Blurred boundaries of journalism and NGOs in the civic space : an inter-organizational network analysis of sustainable development, human rights, and journalism organizations
MetadataShow full item record
Globalization has brought about notable changes in the international system by decentralizing the power of national political systems and by opening up opportunities for the rise of a global civil society. The power of civic actors, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is growing due to the advancement of technological means to access information, share views, and mobilize action. The emergence of a global civil society has positive connotations in terms of introducing richness of information, providing multiple perspectives and interpretations on public affairs, and mobilizing grassroots activities. However, questions persist as to whether and how the current communication system, which is dominated primarily by so-called global media and rooted in Western news agencies, is capable of being transformed into a structure to support the free and frequent flow of relevant information across national boundaries. In light of the recent trend of NGOs producing and distributing information, this dissertation analyzes the structure of inter-organizational networks for sustainable development, human rights, and journalism organizations in order to examine the potential of these networks to complement the current structure of global communication, to analyze the diversity and direction of information flow, and to identify the factors that shape NGOs’ communication behaviors in terms of both their relationship with other international organizations and their use of interactive platforms for distributing information. When structures of the three issue-specific networks were compared, the sustainable development and human rights networks were more densely interconnected, and the journalism network showed a more centralized structure. The structure of the sustainable development network was more stable, with a higher number of reciprocal relationships among the organizations. In the sustainable development and human rights networks, organizations were found to establish formal relationships following the logic of resource dependence theory. An NGO’s use of social media for presentation of visual materials and a large number of subscribers to its informational materials were identified as contributing factors to its centrality in the network. These findings are discussed to speculate on the inter-organizational network of international organizations’ potential to build a global communication structure and to improve the ways that NGOs interact with other organizations.