Sourbati, M (2012) ‘Disabling communications? A capabilities perspective on media access, social inclusion and communication policy’ Media, Culture and Society, 34(5): 571-587.
These articles reflect my interest in the diffusion and governance of digital media and ICTs. They contribute conceptual and analytic grounding to national and international policy debates on the potential of ICT instruments, such as digital television (DTV) and broadband connectivity, and of initiatives in ‘e-public service’ and the ‘digital switchover’ for communicative empowerment and inclusion. Using the case studies of the national switchover to DTV and survey data on internet access among disabled people I examine the role and limitations of public policy in creating a public service framework to expand the diffusion of new media technologies. I argue that amid shifts in technologies (digitalisation; spread of online connectivity) user capability becomes the new frontier to negotiate media access and social inclusion. We therefore need analytic frameworks that capture these shifting dynamics. In my more recent work I outline a framework to assess the role of public policy in supporting the development of user capability through supply-side measures (e.g. the design, availability and affordability of networks and ICTs) and by addressing local, situational conditions affecting ICT use.