Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2012) The International Communication Association's flagship journal, Journal of Communication, released a special issue on social media and democracy. As revolutions erupted in real time in Tunisia and Egypt in late 2010 and early 2011, it was obvious that social media were important and not well understood. This special issue has a selection of articles that tell a fascinating but complicated story of media and political change in the Middle East and other countries.
"With pundits of all persuasions rushing to judgment, I believed it was our duty as communication researchers to bring the best available analysis of the facts to the public as soon as we could," said Malcolm Parks, editor of Journal of Communication. "The story of the Arab Spring is a story of social media and mobile communication, to be sure, but it is also a story that extends well beyond the Middle East and North Africa and well beyond digital media."
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Co-editor for the special issue, Phil Howard, added, "This issue releases the latest peer-reviewed research into the relationship between digital media and democracy. The findings are well substantiated, and the methods diverse. But the conclusions are not always upbeat. The communication researchers in this collection demonstrate that digital media can have an important causal role in eroding a dictator's credibility and raising public awareness of political alternatives. But they also demonstrate that digital media can be a powerful tool for social control."
Contact: To schedule an interview with the editors or authors, please contact John Paul Gutierrez, firstname.lastname@example.org. All articles are freely available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcom.2012.62.issue-2/issuetoc
The International Communication Association is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. With more than 4,300 members in 80 countries, ICA includes 26 divisions and interest groups and publishes the Communication Yearbook and five major, peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, Communication, Culture & Critique, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. For more information, visit www.icahdq.org.
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