Realisation of online networked publics: a study on genre of communication, deliberation and interactivity
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 10:05 authored by Ehsan Milani
The popularity and growth of numerous online platforms which citizens can use to discuss news and current affairs has become a new area for studies on cyber culture and online journalism. In that context, this study makes enquiries into the nature of online publics in news websites and their most popular affiliated social network: Facebook. The study refers to the question of genre and its possible role in creating spaces of deliberative communication on the Web, as discussed by Ridell (2005), Dufrasne, M., and Patriarche, G. (2011). The presence of deliberative practices is then observed within discussions which emerged in news genre to reflect on Setala’s (2014) question on the function and outcome of public deliberation in the cyberspace. The thesis argues that public opinions which emerged from discussions on and about news genres should be considered as legitimate reflections of public opinion and therefore a reasonable source for policymakers and analysts for pilot studies and feedback. Recognition of publics which are created in forms of public sphericules or mini-publics is important to reinvigorate discussion on the discourse of internet democracy in the context of participatory internet forums. Recognising the contribution of online publics will lead future research to focus on the implications of the outcomes of these publics in different areas of public policy, politics, social sciences research and public relations. This study investigates the relationship between genres of communication and the emergence of deliberative practices and the formulation of public opinion within six international news websites (BBC World News, the Guardian Global edition, the New York Times Global edition, CNN international, Al Jazeera English and the Washington Post) and their official pages on Facebook.