Bergen Media Use Research Group
Publication from the MeCIn-project

New book on media use and democracy

Public connection in, the informed citizen out.

Bilde av boken med datamaskin, mobil og avis rundt.
Janne Biedilæ Bjørgan

Main content

The norwegian book, which translates to Informed citizens? Public connection, media use and democracy, critizises the ideal of the informed citizen and argues that the idea of public connection is of better use when we wish to understand how we keep ourselves up to date in society.

Results from the MeCIn-project are used to explain how people actually keep up to date, and the many ways they use in order to connect to the public. The analysis is based on interviews and media diaries with 50 people, and a nation wide survey with 2000 respondents.

The results show that most people do not live up to the ideal of the informed citizen. Rather, we tend to keep up to date with what interests us, and pay extra attention to what happens in society every now and then. Most of us are connected to the public, and using news is only one of many public connections.

In place of the ideal of the informed citizen, the writers propose the ideal of the prepared citizen: A citizen who has many connections to the public, and also a social network she can use to keep herself updated.

Read the first chapter of the book (in norwegian). If you want to know more about the book, please contact project leader Hallvard Moe.