She begins by pointing out the double articulation of social media as a material object as well as as symbolic and discursive; this also goes for the social networks that are encoded in social media environments.

Social Media Sourcing Practices in the Czech Republic

The next speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Radim Hladík, who shifts our focus to the Twitterisation of Czech news. He begins by noting the fact that journalism now exists in a hybrid media system where old and new media meet and interact in a variety of ways; just how these interactions take place is not necessarily clear or predictable, however. In particular, there are questions about intermedia agenda-setting dynamics between conventional and social media, exploring how online sources are used to complement or supplant conventional sources.

Instagram Protests around the 2014 Romanian Elections

The final speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Darren Lilleker, whose focus is also on Instagram. On the platform, politics has become part of a suite of everyday uses, and this also points to the everyday dimension of political discussion. Some of this may be part of narcissistic self-promotion, but much is also about the social mediation of everyday life.

Twitter and Instagram in the 2015 Norwegian Regional Elections

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is the great Anders Larsson, whose interest is in the use of Twitter and Instagram in the 2015 Norwegian regional elections. Instagram in particular has ben underresearched to date, especially given its substantial userbase and its ability to attract younger audiences. The underlying assumption here is that smaller parties may be early movers on these platforms, and that such uses are gradually normalised with the adoption by the major parties; this has already been observed for the case of Twitter in Norway.

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