Tag Archives: polis11

More media power-to, less power-over vanities

A day at the excellent POLIS conference about Media and Power, and participation in a panel on DIY Media Democracy, led me to think about two sorts of power in democracy, politics and community action.
One is power-over: who can make decisions or has influence – and the other is power-to. That’s the ability to understand and take action – where terms like capacity building and empowerment crop up. Communication and media is important in both.
Today’s event was about both sorts of power: citizen media power in the Midde East revolutions, campaigners using digital media, local blog sites challenging councils (Pits ‘n Pots), as well as the more traditional issues of journalists holding politicians to account, and politicians using journalists to further their aims. (According to former Labour spinner Lance Price No 10 could pretty much dictate the headlines to sympathetic journalists in the early happy days of Blair government.)
As someone said, it’s less a matter or a vibrant press and more one of a vibrant and rather vain game between politicians and journalists.
Although on reflection, the conference was perhaps mostly about power over …  more about the Citizens UK and Lord Glasman view of change, than the more collaborative community development approach of Locality, as highlighted here. read more »