Dr. Michael Hoechsmann and Co-Editors Publish New Book: Democracy 2.0: Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement

Participatory media, which allow us all to produce and circulate information to limitless online audiences, have radically shifted public life. Democracy 2.0: Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement (Brill, 2018) explores this shift through “a series of evocative, international case studies that document the impact of alternative and community use of media, in general, and Web 2.0 in particular.”

Co-edited by professors Paul R. Carr (Université du Québec en Outaouais), Michael Hoechsmann (Lakehead University), and Gina Thésée (Université du Québec à Montréal), the volume examines some of the potentials and also limits of interactive media for democratic participation.

As the authors explain: “Democracy requires a functioning, critically-engaged and literate populace, one that can participate in, cultivate and shape, in meaningful and critical ways, the discourses and forms of the society in which it exists. Education for democracy, therefore, requires not only political literacy but also media and digital literacies, given the ubiquity and immersiveness of Media 2.0 in our lives.”

In his Afterword to the collection, renowned critical pedagogue Peter McLaren refers to the book as “one of the best media literacy texts in the field” and one that “has arrived at a precipitous moment in world History.”

Other Lakehead University contributions to the book include a co-edited chapter, “Engagement with the Mainstream Media and the Relationship to Political Literacy,” co-authored by Lakehead Orillia Assistant Professor Gary Pluim, and former Lakehead Orillia student Lauren Howard. 

The collaboration between the three editors continues with a follow-up book underway called Education for Democracy 2.0: Changing Frames of Media Literacy.