Research Proposal

How can technology change the way political communication is experienced?

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Proposal

For my FMP, I propose an investigation into the potential future of political news communication. I aim to explore the new means in which technology can present political information to young people in ways that help them to interpret news and achieve more with it.

Problem

In the digital age, political information is consumed across countless different channels
via the web, many of which are not reputable sources, are used for entertainment, or exhibit their news in a way that does not promote an intellectual ‘lens to the world’. This culture has been fertilised by fake news, alternative facts, and lack of context; yielding a post truth era. This ‘pollution of the infosphere’ corrupts the way in which political information is understood and interpreted; as a result our social cohesion and democratic system is under threat. Furthermore, news organisations have yet to reinvent themselves for this new digital age, as they continue to hold onto the traditional structures of political news communication. Despite young peoples’ continued use of news organisation media, they still find themselves confused or remain disconnected from political events that potentially affect them.

Opportunity

In order to counteract the undesirable effects of post truth culture, young people in particular need better tools to interpret the news so they can think critically and come to intelligent conclusions. My aim is to use theoretical research of new technologies to speculate, design, and create new tools that communicate political news. The experience of these tools will provide a greater critical understanding of political news and put it into a contextual framework to help the user connect with it. Preliminary survey research revealed a genuine interest in politics and that students showed investigative behaviours when it came to political news, (looking at a variety of sources and making sense of mass information by fact checking with newsbrands) so there is certainly an opportunity to take advantage of.

Investigation

Another issue I will address is the way political news tends to always be communicated after or during its occurrence, at a point where it can no longer be changed. What if political news could be told in advance at a point where it was still possible to make decisions to change it and be involved in the decision making of our democracy? I plan to explore the future of political news and come up with revolutionary and radical ways that have not been done. Through studio practise of responding political news I will discover how to select the most appropriate medium for communicating a topic or theme and how to create user experience mechanisms that aid personal interpretation of news.

Results

From this project I will learn how to create successful new user interfaces, my digital skills will improve as a result. I will challenge the traditional expectations of political news presentation to create original designs that use human centred design, nascent technologies, and user testing to improve my development.