Networked publics as agents of accountability: Online interactions between citizens, the media and immigration officials during the European refugee crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This study examines how citizens made use of online platforms to direct diverging critiques and demands at the Finnish Immigration Service during what has come to be known as the refugee crisis in Europe. Focusing on peak periods of debate, identified using big data, we closely observe how public scrutiny of the immigration service occurred in the interactions between online users, the news media and the agency itself. Our analysis indicates that networked publics can be regarded as influential drivers of accountability for government agencies, which often feel obligated to justify their actions to these publics. However, the operation of networked publics as accountability agents remains heavily dependent on the broader public debate, which is still largely shaped by news media organisations, political elites and the officials themselves.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media & Society
Volume21
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
ISSN1461-4448
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 518 Media and communications

Cite this

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title = "Networked publics as agents of accountability: Online interactions between citizens, the media and immigration officials during the European refugee crisis",
abstract = "This study examines how citizens made use of online platforms to direct diverging critiques and demands at the Finnish Immigration Service during what has come to be known as the refugee crisis in Europe. Focusing on peak periods of debate, identified using big data, we closely observe how public scrutiny of the immigration service occurred in the interactions between online users, the news media and the agency itself. Our analysis indicates that networked publics can be regarded as influential drivers of accountability for government agencies, which often feel obligated to justify their actions to these publics. However, the operation of networked publics as accountability agents remains heavily dependent on the broader public debate, which is still largely shaped by news media organisations, political elites and the officials themselves.",
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author = "Ojala, {Markus Mikael} and Pantti, {Mervi Katriina} and Salla-Maaria Laaksonen",
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AB - This study examines how citizens made use of online platforms to direct diverging critiques and demands at the Finnish Immigration Service during what has come to be known as the refugee crisis in Europe. Focusing on peak periods of debate, identified using big data, we closely observe how public scrutiny of the immigration service occurred in the interactions between online users, the news media and the agency itself. Our analysis indicates that networked publics can be regarded as influential drivers of accountability for government agencies, which often feel obligated to justify their actions to these publics. However, the operation of networked publics as accountability agents remains heavily dependent on the broader public debate, which is still largely shaped by news media organisations, political elites and the officials themselves.

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