Civic Media Practice Facilitating Democratic Process in Two Environmental Community-Engaged Research in Taiwan

  • Loan Thi Phan National Taiwan University
  • Ting Wan Hsu National Taiwan University
Keywords: Facebook, LINE, disaster-response communities, social network sites

Abstract

Environmental protection is an increasing concern across Taiwan. Facebook and LINE enjoy high penetration in Taiwan, are potential platforms for democratizing the research process. Citizens participate in evaluating their environment, contributing to its protection as well as having voice in decision making in the environment community-engaged research (eCEnR) than ever before. However, along with increased citizen engagement, researchers also see a decreased trust in institutions, including government, media, and news. Based on in-depth interviews with organizers and participants, the analysis of posts on Facebook group, LINE messages, and websites of two ongoing eCEnRs, we assessed the impact of civic media practice on the democratic process. This article analyzes how social networking sites or applications function in four activities of the democratic process. Network building, discussion forums, distributed ownership and persistent input help organizations overcome distrust of institutions and enhance civic media’s ability to foster connections and create more usable interfaces between communities and institutions.

Author Biographies

Loan Thi Phan, National Taiwan University

G206, Global Change Center

National Taiwan University

No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Email: loananh.hnue@gmail.com

Phone: -886-966-062-642

 

Phan Thi Loan is a PhD student at International Degree program of Climate Change and Sustainable development, National Taiwan University. She plays the role in doing literature review, analyzing the data and corresponding the comments of this paper. Her research interests are climate change adaptation, community engaged research, civic media, gender studies, eco-tourism and social capital.

Ting Wan Hsu, National Taiwan University

G203, Global Change Center National Taiwan University

No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Email: hope.wantinghsu@gmail.com

Phone: -886-952-136-007

 

Wan-Ting Hsu is a master student at International Degree program of Climate Change and Sustainable development, National Taiwan University. She plays the role in collecting field study data, including contacting the interviewees, doing interview, sorting out data from local newspapers and the local communities' social media, and supporting the leading author on analyzing data. Her research interests are climate change adaptation, community engaged research, and STS studies (Science, Technology and Social Science, STS).

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Published
2019-09-18