Democracy in the digital era

A note from the editor

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

‘We are living in transformative times’

As chair of the International Modern Media Institute, I want to say how pleased we are to partner with the New Internationalist on the Big Story this month to focus on the challenges and opportunities facing democracy in the digital era.

We are living in transformative times and there are amazing citizens’ initiatives occurring all over the world as people are waking up to the idea that they not only can but need to co-create their societies.

The good news is that it has never been easier to do, thanks to new developments in digital technology and the way we now use it to engage and interact. I have one task for you, for us: let’s dream together of how we want the future to be. Some of my favourite tools for achieving that task are to be found in this magazine, along with articles from expert journalists and activists commissioned by IMMI Director Guðjón Idir.

Elsewhere in this month’s New Internationalist you will find stories ignored by the mainstream press in the Unreported Year and the relationship between Augusto Pinochet and Chile’s indie music revival.

Cover illustration by Molly Crabapple.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

New laws to restrict internet freedom through taxation brought thousands onto the streets of Budapest in late 2014.

New laws to restrict internet freedom through taxation brought thousands onto the streets of Budapest in late 2014.

Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

Democracy in the digital era

Activist and Icelandic Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir on what we can do and the tools we can all use to strengthen democracy and make it real.

Buy this magazine

We live in remarkable, transformative times. We have the library of Alexandria at our fingertips; all the recorded knowledge of the world is being digitized and made available through the Internet Archive, a free, non-profit digital library offering universal access to books, music, knowledge, news and web pages.1

None of this will help us, however, if we don’t know how to apply wisdom to this vast knowledge.




Features.

Digital democracy: action and contacts

Further information, campaign groups and websites.

Buy this magazine

Democracy in the digital era - The Facts

The internet, laws and conventions, mass surveillance, media freedom and censorship - facts and figures about democracy in the digital era.

Read this article

More noise than signal

Micah L Sifry assesses the political limits of social media.

Buy this magazine

Tread softly in cyberspace

Dunja Mijatović makes the case for light-touch regulation.

Buy this magazine

Booted off Facebook: Californian drag-queen Heklina protests against Facebook’s ‘real names’ policy in November 2014.

Dreams of freedom, dreams of domination

How the internet got colonized, by Jillian C York.

Buy this magazine

Everywhere in chains

Investigative journalist Nick Davies on the myth of press freedom.

Buy this magazine

A villager has her eyes scanned for India’s massive biometric ID programme.

Privacy vs transparency

Not necessarily opposed, argues Sunil Abraham.

Buy this magazine

Mind your own business

Privacy International’s Eric King on resisting surveillance.

Buy this magazine

The Unreported Year 2014

Stories that didn't make the mainstream media in 2014.

Buy this magazine

An unintended legacy: Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship led to musical innovation from Pamela Sepúlveda (pictured top) and others.

The dictator and the popstar

How General Pinochet inadvertently helped create Chile’s thriving music scene. By Anne Hoffman.

Buy this magazine

Opinion.

#BlackLivesMatter

Mark Engler considers the true extent of US apartheid.

Buy this magazine

Life behind the curtain

On a flight to Australia, Steve Parry discovers how air travel mirrors life.

Buy this magazine

Agenda.

Life goes on with leprosy

Photographer Tom Bradley has been documenting the lives of those living with leprosy.

Buy this magazine

‘We are all Ayotzinapa’

‘We are all Ayotzinapa’

Andalusia Knoll looks at the recent case of the 43 missing students.

Buy this magazine

Prison for police

Prison for police

A landmark case in Tunisia sees police rapists jailed.

Buy this magazine

Introducing: Klaus Iohannis

Richard Swift provides a brief profile of Romania's new leader.

Buy this magazine

Migrant families ripped apart

Migrant families ripped apart

Sophie Cousins on Lebanon's decision to send home the children of migrant workers.

Buy this magazine

Australia’s Knitting Nannas: tackling climate change one stitch at a time.

Seniors take on climate change

Cristiana Moisescu looks at the rise in global 'grey activism'.

Buy this magazine

Displaced by blood and fire

Displaced by blood and fire

Jess Worth joins the Dirty Oil Tour to highlight human rights abuses by mining companies.

Buy this magazine

Battling for Turkey's green spaces

Battling for Turkey's green spaces

One of Istanbul's few remaining green spaces is now at risk, says Nick Ashdown.

Buy this magazine

Time for an oil change?

Time for an oil change?

Tom Sykes wonders if Omanis may soon have the opportunity for democratization.

Buy this magazine

Regulars.

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Your feedback published in the January/February 2015 magazine.

Read this article

Letter from Bangui

Peacekeeping without peacebuilding is doomed to fail, says Ruby Diamonde.

Buy this magazine

Country profile: Dominican Republic

Tourist impressions of the country can be deeply misleading, says Russell White.

Buy this magazine

A word with Billy Bragg

'We can change the world, but music can't,' Billy Bragg tells Louise Gray.

Buy this magazine

Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Berlin aesthetes Einstürzende Neubauten hit the top spot  with their Lament.

Mixed media: Best of 2014

The best films, music and books of the year.

Buy this magazine

Caught between two cultures: Iram Haq’s atmospheric I am Yours.

Mixed media: films

Reviews of I Am Yours and Pelo Malo.

Buy this magazine

Sweet harmonies, brutal message from Razia Said.

Mixed media: music

Reviews of Razia Said's Akory and Lucas Santtana's Sobre Notes e Dias.

Buy this magazine

Mixed media: books

The Alphabet of Birds by SJ Naudé; The Shifts and the Shocks by Martin Wolf; How To Speak Money by John Lanchester; Don’t Even Think About It by George Marshall.

Buy this magazine

Leila Sansour’s Open Bethlehem.

Also out there...

More Film, Music & Book reviews from the January/February 2015 magazine.

Buy this magazine