Now what you see is not a test: The digital public is shaping Western societies. Studies reveal that across all generations we inform ourselves by getting online, and look for news, information or entertainment firstly on the internet. With viral videos, data journalism and data visualisation, Twitter, Google and Wikileaks this public by now has developed its own and different formats to transport information. How does this format work? What are the principles of this digital public? Can we take it as seriously as its older sister, the journalistic public? Does it dangerously splinter the public, or is its platform rich environment simply functioning in a different way? With a little help of Hannah Arendt, Mercedes Bunz has a look if the digital public finds ways to be committed to the truth in no way inferior to its older sister, the journalistic public.
This lecture was given within the framework of the IMPAKT Festival, an innovative audiovisual arts festival whose theme – in 2011 – was “The Right to Know/ Keeping Secrets”, i.e. an exploration of the tension between the right to know and the right to own information.