The article proposes an ecological perspective on current developments in the media system – dominated by the power of platforms – and communication in general, as it unfolds today, in hybrid environments, mediated by algorithms, and traversed by anti-communicative practices such as misinformation and various forms of verbal violence and dissemination of prejudice. A perspective of this kind implies, on the one hand, a descriptive dimension, attentive to the ecosystem of the media as it is configured in relation to other aspects of the environment and society in general. The arising questions at this level are: how is the media ecosystem configured today? What are its distinctive features compared to its previous stages? What role do the media play in shaping communicative norms and customs, and what communicative forms tend to prevail through them? On the other hand, the ecological perspective implies a critical dimension, able to highlight viable solutions to the problems posed by the media and their impact on social life and individuals. At this level the questions are: can we imagine steering the media ecosystem in a more fruitful direction, one that does not merely follow the footprints of technological progress or market laws? And as for human communication: can we save its original function? Do we need to be more conscious about the role of communication? Both perspectives are valuable in understanding the current moment, which the pandemic has partly shaped, both by accelerating the processes of change taking place in the entire media system (now characterized by a predominance of the platform model), and by increasing what we might call sustainability sensitivities (and policies) in relation to the infosphere. The recent debate on the green turn – driven by the need for wide-ranging interventions aimed at reducing global warming – has made a new fact evident, at least for public opinion: the planet cannot be saved at zero cost. Environmental policies cost money, and their costs fall on everyone, including those with fewer resources, creating new complexities and requiring comprehensive policies to reduce inequalities and guarantee welfare. Interventions on the pollution of the infosphere and its consequences may also not be free of cost: they may involve public intervention that limits – at least on the surface – freedom of expression, and in some cases constrains the communicative behavior of citizens, reducing their margins of autonomy. The author try to show how ecological sensitivity is gradually permeating our symbolic universe, with visible consequences also in the universe of media and platforms. The article is divided into three parts: first, the evolution of the platform-centered media ecosystem before the Pandemic is highlighted ; then some processes are described that – although they started before the Pandemic – exploded during the great crisis of COVID-19, leading to a growing conflict between policies to contain the “pollution” of the infosphere and the way we define democratic freedoms. Finally, the ecological processes underway in the field of media and platform governance is analyzed, and a framework of interpretation is suggested, useful to define non contradictory policies to reduce conflicts and rethink paradigms of communication quality.

Colombo, F., A media ecology for a platoform society, in Viganò, D. E., Zamagni, S., Sanchez Sorondo, M. (ed.), Changing Media in a Changing World, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2022: 2022 162- 182 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/210864]

A media ecology for a platoform society

Colombo, Fausto
2022

Abstract

The article proposes an ecological perspective on current developments in the media system – dominated by the power of platforms – and communication in general, as it unfolds today, in hybrid environments, mediated by algorithms, and traversed by anti-communicative practices such as misinformation and various forms of verbal violence and dissemination of prejudice. A perspective of this kind implies, on the one hand, a descriptive dimension, attentive to the ecosystem of the media as it is configured in relation to other aspects of the environment and society in general. The arising questions at this level are: how is the media ecosystem configured today? What are its distinctive features compared to its previous stages? What role do the media play in shaping communicative norms and customs, and what communicative forms tend to prevail through them? On the other hand, the ecological perspective implies a critical dimension, able to highlight viable solutions to the problems posed by the media and their impact on social life and individuals. At this level the questions are: can we imagine steering the media ecosystem in a more fruitful direction, one that does not merely follow the footprints of technological progress or market laws? And as for human communication: can we save its original function? Do we need to be more conscious about the role of communication? Both perspectives are valuable in understanding the current moment, which the pandemic has partly shaped, both by accelerating the processes of change taking place in the entire media system (now characterized by a predominance of the platform model), and by increasing what we might call sustainability sensitivities (and policies) in relation to the infosphere. The recent debate on the green turn – driven by the need for wide-ranging interventions aimed at reducing global warming – has made a new fact evident, at least for public opinion: the planet cannot be saved at zero cost. Environmental policies cost money, and their costs fall on everyone, including those with fewer resources, creating new complexities and requiring comprehensive policies to reduce inequalities and guarantee welfare. Interventions on the pollution of the infosphere and its consequences may also not be free of cost: they may involve public intervention that limits – at least on the surface – freedom of expression, and in some cases constrains the communicative behavior of citizens, reducing their margins of autonomy. The author try to show how ecological sensitivity is gradually permeating our symbolic universe, with visible consequences also in the universe of media and platforms. The article is divided into three parts: first, the evolution of the platform-centered media ecosystem before the Pandemic is highlighted ; then some processes are described that – although they started before the Pandemic – exploded during the great crisis of COVID-19, leading to a growing conflict between policies to contain the “pollution” of the infosphere and the way we define democratic freedoms. Finally, the ecological processes underway in the field of media and platform governance is analyzed, and a framework of interpretation is suggested, useful to define non contradictory policies to reduce conflicts and rethink paradigms of communication quality.
Inglese
Changing Media in a Changing World
9788826607481
Libreria Editrice Vaticana
2022
Colombo, F., A media ecology for a platoform society, in Viganò, D. E., Zamagni, S., Sanchez Sorondo, M. (ed.), Changing Media in a Changing World, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2022: 2022 162- 182 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/210864]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/210864
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact