Topical Seminar on Transcending Digital Divide through Audience Engagement on March 7


Снимок экрана 2023-03-07 в 16.05.22.pngNew Topical seminar on March 7 was concerned with the strategies adopted by media producers to engage with audiences and transcend digital divide. This crucial topic was explored by Dr. Carolina Escudero from the University of Missouri and Dr. Olga Vikhrova from Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Dr. Escudero presented a case study of two media co-ops in Argentina and Uruguay looking at the solutions they devise to stay afloat in the digitalized environment. According to the researcher, both media organizations aim to expand digital literacy within the newsrooms, in particular, through collaborative projects with ICT companies. In order to connect more with the readers, both design convenient spaces for communication that reduce cultural gaps and promote democratic participation, crucial for overcoming the second-level digital divide.

Снимок экрана 2023-03-07 в 16.24.59.pngDr. Vikhrova further studied the link between digital divide and democratic participation. Drawing on the assumption that digital divide can be reduced via building two-way communication with citizens, the scholar analysed Telegram channels by municipal authorities in Russia and Belarus. Her study revealed that open commenting options and guidance through crisis situations significantly increases audience involvement. However, though authorities appreciate the features and capabilities offered by Telegram, their media strategies are mostly confined to fostering one-way communication.

Big thanks to both speakers for sharing the specific strategies of connecting with the audience and for highlighting the intrinsic links between audience engagement and digital divide!