#digitalactivism: New media and political protest
This paper reports on the findings of a study that explores the ways in which civil society organizations use new media to engage in campaigns of political action. Focusing on campaigning by the environmental movement in Tasmania around the protection of native forest, the study investigates how stakeholders on this issue utilize the functionality of digital media to mobilize public engagement and, ultimately, influence the formulation of policy. Analysis of the study’s network data suggests that central positioning within social movement online network structures arises from strategic linking practices. These strategic communications practices enhance not only movement cohesion but also the visibility of those actors best placed to influence public debate and the formulation of policy.
civil society; environmentalism; activism; protest; political engagement; political communication; new media; social media; network analysis
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