Versita

LOCALIZING GLOBAL POLITICAL MATTERS THROUGH NEW MEDIA: SOME REFLECTIONS ON COMMUNICATION CULTURE

Auksė Balčytienė, Lina Auškalnienė, Inesa Birbilaitė, Aušra Vinciūnienė
Keywords: Political communication, new media, communication culture, European politics, globalization, localism ,

Abstract

This paper seeks to reassess the potential of new media in transnational political communication. It questions whether a wide availability of online news sources offering diverse views could become useful means in overcoming national (cultural and geographic) barriers in reporting about global political matters.
The discussion here moves on several levels of analysis. First, it draws attention to the impact of the Internet on political communication. By relying on results obtained from research studies in international (European) news communication, it also stresses the significance of contextual factors (local political, economic and cultural conditions) in transnational political communication. The paper proposes that the Internet and social media applications (blogs, social forums) may help journalists as well as citizens to retrieve background information on complex issues of global character. Simultaneously, such online communication where common interests of citizens are recognized and addressed in less formal manner may help different audiences to develop a sense of transnational understanding which could enrich news and views communicated. On the other hand, this paper also stresses that there is no universal culture of communication; instead, all characteristics of communication are related to different political, economic, social and cultural conditions where these traditions, values and norms have developed and are sustained.
The paper concludes that the communication of global political matters involves two conflicting paradigms of globalization and localism. Both of these paradigms must be adequately addressed in the analysis of the role and functions of the Internet in communication of global political matters to local audiences.