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This book is the first to comprehensively analyse the political and societal impacts of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a region of the Global South. It evaluates under what conditions some Latin American governments and people have succeeded in taking up the opportunities related to the spread of ICTs, while others are confronted with the pessimist scenario of increased, digitally induced social and democratic cleavages. Specifically, the book examines if and how far the spread and use of new ICT affected central aims of democratic governance such as reducing socio-economic and gender inequality; strengthening citizen participation in political decision making; increasing the transparency of legislative processes; improving administrative processes; providing free access to government data and information; and expanding independent spaces of citizen communication. The country case and cross-country explore a range of bottom-up driven initiatives to reinforce democracy in the region. The book offers researchers and students an interdisciplinary approach to these issues by linking it to established theories of media and politics, political communication, political participation, and governance. Giving voice to researchers native to the region and with direct experience of the region, it uniquely brings together contributions from political scientists, researchers in communication studies and area studies specialists who have a solid record in political activism and international development co-operation.

This paper reviews debates, approaches, and discourses on gender, technology and development. The aim is to contribute towards the understanding of the nature, concerns and contributions of ongoing research in the gender, information communication and technology for development field. It outlines the major themes and methodological approaches to the field by reviewing and calling for changes in the theoretical and empirical directions of this area of study. It concludes with analysis of major themes emanating from the field.

Last month, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) – a multi-stakeholder coalition of ICT companies, civil society organisations, investors and academics – signed a cooperation agreement with another body called Industry Dialogue, or, to give it its full name, Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. Why should journalism and media policy people care about this? Two reasons…

First, as Rebecca Mackinnon has pointed out on this site before, a free, open internet is crucial for press and media freedom – and that includes the mobile internet: 

All news organisations – whether their final news product is distributed online, in print, or broadcast – are increasingly dependent on broadband and mobile networks to gather, transmit, compile, and disseminate their reports and investigations. Whether the internet remains open and globally inter-operable affects the ability of all news organisations to obtain fair access to increasingly global or geographically-dispersed audiences.

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