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Legacy media and political parties are both threatened by a growing disconnect between citizens and the elites, and the emergence of new political and media actors offering fresh opportunities for members of the public to participate in political life. The objective of the World Forum for Democracy 2017 is to review novel initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political actors, to re-connect.

We are media partners of the World Forum for Democracy 2017: the subject this year is 'populism'. Our first week on the front page began on 21 October in the run-up to that event and asked what kind of media we need "to re-connect to citizens, make informed choices and function optimally in 21st century democracy." Our second week, in January, will focus on women and populism.

Why I write

“Though my writing career has gone further than I ever imagined, it has come at a high personal price, namely life in exile.”

Young women mobilise against ‘revenge porn’ and online abuse

Survivors of cyber attacks and young feminist digital rights activists tell of the damage done by this violence – and why they’re fighting back.

Beyond bloodsucking

Unique in Fisher’s argument was an acknowledgement that in liberal politics the tendency with every political question, is to reduce it to personal responsibility instead of solidarity.

Introducing this week's theme: Strasbourg's World Forum for Democracy 2017 looks at 'media, parties and populism'

openDemocracy is partnering with the World Forum for Democracy 2017. This week we ask: what media, what political parties, what politicians do we need to re-connect with citizens? Is the problem fake news or fake democracy?

Nothing new about fake news

Media diversity must mean more than more of the same. The media sphere needs to be a public space where debates occur among and between many different groups and classes.

An interesting Brexit experiment worthy of analysis

“The public have been largely left out of debates on Brexit, with parties split over what voters want.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s populist gamble

The irony is despite dismissing notions of left and class, the sociology of Mélenchon’s electorate is clearly left-wing and their vote is a class vote against the right and extreme right.

“Even when they’re wrong, they’re right”

The biggest problem with immigration is the common misperception that it is a problem. But shifting unduly negative perceptions requires more than simply presenting the facts.

To ban or not to ban? That is the question

Should we allow those fringe anti-systemic parties to undermine our democratic regimes from within, or should we ban them?

Wikimedia 2030: a fair wind for free knowledge

As of October 2, this year, there is a Strategic Direction formulated for the Wikimedia Movement.

Hate speech: a dilemma for journalists the world over

In extreme cases, a culture may have so demeaned or dehumanised a particular community that hate speech against it sounds normal and unobjectionable to many people, including journalists.

The antirumours strategy and multi-level learning

In 2014, the Council of Europe led a European project to adapt and evaluate the antirumours methodology in 10 European cities. Now the interest is worldwide.

The anti-Islamist campaign and Arab democracy

Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Arabs deserve better than to be told that they must choose between extremism and chaos or autocracy.

Combating online abuse with the principles of nonviolent resistance

Individual and collective empowerment may be a more effective strategy than policing or legal action.

What China can teach the west about digital democracy

China is a repressive country. It’s also a laboratory for democracy in the digital age.

Syria, the uprising and the media scene

The Syrian revolutionary process is a more thoroughly documented uprising than has ever been seen before in history, notably thanks to these democratic media.

New media must throw old ideas overboard

“Crucially, new models must consider the challenges of not just what is covered, but by whom and through what processes.”

In a global game of thrones, we need new rules

Social media platforms are creating a new public sphere. But is it the public sphere we want or need?

The sweet spot: where media, citizens and government intersect

The ability of the media to frame the discussion and get the community talking, so that people can both be educated and motivated to act – beats creepy social media listening tools any day.

PeoplesHub

“I don’t believe deep change can be top down. Building a different sort of society happens from the grassroots – most powerfully, when local groups can learn from each other.”

Whither journalism?

“An unintended consequence of objectivity is a distancing so great that some communities are left feeling unseen or misunderstood. This attitude, not new technologies, is the root of journalism’s disappearing audience.”

I fled for my life and ended up in Britain – without money, without English, imprisoned, and alone

Loneliness affects large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, but we do not hear about it. Campaigns like the current “spotlight month” being run by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness are a good first step, but there is much more to do.

Predicaments of policy-oriented security research

If there’s something wrong in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

Never forget politics

Civil society must keep the dialogue over migration open, to retain relevance and to survive.

The case of the ‘Emergency Relocation Quotas’

What actually advances European policymaking in the field of migration? Scientific evidence, political decisionmaking or civil society activism?

In the ongoing war between fake news and evidence-based information, facts do not matter

To influence policymaking we need to engage both with policymakers and society, to break the cycle and restart, using concepts and narratives with equality and human rights at their core. 

Comparing perception with fact in an aggrieved age

We need all the means at our disposal to promote serious debate that grapples with issues, advocates critical and divergent thinking, and inspires discernment and discrimination in the interpretation of information.

Could populism be a side effect of the Personalized Algorithm?

And can we work together so that one day we can use filter bubbles against themselves?

Breaking ideological gridlock from the bottom up

The key to advancing policies is to build diverse political support at grassroots level, leveraging that support against policymakers who put party loyalty before the needs of their constituents.

Saudi women between online resistance and new physical realities

What role did collective action, and social media play in Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift its ban on women driving?

Who's paying for these 'reports' on BBC Brexit coverage?

Why do newspapers parrot 'reports' about BBC bias from organisations funded by hardline Brexiters?

Shadowboxing over the Greek Civil War

Both the Greek government and the opposition have resorted to the usual shadowboxing over Greece's Civil War past. What a shame they aren't more focused on the country's future.

Media and twenty first century fake democracy

The ‘real’ fake news is not an exception to but the logical result of a market economy that privileges short-term rewards and commercial impact.

Dark Money Deep Data

Democracy dies in darkness. Podcast of a debate organised by Byline. (45 minutes).

Global politics at a crossroads

The retreat to nationalism and militant identity politics is counter to the process of accommodation that has underpinned European and world peace since the end of the Second World War.

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