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Open access

Thomas Nygren and Mona Guath

Abstract

In this study we investigate the abilities to determine the credibility of digital news among 483 teenagers. Using an online survey with a performance test we assess to what extent teenagers are able to determine the credibility of different sources, evaluate credible and biased uses of evidence, and corroborate information. Many respondents fail to identify the credibility of false, biased and vetted news. Respondents who value the importance of credible news seem to hold a mindset helping them to determine credibility better than other respondents. In contrast, respondents self-reporting to be good at searching information online and who find information online trustworthy are not very good at civic online reasoning. Our findings, which may be linked to theories of disciplinary literacy, science curiosity and overconfidence, provide a basis for further research of how to better understand and support civic online reasoning in classrooms and society.

Open access

Picturing two modernities

Ecological modernisation and the media imagery of climate change

Jarkko Kangas

Abstract

The article analyses the discursive roles of two prominent themes of the habitual media climate change imagery: “the smokestack” and “renewable energy”. Through semiotic analysis of connotation and thematic content analysis of images in The Guardian, the article argues that the constant reliance on these two themes and the particular ways of representing them sustain a definition of climate change as a technological dualism. The article argues further that this dualism of “dirty” and “clean” technologies, as the predominant way of visualising direct causes of and responses to climate change, articulates ecological modernisation discourse and its central storyline of progressing from “defiling growth” toward “sustainable development” (Hajer, 1995). The article suggests (1) further research on conventional thematic imageries as a meaningful approach to studying policy discourses and (2) the relevance of applying concepts of policy research to understanding and challenging the political bearings of prominent visualisations.

Open access

Logics of the Icelandic Hybrid Media System

Snapchat and media-use before the 2016 and 2017 Althing elections

Birgir Guðmundsson

Abstract

The increased importance of social media platforms and network media logic merging with traditional media logic are a trademark of modern hybrid systems of political communication. This article looks at this development through the media-use by politicians before the 2016 and 2017 parliamentary elections in Iceland. Aggregate results from candidate surveys on the use and perceived importance of different media forms are used to examine the role of the new platform Snapchat in relation to other media, and to highlight the dynamics of the hybrid media system in Iceland. The results show that Snapchat is exploited more by younger politicians and those already using social media platforms. However, in spite of this duality between old and new media, users of traditional platforms still use new media and vice versa. This points to the existance of a delicate operational balance between different media logics, that could change as younger politicians move more centre stage.

Open access

Covering Regional Blind Spots

Commentary journalism in the regional public sphere

Birgit Røe Mathisen and Lisbeth Morlandstø

Abstract

A significant trend within journalism is the growth of the commentary genre. Another trend is the regional withdrawal within news journalism. News media are closing down district offices, which raises concerns over media shadows and blind spots in coverage. This article addresses both of these trends through a case analysis of the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys. Launching its commentary innovation Nordnorsk debatt, Nordlys aims to exceed its geographical area within these columns, facilitating a regional public sphere in the Arctic region. The article discusses the role of opinion-based journalism in the regional public sphere, within the theoretical perspective of media ecology and institutional theory. We argue that covering the regional level in society is a vital part of journalism’s institutional role. In addition, from an ecological perspective, the role of being a regional voice is important in the national public sphere.

Open access

Deepjyoti Chand

Abstract

As interdependence grows, economic issues are increasingly political in their nature and impact, and political issues are increasingly economic. The interdependence is acute in issues that relate to international trade, and especially in the case of landlocked countries. Nepal is one such land-locked country, being between India and China, whose economy depends on the trade relations with its neighbouring countries. Two-thirds of Nepalese trade depends on India. The article presents a summary of Nepal-India trade cooperation, primarily the Nepalese dependence in trade and transit route to India and its effects. It also presents an overview of the trade pattern between the two countries and focuses on the trade embargoes by India. The article analyses the reason behind the embargoes of 1969, 1989 and 2015 and how the situations have been resolved. The embargoes imposed by India on Nepal seem to be more political in nature and their impacts are both political and economic. The Indian embargoes in Nepal follow an objective of compliance, deterrence and subversion. By analysing India’s pursuance of trade embargoes against Nepal, the article reaffirms that landlocked nations such as Nepal are susceptible to manipulation by geopolitical threats since neighbouring countries adjust trade ties or use trade ties to fulfil their political, security and economic interests.

Open access

Ewa Skrabacz

Abstract

Constituting the key element of a democratic system, political parties are among entities obliged by the Polish legislator to comply with the principle of disclosure by providing public information. The main objective of this paper is to determine the level of Polish political parties’ disclosure, understood here as their willingness to disclose information on their own structures. It seems that the practice of disclosing such basic organizational data may constitute a specific measure of Polish political parties’ respect for the idea of disclosure. The subject matter of the conducted research was particular parties’ sites in the Public Information Bulletin as well as their official websites. An attempt was made to acquire data concerning party structures by way of direct contact with particular parties’ organizational units – questionnaires were sent to both central and regional/district organizational units. In order to acquire a wider perspective, the research also included data provided by the Central Statistical Office concerning political parties’ organizational structures and election manifestos. The conducted analysis was summarized in the form of a ranking of the examined political parties based on a proposed political party disclosure index. This attempt to measure disclosure on the basis of data on internal structures provided by parties themselves is of a preliminary character which, nevertheless, makes it possible to capture the general properties of the phenomenon under analysis. Among the examined parties, it is PSL, SLD, and PO that, to an acceptable degree, follow the principle of disclosure in the analysed scope (indexes at the level of 60%-80% of the maximum value). Four other parties, i.e. N, Wolność, Razem, and Kukiz’15, are on the edge of the zone making it possible to regard their disclosure as sufficient (indexes at the level of around 50% of the maximum value). In the case of PiS, whose index does not reach 20% of the maximum value, it should be concluded that this party implements the principle of disclosure at a minimum level. The ranking did not show relationships between parties’ willingness towards providing information and their sizes or positions on the political scene (parliamentary parties vs. extra-parliamentary parties).

Open access

Denys Kutsenko

Abstract

The paper analyzes the transformation of identity politics of Kharkiv local authorities after the Euromaidan, or Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea, and the War in Donbass. Being the second largest city in Ukraine and becoming the frontline city in 2014, Kharkiv is an interesting case for research on how former pro-Russian local elites treat new policies of the central government in Kyiv, on whether earlier they tried to mobilize their electorate or to provoke political opponents with using soviet symbols, soviet memory, and copying Russian initiatives in the sphere of identity.

To answer the research question of this article, an analysis of Kharkiv city and oblast programs and strategies and of communal media were made. Decommunisation, as one of the most important identity projects of Ukrainian central authorities after 2014, was analyzed through publications in Kharkiv’s city-owned media as well as reports from other scholars. Some conclusions are made from the analysis of these documents: Kharkiv development strategy until 2020, Complex program of cultural development in Kharkiv in 2011–2016 (and the same for 2017–2021), The regional program of military and patriotic training and participation of people in measures of defense work in 2015–2017, Program of supporting civil society in 2016–2020 in Kharkiv region and the city mayor’s orders about the celebration of Victory Day (9 May), the Day of the National Flag (23 August), the Day of the City (23 August) and Independence Day (24 August) in 2010–2015.

Open access

Lilla Barbara Paszkiewicz

Abstract

The Polish socialist movement has undergone various stages of development over more than 100 years of history. In the first half of the 20th century it was, to a large extent, identified with European Social Democracy. After the Second World War and the seizure of power in Poland by the communists, the socialist movement was replaced by a communist ideology that completely distorted the authentic democratic socialism and appropriated the values it represented. The unmasking of communist counterfeits was dealt with by the Polish émigré activist – Adam Ciołkosz, who as active politician and theoretician of socialism, showed a special activity in the contestation of communism. His views as an authentic Social Democrat had a significant impact on the political thought of the Polish socialist movement outside Poland. Ciołkosz, as an anti-Communist, represented such values as: respect for human rights and social justice, humanistic sensitivity, Christianity and above all socialism. At the same time, he promoted the need to fight communism and expose the criminal ideology. He pointed to the need to introduce a system of social justice (i.e. democratic socialism).

Open access

Rafał Dudała

Abstract

The conducted analysis evokes the polysemous character of the concept of laicism, which was influenced by modern political and philosophical ideas. Two positions have determined this: a diachronic one encompasses laicism as a process extended in time, and a synchronous one allows one to perceive the simultaneity of phenomena. Thus, the concept itself reveals its practical value, especially in the context of these challenges, which affect both the state crisis and the changing relationship between the State and the Church. This value is confirmed by an important place in the secular research that is based on the principles of sovereignty, equality and separation. Th us, laicism postulated and implemented in the democratic system and its reference to fundamental values should support, above all, the importance of arguments, mutual persuasion and decision-making procedures based on consensus.