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Democracy 3.0

Democracy 3.0. Re-Casting Media Development in Response to a Changing Environment[1]

Participants emphasized the important role played by social media (SM) in initiating and stimulating political change, while at the same time noting that during times of internal stability, their main goal should be monitoring the public mood. Developing countries often experience a situation whereby traditional media are connected to the ruling regimes, while SM represent the opinions of select groups of better-off citizens - this means that they cannot be seen as expressing the views of the majority of the population ("Half of Africa is tweeting, the other half is not eating."). The popularity of SM means that modern journalism is changing: an empowerment of individuals is taking place, which in turn means that traditional media and state institutions must undergo reform. SM is opaque when it comes to responsibility for the provided information and its verification, which in turn should be analysed in the broader context of freedom of speech. Development policy should focus on developing infrastructure which will enable greater public access to information and ensure freedom of speech[2]. Development may also be pursued by guaranteeing a transparent information system, investing in both traditional media and SM, and by focusing attention on the "content" of the shared information.

The European Commission notices the role of the media in promoting democracy and growth, as well as the changes introduced due to SM. Every national and international institution will have to adapt to the new media reality and learn to make SM part of its public information strategy.

 

[1] Organizers: Deutsche Welle Akademie, Friends of Europe and Global Forum for Media Development - GFMD. Panellists: Gabriel Accascina (UNDP), Amadou Mahtar Ba (GFMD), Ahmad Moeed (New Media, Al Jazeera English), Klaus Rudischhauser (DG DEVCO), Mark Wilson (GFMD), Patrick Leusch (Deutsche Welle Akademie), Shada Islam (Friends of Europe). Moderators: Shada Islam (Friends of Europe) and Patrick Leusch (Deutsche Welle Akademie).

[2] This is the role of political decision-makers.

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