What is civic media?
That is exactly what I was asking myself before walking into my 11:15am class titled, “Communications Civic Media.” Curious to learn more, I was eager to absorb as much information as possible within the 50-minute class period.
Out of all of my classes that I have taken at St. Joe’s, my communications classes always capture my attention. I constantly feel myself walking out of each and every Comm class, filled with even more ideas and new concepts than ever before.
This week, throughout my Civic Media classes, I learned what Civic Media truly is and was able to apply it to a wide range of events. Now, I had a name to describe something that was happening all around me and within society.
By breaking apart the term, civic media, I was able to further understand the deeper meaning of this concept.
Civics = the rights and responsibilities of citizens in relation to each other and their government
Media = the platforms and tools that we use to spread and share our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs
Thus, civic media or civic engagement, is the use of social media platforms and other outlets in order to create some sort of change. Through this expression and circulation of ideas, individuals have the ability to bring a community together, even creating an impact across the globe, to achieve some type of change or movement.
After learning this, I realized that countless events have occurred just throughout my lifetime that were further accelerated by the use of social media. I immediately thought about several different movements, such as civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. These movements have been discussed and shared countless times across various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Whether you are one of the people at the scene live tweeting an event (thick civic engagement) or if you are at home observing and replying to tweets (thin civic engagement), you are creating an impact. Through your words, you are allowing the conversation to spread and are opening the door to expose deeper & underlying issues.
I encourage you to stay alert – observe what is happening around you, both within your community and across the globe & see the impact that civic engagement is playing on various movements.
(PS – an easy and fun way to watch and interact with these movements as they unfold is by visiting the trending hashtags page on any social media platform, such as Twitter)