Digital Backyards Forum “Movements”: Public Talk with Vito Campanelli, Tobias Eberwein, Inga Lirenkadan, Tomislav Medak

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  • “Movements”: Public Talk with Vito Campanelli, Tobias Eberwein, Inga Lirenkadan, Tomislav Medak

    Video lecture: “New Organizations” by Tomislav Medak Watch the video on Vimeo.

    The sandcastles of representation, the sandboxes of democracy or how recent waves of political protest across the world are resetting democracy

    *Over the last two years a considerable amount of protest has taken place all over the world: Tunis, Madrid, Kairo, Bahrain, Athens, New York, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Zagreb
    *These riots have identical root causes, although they have been played out differently

    Root causes:

    1. National economies are becoming less manageable and more sustainable to the ups and downs of the global economical situation

    2. Failing rates of profits since the 70th created an environment for capital and maximizing profits

    3. Separation of the economical from the political and of the political from the social

    These developments of the capital system have undercut the legitimacy of representative liberal democracies

    *What forms are popular democracy and political representation going to take in the future?

    *How can we bring political management of economy back in line with societies’ progress?

    *Economic inequality vs. political equality

    *The democratization of societies like Egypt or Tunis won’t happen without the right definition of political representation

    *Understanding the historical process of the last 40 years is very important to understand the crises of political systems and the process of the economic transformation: modernization, mobility, flexibility of labor, restructuration of labor force

    *Political parties have no longer a base to speak to

    *TV audience replaces political base

    *Two elements of effective political process between the social field and unselected political representatives

    1. Politicians are forced to make big political statements and contradicting promises that are not followed by actions.

    2. Political actors need to balance power, public presence and financial support by finding stable strategies. But the overall tendency is to avoid participation of the public and focus on alliances with private interest groups instead.

    *If we’re talking about new forms and tools of communication we must observe a paradox: During the digitalization everybody can talk to the global public – radical democratization of public speech

    *But politics becomes dissociated from communication

    Ways to change these wrong processes and break them down:

    *Building blocks:

    1. Stop privatization

    2. Ensure economic democracy

    3. Re-democratization of representation

    The present modes of protest have born a number of new forms of democratic organizations in themselves – they’re not just a protest but also already a different way of democracy

    Panel:

    Vito Campanelli 

    *Founder of the Pirate Party in Napoli
    *author

    Experiments as a media activist and founder of the Pirate Party in Napoli:

    *People who spend most of there time with less interaction lose the contact with real programs and are not able to lead any change of the structure of society or a revolution

    Way of founding the Pirate Party in Napoli
    *Discuss organizational aspect and after that networking
    *Meet in a friendly atmosphere so that new members will have an easier approach
    *Most of the pirates in Napoli are amateurs but experts in their field
    *Communication is important: Founded a communication group that was talking with different kind of people
    *They need to be accessible
    *The challenge is to change the image of the party – not to look like nerds
    *You have an international movement and the challenge is to make it work locally

    Q: How can a small party make a political difference?
    *With personal experience and the local communication work group
    *Right now you have to think global, but if you don’t act local there is no possibility for change

    Q: Where did the Pirate Party not spread and why?
    *Where is it not necessary because parliaments work differently
    *The program is the same but in eyery country is has a totally different meaning
    *In all European nations exist a Pirate Party but that doesn’t mean that it works!
    *For example in Italy: journalists keep talking about the Pirate Party, that is one reason why it works although it only has 200 members

    Inga Lirenkadan:
    *Media specialist from Minsk where everything is controlled and owned by the state
    *She fights against the pressure of the government with the magazine 34mag.net, which has many readers and is a symbol for freedom of the press in Belarus
    *Belarussian media situation is dangerous and less developed than in the rest of Europe; it’s the most censured country in the world
    *Independent journalism has been shut down, so media has been forced to be creative, work in the underground and to find other ways to publish via e.g. blogs, newspaper pages …
    *First project: Magazine CD; but was seized by the police in 2005
    *Reason: ”poisonous ink”
    *Went digital; information and publication were put on a CD and given to the citizens via private channels (friends, per post, clubs, bars, designer shops)
    *Users could make their own copy and share it
    *Went online in 2008 with a magazine called 34.mag.net
    *Want to present underground culture and forbidden music and books

    Q: Are there political topics that this magazine doesn’t touch?
    I: We have some measures for safety:
    *Domain is out of the country (Germany) and the magazine is not registered in Belarus
    *The members don’t tell the office’s address
    *They don’t show the author’s faces and use only nicknames-touch every topic but do not stop to think how to write about it
    *Because they want to find clever ways to make people think on there own

    Q: It’s the first alternative magazine in Belarus. Is there anybody copying the idea?
    I: Two more exist, very happy about this development and competition, a hipster blog that only covers beautiful lifestyle and one more political one

    Q: Are you optimistic about young people using the Internet?
    I: Using social media is not safe in Belarus
    *But: Social media is extremely important to share information for journalists in Europe, so they do not use it to cross the border but to communicate and discuss
    *Internet in Russia for example is open, but politicians in Russia and Belarus use this fact to abstract the younger generation with social media from politics

    Tobias Eberwein:

    *Coordinator of in the international project “Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe” (MediaAcT); which was started in 2010
    *Analyzes the development and impact of established media accountability systems (e.g. press councils, codes of ethics) as well as new media accountability systems emerging in the Internet (e.g. media criticism in blogs)
    *Join effort of 14 partners across Europe and the Arab world
    *Main goals:
    *To investigate the quantity and quality of media accountability systems as prerequisites for pluralistic debates about media independence in times of growing media concentration,
    *To compare the impact of established and innovative media accountability systems online on different media systems and journalism cultures in Europe and beyond
    *To develop policy recommendations for EU media policy makers, as well as incentives for media professionals and media users alike to actively engage in media accountability systems.
    * 1800 journalists in 14 European countries have been asked 25 questions such as personal experiments with being criticized in different ways (via social media, press council, colleges), impact of journalist blogs, user comments, criticism on social media, …

    Results:

    *Journalists in Europe and Arabic World have only limited experience with established media accountability instruments, whose impact is judged as comparably los in most countries
    *They prefer informal ways of criticism, mostly on the organizational level
    *The internet can be a motor for media accountability practice, particularly in those countries without established infrastructure of media-self-regulation
    *Journalists observe more user activity online, but perceive the impact of participatory MAI as rather low as well
    *Future research should explore the potentials of media accountability initiatives on the organizational levels (“media CRS”)!
    *Not a big interest to have a CSR

    Q: Found out something that surprised you:
    *They were too optimistic in the role of the internet; there is no interest in online discussion and communication in Germany

    Q: Does the classic way of looking at journalism still exist: Tell the truth in an objective way?
    *Journalists were asked whether they think if user comments are useful: most journalist say yes, but if it comes to criticism they say no – it’s paradox!

    Q: What role does it play to be anonymous while writing a comment?
    *There are different perceptions about what quality anonymous user comments have; you have to find a system to sort the important ones out

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