Infomedia and Public Discourse
The term 'public discourse' refers to the exchange of facts, ideas, arguments and counter-arguments on topics that are of overriding interest in our society. By 'Infomedia' we mean a topic of investigation where we deliberate on how such public discourse can best be organized in the age of the Internet.
This topic is of interest because of two complementary facts: newspapers have traditionally been the major venue for public discourse, but their role in this respect is very much challenged by the emergence of new technology. This includes both the information technology that is used for dissemination of discourse elements (such as individual articles, or podcasts), and the higher-level 'technologies' for processing information about opinions, and for influencing opinions on several levels of scale.
The 'Arguments and Facts' website has already been an opportunity to experiment with radically new approaches to public discourse, for example when it has integrated a 'bibliography' of earlier articles with the authoring and the publication of further contributions to the discourse. The Infomedia activity adopts a birds-eye perspective (or you may say, a meta-level perspective) on the activities of building and developing this website. It produces occasional articles where we describe those activities, as well as articles where we describe other, similar projects, or articles where we discuss new and old obstacles for quality in public discourse.
In addition, the development of support software for the 'Arguments and Facts' website is referred to as the 'Infomedia project'. The following report in Swedish describes the problem statement, current state, and workplans for the various aspects of the Infomedia activities:
Problemställning, nuläge och planer för Infomedia-projektet