Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 12:26 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 12:26 | SYDNEY

Globalisation and the new media

17 September 2008 11:52

Guest blogger: Toby Collis is a Lowy Institute intern and Macquarie U. law student

On 31 July, the Lowy Instituted hosted its annual New Voices conference. This post offers some thoughts on the outcomes of the conference. One of the key issues discussed was the harnessing of the new media in our globalised world. As stated in our report:

Technology and the new media have played a well recognised role in raising awareness, drawing together otherwise scattered coalitions and allowing for instantaneous communication. This new technology has also transformed our democratic institutions from ‘Politics 1.0’ to ‘Politics 2.0’, with a move towards greater transparency, a multiplicity of voices, a focus on issues and a two-way flow of information.

NGOs are embracing this new order, harnessing new media such as the internet, so that political engagement is only limited by the digital divide. And even where a digital divide exists the spread of affordable technologies, such as SMS is increasing NGO advocacy and outreach capabilities by, for example, allowing individuals to instantaneously bring attention to human rights abuses.

Obviously, blogs such as this one are a paradigmatic example of the use of the new media. Others include the Australian political activist group GetUp! Another great example I have recently discovered is the organisation Kiva, an online NGO that links micro-lenders with micro-borrowers – like a facebook for philanthropy. Check out Roger Alford’s blog post explaining why this project is successful, and how it harnesses the new media. It's only a matter of time before more non-commercial entities embrace these successful (and profitable) new modes of global communication.