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5th estate of the Internet realm

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Introducing the concept of the Fifth Estate to undergraduates at Oxford University - seeing the Internet as a new basis for accountability

Introducing the concept of the Fifth Estate to undergraduates at Oxford University - seeing the Internet as a new basis for accountability

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  • 1. The Fifth Estate of the Internet Realm William H. Dutton Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford www.ox.ac.uk Presentation for the OII’s Undergraduate Lecture Series, 25 October 2010.
  • 2. ‘Stephen Fry has said he is going to quit Twitter after a fellow user of the popular Internet site described him as “boring”. … ’ The Sunday Times, 1 November 2009: 1 Fry later laments that he felt caught in the middle of the ‘Fifth Estate’. Media Viewing the Internet as a Disruptive Threat
  • 3. “[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more prominent far than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or witty saying; it is a literal fact – very momentous to us in these times.” Thomas Carlyle (1831), Heroes and Hero- Worship, at www.gutenberg.org.etext/1091 The Fourth Estate
  • 4. Feudal Estates into the 21st Century Estates Feudal Modern Clergy Public Intellectuals Nobility Business, Industry and Economic Elites Commons Government ‘4th Estate’ Press Journalists and the Mass Media Mob Mob
  • 5.  Press in the 18th Century -- the ‘Fourth Estate’  Internet in the 21st -- enabling a Fifth Estate Enabling people to network with other individuals and with information, services and technical resources in ways that support social accountability in business and industry, government, politics, and the media. The Fourth and Fifth Estates
  • 6. Pattern of Empirical Findings: • Networked Individuals • Space of Flows v Space of Places (Castells) • Patterns of Information Seeking and Communication • Centrality of the Internet • Trust across Media • Networked Individuals v Networked Institutions • Communicative Power: Networks of Social Accountability • Threats from, and Complementarities with, other Estates The Fifth Estate: A Sensitizing Concept
  • 7. • Studies of the political implications of information and communication technologies, like the Internet • Distributed Problem-Solving Networks, supported by McKinsey • Oxford eSocial Science Project (OeSS), supported by the ESRC • Oxford Internet Surveys, part of the World Internet Project Based on a Range of OII Research
  • 8. • 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 • Cross-sectional Surveys versus Panels • Multi-Stage Probability Sample • England, Scotland & Wales • Respondents: 14 years and older • Face-to-face Interviews, High Response Rates • Sponsorship for 2009 from the British Library, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Ofcom, and Scottish and Southern Energy • Component of World Internet Project (WIP) Oxford Internet Surveys
  • 9. 2003 2005 2007 2009 Fielded in June-July February- March March- April February- March Number of respondents 2,030 2,185 2,350 2,013 Response rate 66% 72% 77% 67% OxIS Samples
  • 10. Networked Individuals Evidence: A Pattern of Findings
  • 11. Information Seeking Online (QC22) Current users. OxIS 2005: N=1,309; OxIS 2007: N=1,578; OxIS 2009: N=1,401 12
  • 12. Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1) OxIS 2009: N=2,013 13
  • 13. Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1) OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013. 14 29% 39% 48% 38% 33% 30% 22% 18% 15% 11% 10% 7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2005 2007 2009 Taxes Use the Internet Use the telephone Personal Visit Directory or book 46% 55% 62% 13% 8% 8% 35% 30% 25% 7% 8% 5% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2005 2007 2009 Planning a trip Use the Internet Use the telephone Personal Visit Directory or book
  • 14. Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1) OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013. 15 28% 40% 52% 21% 15% 13% 40% 37% 28% 11% 8% 7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2005 2007 2009 Local schools Use the Internet Use the telephone Personal Visit Directory or book
  • 15. Ways to Look for Information Online (QC25) Current users. OxIS 2005: N=1,309; OxIS 2007: N=1,578; OxIS 2009: N=1,401 Note. Question changed in 2007. 16
  • 16. Creativity and Production Online (QC10 and QC31) Current users. OxIS 2005: N=1,309; OxIS 2007: N=1,578; OxIS 2009: N=1,401 Note. Social networking question changed in 2009. 17
  • 17. Reliability of Information on the Internet (QA4) OxIS 2003: N=2,029; OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007 N=2,350. OxIS 2009: N=2,013 Note. The scale changed from a 10 point scale in 2007 to a 5 point scale in 2009. 18
  • 18. Reliability of Information by Internet Users and Non-Users 2009 (QA4 by QH14) OxIS 2009: N=2,013 Note. The scale changed from a 10 point scale in 2007 to a 5 point scale in 2009. 19
  • 19. Average Importance of Media for Information by Internet Users and Non-Users (QA2 by QH14) OxIS 2009: N=2,013 20
  • 20. Centrality of the Internet and Trust over Time OxIS 2003: N=2,029; OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007 N=2,350. OxIS 2009: N=2,013
  • 21. Networked Individuals Networked Institutions v Individuals Evidence: A Pattern of Findings
  • 22. • Wisdom of Crowds? • Networked Individuals • Managing Networked Individuals • Three Types of Networks supporting CNOs: • 1.0 Sharing (Web, Semantic Web, Deep Linking) • 2.0 Contributing (User-generated content) • 3.0 Co-creating (Collaborative Production) Collaborative Network Organizations
  • 23.  Networked Institutions, such as in e-Health  Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate:  going to the Internet for health and medical information  networking physicians via Sermo Networked Institutions v Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate
  • 24. Sermo
  • 25.  Networked Institutions of the Fourth Estate: online journalism, BBC online, broadcasting live micro-blogging during debates …  Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate: citizen journalists, bloggers, individuals posting video on YouTube, hyper-local Websites, WikiLeaks, social networks referring friends to news and information, … Networked Institutions v Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate
  • 26.  Networked Institutions of e-Democracy: e- Consultation, e-Voting  Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate: political movements, such as aftermath of 2004 Madrid train bombing, Moveon.org, Obama Presidential campaign, protests following 2009 elections in Iran, Twittering the TV debates  Boundary Spanning: e-Petitions (Road Pricing in Britain Networked Institutions v Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate
  • 27. Arenas Shaped by 5th Estate • Press and Media (‘citizen journalism’) • Governance and Democracy (‘netizens’) • Business and Commerce (‘ratings’) • Work and the Organization (CNOs) • Education (‘backchannels’)
  • 28.  Public Sphere (Habermas)  Information Commons  Space of Flows (Castells)  Engineered Information Space (Berners-Lee)  Fifth Estate Enabled by this Space of Flows Alternative Conceptions
  • 29. Networked Individuals Networked Institutions v Individuals Communicative Power: Networks of Social Accountability Evidence: A Pattern of Findings
  • 30.  Technical Novelty -- passing fad, not relevant (not ubiquitous), or not ‘real’  Deterministic Technology of Freedom or Control  Reinforcement Politics  A Strategic Resource for Reconfiguring Access [enabling a Fifth Estate] The Politics of the Internet
  • 31.  How is the Internet being used to ‘reconfigure access’? Are there discernable patterns?  Does the Internet enable key actors to reconfigure access in ways that enhance their ‘communicative power’? Key Questions Concerning the Politics of the Digital Age Universal access v Critical mass of users
  • 32. Percentage of Internet Users Across Regions of the World
  • 33. Regions as Percentage of the Worldwide Population of Users
  • 34. Use by Age (QH14 by QD1) OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013 37
  • 35. Use by Lifestage (QH14 by QD15) OxIS 2003: N=2,029, OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013 38
  • 36. Networked Individuals Networked Institutions v Individuals Communicative Power: Networks of Social Accountability Threats and Complementarities Evidence: A Pattern of Findings
  • 37.  Industrial Strategies  News  Music  Cable and Telecommunications  Mobile  Broadcasting (Web TV)  Governmental and Regulatory Regimes  Public New Challenges: A Threat and a Target
  • 38. 18th Century Estates: 21st Century Enemies 18th Century Estates 21st Century: Enemies of the 5th Estate Attacks Clergy Public Intellectuals ‘Culture of Amateurism’, individualist consumerism Nobility Business, Industry and Economic Elites Vertical Integration; Monopoly over Search; Three Strikes Commons Government and Regulatory Agencies Filtering; Content Regulation; Identification; Disconnection Press Journalists and the Mass Media Echo Chambers; but Co-opting, Imitating, Competing Mob Spammers, Fraudsters, Cyberstalkers, … Undermining Trust and Confidence; Fostering Regulation of Content
  • 39. Centrality of the Internet, Trust in Government and Attitudes toward Internet Regulation over Time OxIS 2003: N=2,029; OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007 N=2,350. OxIS 2009: N=2,013
  • 40. The Fifth Estate: Selected References Dutton, W. H. (2008), ‘The Wisdom of Collaborative Network Organizations: Capturing the Value of Networked Individuals’, Prometheus, 26(3), September, pp. 211-30. Dutton, W. H. (2009), ‘The Fifth Estate Emerging through the Network of Networks’, Prometheus, Vol. 27, No. 1, March: pp. 1-15. Dutton, W. H., and Eynon, R. (2009), ‘Networked Individuals and Institutions: A Cross-Sector Comparative Perspective on Patterns and Strategies in Government and Research’, The Information Society 25 (3): pp. 1-11. Dutton, W. H. (2010), ‘The Fifth Estate: Democratic Social Accountability through the Emerging Network of Networks’, pp. 3- 18 in Nixon, P. G., Koutrakou, V. N., and Rawal, R. (Eds), Understanding E-Government in Europe: Issues and Challenges. London: Routledge.
  • 41. The Fifth Estate of the Internet Realm William H. Dutton Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford www.ox.ac.uk Presentation for the OII’s Undergraduate Lecture Series, 25 October 2010.

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