Global Civil Society and Media/Democracy Action

Doris Baltruschat
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The paper 'Global Civil Society and Media/Democracy Action' explores notions of citizenship and democracy through the analysis of globalization theories, the development of global civil society in response to globalization and the emerging 'Media and Democracy' movement.

The concept of globalization is widely used to describe the increasing interconnectedness of the economic, political and cultural spheres. Global civil society is both supportive and reactive to these developments. For some, global civil society is comprised of protest movements and anti-globalization campaigns, whereas others define it as the spread of democracy and development. Global civil society is also seen as synonymous with different organizations working towards international solidarity and human rights to fight poverty, war and environmental devastation. In spite of these differences, many organizations, institutions and activists express a global consciousness which links peoples, institutions and eco-systems. Another commonality is the increased use of media to transmit information, stage campaigns, document and provide feedback on events and to foster alliances between different groups. Media are also a 'point of convergence' for campaigns against conglomeration and convergence and the erosion of public institutions, exemplified in the activities and events on 'Media and Democracy Day'.

Since 2001, 'Media and Democracy Day' has become an annual focal point for debate and provides a voice for citizens in over 17 countries worldwide. The Media and Democracy movement highlights the importance of education in understanding how media shape society and relate to political communication and democracy. It also underscores demands for media reforms that respond to public interests, promote diversity and ensure community representation. This paper examines the origins of this movement, its place in broader discussions surrounding the 'World Summit of the Information Society', held in Geneva in 2003, and the importance of civil society in engaging questions about the future directions of globalization.

Keywords: Globalization, Media and Democracy, Civil Society, Social Movements
Stream: Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Global Civil Society and Media/Democracy Action

Doris Baltruschat

PhD candidate, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

Doris Baltruschat is a media producer and teacher. As a member of the organizing committee for 'Media and Democracy' Day in Vancouver, Canada, she presents on issues related to globalization and media literacy. She is a PhD. candidate in the Department of Communication at Simon Fraser University with research interests ranging from globalization and culture, film and television production methods to social movements and media literacy. Her research has been presented at the 'Media in Transition' Conferences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, US. and published by Sage Publications in London, England.

Ref: H05P0274