Media freedom & the net: social justice

The Internet has brought about many real world changes throughout the years, which brings much to the case of the idea that everyone enjoys media freedom. Networked publics have enabled people to exercise their media freedom to enact change to varying levels of success, based largely on the tactics used. Shirky (2008, p. 304) states that, “our social tools are dramatically improving our ability to share, co-operate, and act together… it is leading to an epochal change.” Around 40 per cent of the world’s population has access to the Internet, the overwhelming majority of which are located in the developed world (ITU, 2014) – this does not include parts the developing world and therefore it is important to note that media freedom is far from universal. Nonetheless, the navigation of online to offline practices in effecting real world change can be examined through policy changes, activism, social groupings and interpersonal relationships, and more – however, the impact of the Internet is not wholly positive. The emerging networked public sphere has come with as many challenges as it has opportunities, and it is important to note all of these factors and both sides of the debate in going forward.

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