IJCH 2015 Vol.1(1): 71-75 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2015.1.1.013

Visual-Based Representation and Mediation in Digital Culture Impacts Political Participation, Issue Advocacy and Campaigning for Social Change

Stephen T. F. Poon
Abstract—With rapid evolution of each successive system of global information technology, corporations and governments today battle to exert economic, political and cultural power. Media such as the Internet and social networks have emerged as 21st-century public commons that broadcasts and channels communication in social, communal and commercial interests, and more recently, to mediate the world of politics. The role of visual-based digital culture as an interactive medium would be explored in this paper, with qualitative case studies discussing the processes and means whereby political messages and issues are effectively mediated into meaningful communication. This paper considers the complexities of balancing political discourses in the climate of media infusion that characterises today’s digital culture; and the shaping of democratic ideals utilising visual representation and mediation. Recent political activism in Malaysia will be analysed to understand the citizen journalist’s role in supplying and impacting society with dynamic digital communication tools. Case study examples of social media-fuelled issue advocacy will be discussed to understand the role of visual communication as enabler for political campaign supporters to distinguish themselves. The paper concludes by pondering if digital media tools have become the tool of choice for citizenship activism and political advocacy among Malaysians.

Index Terms—Advocacy, citizen journalist, social networks, social media, visual communication.

Stephen T. F. Poon is with Taylor’s University, Malaysia (e-mail: stephentfpoon@aol.com).

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Cite: Stephen T. F. Poon, "Visual-Based Representation and Mediation in Digital Culture Impacts Political Participation, Issue Advocacy and Campaigning for Social Change," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 71-75, 2015.

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