Framing the Net

Framing the Net

The Internet and Human Rights

Rikke Frank Jørgensen

This important book examines how human rights are being applied in the digital era. The focus on ‘internet freedoms’ and ‘internet rights’ has risen considerably in recent years, and in July 2012 the first resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Chapter 6: The internet as a medium

Rikke Frank Jørgensen

Subjects: law - academic, internet and technology law, politics and public policy, human rights


The internet has been spoken of as ‘new media’, ‘web-based media’, ‘electronic media’, or ‘digital media’ in numerous publications from media and communication scholars (Rasmussen 2000; Hutchby 2001; Aarseth 2003; Gauntlett 2004, 2009; Liestol et al. 2004; Finnemann 2005; Jenkins 2006; Merrin 2009). Moreover, it has been argued that the internet added a much-needed kick to media studies, because of the ease by which media students may become media producers, thereby providing a more active engagement in questions of creation, distribution and audience (Gauntlett 2011/2007). The medium metaphor is in many ways linked to that of the public sphere. As discussed earlier, the public sphere is largely a mediated public sphere, since media connect the public with the state through a vari- ety of mediating technologies from print, to broadcasting, to the internet. The role of media is thus closely related to the socio-political interaction between the state and the citizens.1 The notion of media has many competing definitions, for example, ‘the range of tools that humans have used throughout history to communicate with each other about a shared reality. The most common reference is to the set of modern technologies – from the printing press to the Internet – which facilitates communication across space, time, and social collectives’ (Bruhn Jensen 2008).

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