“From Online Activism to Offline Action – Digital Media and Democratic Space” is the title of this year’s symposium organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the “Forum Medien und Entwicklung” (FoME). The event takes place in Berlin, 29–31 October 2012.
All over the world Internet-based media have been redefining the public sphere. Political activists are using social media to transfer their protests and campaigns on to digital platforms, conquering new territories of democratic space.
But in many countries those in power are trying to reclaim the newly created venues and avenues with acts of online-censorship and state regulation of the Internet; often assisted by Western companies. From Asia to the Arab World, from Latin America to Africa: old struggles are fought on new terrain. At the same time the structure of the net itself is under threat from authoritarian states and dominant Internet companies. What, if any, regulation is needed to retain the Internet as a public sphere?
See here for more information on the FoME symposium.
PS. The 2012 annual gathering of SMiD (The association of media researchers in Denmark) has a very similar theme “Media and Civic Engagement”, with keynotes on social media, mobile media, etc. This meeting takes place 15–16 November. More info here (in Danish).