SASNET seminar on Indian experiences on Social Media and Democratic Participation

Dr. M.S Harikumar from the Department of Communication and Journalism at University of Kerala, India, held a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Wednesday 3 February 2016, 13.15–15.00. The seminar, organised in collaboration with the Department of Communication and Media at Lund University, was entitled ”Social Media and Democratic Participation: An Indian Experience”. Venue: Centre for Languages and Literature (SOL), Helgonabacken, Lund.
The seminar was recorded by Talat Bhat and is now available to watch on Youtube. Go for the seminar.
Dr. Harikumar is a media professional turned academician with close to two decades of experience in the Indian newspaper industry. He was earlier chief sub-editor and chief reporter working for the Mathrubhumi daily, which is one of the most circulated newspapers in India. His PhD thesis in Mass Communication was a seminal explorative study on the reader-editor gap with a special emphasis on the gate-keeping theories of Mass Communication.
At his home university, he teaches Cyber Journalism, Development Communication and News Reporting at the Masters level, besides supervising PhD candidates of Mass Communication. He has published several popular articles as a professional journalist and many research papers as an academician. He is also a member of the International Relations Group formed by the Higher Education Council of Govt. of Kerala, India. The topic is on how adopting social media as a means to spread political ideologies has become a common trend in all the truly participant democratic nations across the continents. Recent studies have shown that the most active political users of social media are social movement activists, politicians, party workers and those who are fully committed to political causes. The very strength of democracy lies in active participation of citizens at every stages in the process of democracy. Active political discussions in social media in turn influence voting behaviors and even future party affiliations. As the most populous and robust democracies on the globe, India too witness such a transformation, though slow in pace. The recently concluded elections to the State legislative assembly in Bihar and to the local self government body in the State of Kerala in India are a good testimony to this change. Political blogs and citizen user contents have played a significant role in it. The present study focuses on some of such good instances as evident in the Indian context.