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The Civic Organization and the Digital CitizenCommunicating Engagement in a Networked Age$
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Chris Wells

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190203610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190203610.001.0001

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Young Citizens and the Changing Face of Civic Information

Young Citizens and the Changing Face of Civic Information

(p.1) 1 Young Citizens and the Changing Face of Civic Information
The Civic Organization and the Digital Citizen

Chris Wells

Oxford University Press

The relationships between citizens, organizations, media, and politics are changing profoundly. In the midst of this change, we have witnessed a variety of “new” forms of civic involvement, as well as an apparent rebirth of street protests as political engagement. The opening chapter considers this fresh civic energy against a backdrop of decades of declining institutional participation in politics—especially among young citizens—to introduce the book’s main topic: the problem of where and how young citizens find meaningful opportunities for civic engagement in a rapidly changing media environment. It also delineates key concepts that drive the book’s analyses, including the notions of civic information, the idea of a changing civic information style, and communicative relationship. The chapter also grounds the book’s later contributions with a historical and theoretical perspective on how civic information’s role in American politics has evolved since the nation’s founding.

Keywords:   civic information, news, civic information style, communicative relationship, social movements, protests, civil society

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