Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Media for the sake of media

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Public space is one of the key concepts that I struggle with in my work in the Foundation. We are attempting to support especially cross-border European public spaces.

Therefore I read with great interest a recent pamphlet from the think tank Demos that was written by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell. She writes about public value and public responsibility.

The essay is really worth reading. If you are able to tolerate the New Labour tone in it (freedom to choose, personalisation), you can also find really interesting thoughts in it. She writes rather well about the need to support public spaces. Although her public space is a safe and civilised one (compared to the one by Hannah Arendt that stresses conflict), she still makes an important contribution for the struggle in favour of public support for culture, citizenship projects and public debate.

What strikes me in the essay is that does not stress the possibilities of new media when is comes to debate and community-building. I personally find the concept of social media highly worth investing and exploring. Projects like Geheugen van Oost show that a medium can serve also other purposes than informing.

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