I&D Case Studies Now Available

The Internet and Democracy project is proud to announce the release of its first case studies, “The Role of Digital Networked Technologies in the Ukrainian Orange Revolution” and “The Citizen Journalism Web Site ‘Ohmynews’ and the 2002 South Korean Presidential Election”. Both analyze the influence of the Internet on key democratic turning points in Ukraine and South Korea, respectively.

The first case study, “The Role of Digital Networked Technologies in the Ukrainian Orange Revolution,” is by I&D research assistant Josh Goldstein. The report is a narrative case study that examines the role of the Internet and mobile phones during Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. The first section describes the online citizen journalists who reported many stories which were not reported by the self-censoring mainstream journalists. The second section investigates the use of the Internet and mobile phones by pro-democracy organizers. The conclusion of the case study is that these technologies made a wide range of organizing activities easier, however the Orange Revolution was largely made possible by savvy activists and journalists willing to take risks to improve their country, rather than by particular digital tools. You can download the report here.

The second case study, “The Citizen Journalism Web Site ‘Ohmynews’ and the 2002 South Korean Presidential Election,” is by I&D research assistant Mary Joyce. It investigates the influence of the citizen journalism Web site OhmyNews during the 2002 South Korean Presidential election. It begins with a discussion of the phenomenon of citizen journalism and the importance of an independent media to democracy. It next moves to a discussion of the motivation for the creation of OhmyNews by Oh Yeon Ho and its innovative model for producing and moderating citizen-generated news. It then discusses how real world activism may have contributed to online activism and lays out a narrative of OhmyNews’ activity during the Presidential election. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of the feasibility of the OhmyNews business model, the site’s struggle to remain profitable, and the organization’s less than successful attempt to expand to other similar markets, notably Japan. The paper is available for download here.

More case studies, including one on the use of the Internet and cell phones during the monks’ protests in Burma, are forthcoming.

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