The world of media and communication

May 20, 2013

Inclusive dialogue online

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ash91blog @ 9:40 am


The inception of the Internet and the web 2.0 has changed the traditional roles of news producers and news consumers to become intrinsically blurred (Lewis, S., 2010) which has resulted in individuals moving from a private realm to a public realm (Murthy, D. 2010). This shift in the digital economy has indicated the online environment is a space with a greater expectation for user engagement (Lewis, S., 2010). The integration of online forums, blogging platforms and twitter the conversation no longer finishes at the authors last point, however, readers are active who voice their opinions online, adding to the diversity of the media. This aspect of online dialogue was addressed in the lecture for week 11, which has emerged as a common practice/ trend amongst many online news sites.

Large media organisations envisioned a platform that enabled the media to be more democratic in contemporary society. The practice of inclusive online dialogue allowed individuals to frequently comment on news articles, providing rude comments or offensive comments, in which it was not long before media companies started to delete comments, threats and posts from users who tried to joint the conversation. In this perspective as discussed in the lecture, the anonymity given to people online, disinhibits people and allows someone to be more bold and brave in their commentary which would not happen in the offline environment.

According to Martin (2011) online exchanges between online users and broadcasters have become potent symbols of public service broadcastings increased relevance” (Martin 2011). When BBC released an online article titled “Boy scouts of America votes to ease ban on gay members” (BBC 2013), was the article released to stir the public or to promote acceptance for homosexuality, as it is a topic that is highly relevant to contemporary society in the US. As a controversial topic in society the article received 476 comments on the first day published. In this instance, they’re as a lot of criticism and derogative comments made on the threads, which indicates a negative aspect to online dialogue in allowing individuals to “join in the conversation”. Should BBC delete the negative comments to promote a better public service for users?

Online dialogue promotes public service and a greater connection with the community on an international level. According to Couldry (2009) it is suggested that ‘only by listening is a comment heard’ (Couldry, N 2009) in which online there is always two sides to story; one side will be more dominant than the other. The Internet allows for freedom of speech online (Murthy D 2010) however the extent to which this should be promoted is very much a grey area. I believe there should be moderation on open forums and comment threads similar to the strategies adopted by large media organisations. The posting of negative comments should be monitored online as words can be powerful and detrimental to an individuals emotional stability.


BBC 2013, ‘Boy scouts of America votes to ease ban on gay members’, BBC News US & Canada, accessed 20/5/13

Couldry, N 2009 ‘Rethinking the politics of voice, continuum’ Journal of media& cultural studies, vol 23, no. 4 pp 579- 582

Lewis, S., Kaufhold, K., Lasorsa, D. 2010., ‘Thinking about citizen journalism’, Journalism Practice, vol 4, no 2, pp 163-179

Martin, F 2012, ‘Voc Populi, Vox Dei: ABC Online and the risks of dialogic interaction’, in Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the web, editors, N. Brugger and M. Burns, New York: Peter Lang pp 177-192

Murthy, D 2011, ‘”Twitter: Microphone for the masses?”, Media, Culture and Society, vol.33, no.3, pp 779-789


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