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Media-hosted eParticipation in Slovakia (MHEPS)
Start date: May 1, 2013, End date: Dec 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This fellowship will enable the fellow to carry out research from a base in the Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The central aim of the research is to identify and analyse the factors shaping the adoption of eParticipation by media organisations and to explore what thismeans in terms of political participation, cultural production and the changing role of journalists. The research is collaborative: the fellow will facilitate knowledge exchange within the eParticipation and citizen journalism initiatives of one Slovak newspaper group. The research will thus directly inform policy, principally at the level of organisations, but also at the level of professional associations and regulators, with respect to the role of the media as democratic intermediaries. It will also contribute to public and professional discourse on the democratic possibilities of the Internet. The main research methods used will be interviews with journalists, extended online and newsroom observation, document analysis and action research.The proposal is highly relevant to the People work programme. It will enable the fellow to achieve a greater degree of independence in his research career. It involves an innovatory inter-disciplinary research design. The benefits of the mobility component will be maximised by bringingtogether the particular strengths of Slovak sociology with the fellow's pan-European perspective on the research topic, together with input from French theoretical and methodological expertise. Furthermore, knowledge exchange between academia and industry is integral to the research process.The experience the fellow will gain is intended to enable him to prepare and coordinate a larger programme of comparative research on eParticipation in collaboration with colleagues in several EU countries, thus contributing to the integration of knowledge within the ERA.
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