The lecture explores the tension between the traditional journalistic pillar of objectivity and the perceived subjectivity of citizen journalism in a global context. It questions our understanding of subjectivity and objectivity and discusses how redefining these terms may help us recognise a potential global public sphere. Through proliferation of new technologies in the westernised parts of the world, citizen journalism has brought about a potential for broader civic participation, a sense of achievable cosmopolitanism. Simultaneously new technologies are creating a transnational space for congregations of anti-migration and anti-Islamic debates, thus, enabling political and cultural processes of both inclusion and exclusion. In discussions about cosmopolitanism and the global potential of journalism, it is therefore relevant to begin by defining examining the role of mediated emotions in relation to journalistic objectivity in order to discuss the impact of citizen journalism on imagined communities. This lecture discusses the connection between emotions and information relay, in order to understand the potential global or cosmopolitan reach of citizen journalism.
This lecture was given within the framework of the 2012 School of Critical Theory organized by the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht. The programme was titled ‘Risk Societies and Cosmopolitanism’, and offered trans-national and interdisciplinary approaches drawn from the humanities, social sciences, law, philosophy and international relations. Its focus on the development of cross-national European perspectives in these areas, allows for the innovative use of key notions of cosmopolitanism across different national, cultural and disciplinary traditions. The school consisted of three clusters, which focused on Cosmopolitanism and risk society, Cosmopolitanism and the social responsibility, and Cosmopolitanism and the civic duty of Digital Media.