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Using Digital Media for Civic Engagement - Book Report/Review Example

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In the paper “Using Digital Media for Civic Engagement” the author analyzes the use of the digital literacy skills that are important for facilitating online civic discussions. They include computer literacy skills such as web browsing, typing and use of major internet applications such as computer graphics, blogging and podcasting skills…
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Using Digital Media for Civic Engagement
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Using Digital Media for Civic Engagement A public sphere is an area of social life where people unite to freely discuss and identify social problems. Discussions in public sphere influence political actions in terms of soliciting for support for different candidates and educating the public about pertinent political issues. Rheingold’s article defines a public sphere as a discursive space where individuals and groups gather to discuss issues of mutual interest and arrive at common judgement. The youth use the internet as their public sphere where they majorly discuss important issues such as politics (Howard 107). The digital literacy skills that are important for facilitating online civic discussions include computer literacy skills such as web browsing, typing and use of major internet applications such as wikis, videos and imaging, computer graphics, blogging and podcasting skills. Civic engagement refers to the process of involving the public in important political issues and decisions. The engagement includes creating awareness and educating the public about their civic rights and importance of participating in civic issues such as voting. Civic education among the youth is greatly enhanced through digital media. The internet is an important media where young people converge and discuss important issues. Therefore, using the internet platform for youth civic engagement is critical in involving the youth in civic matters and soliciting their participation in political and other critical national issues (Howard 116). Civic engagement is important for two key reasons. One, civic education is a core principle of democracy. Through the public sphere, people get to air their voice and contribute to important decisions such as voting in public referendums for issues that affect them directly. Civic engagement influences the public to exercise their voting rights and influence formulation of public policies. Second, civic engagement leads to more efficient and effective decisions since the input of all stakeholders is considered in making the final decision.
To make the connection to the broader community clear in my contribution, I shall use digital skills such as podcasting and wikis to reach more people. The massages in these media will be simple, brief and concise to ensure that every member both online and offline understands the content and can resonate with it. The emails will be customized to suit different groups in the society Howard 101). For example, use of digital content such as images, videos and other graphics will suit the youth, while the elderly will be enticed with brief and comprehensive civic content, written in a simple form, mainly written in prose. To make the strongest case for my position in order to maximize my public voice, the following factors need consideration. Picking a topic of interest and informing myself through searching for information and checking authority for that information. This will facilitate an informed argument for the position taken. Making a case for the issue chosen will provide answers to questions raised by the public (Howard 97). The case need not to be proved but must be stated to provide the public with a context that can facilitate discussions and search for answers. Use of links that build the argument, use of factual sources and statements uttered by others to assert the chosen position will be critical in illustrating the point of view and strengthen the position taken.
Work Cited
Rheingold, Howard. "Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement." Civic life online: Learning how digital media can engage youth (2008): 97-118. Read More
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