Exposure diversity as a new cultural policy objective in the digital age

Burri, Mira (2016). Exposure diversity as a new cultural policy objective in the digital age. In: Richieri Hanania, Lilian; Norodom, Anne-Thida (eds.) Diversity of Cultural Expressions in The Digital Era. Buenos Aires: TeseoPress

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Diversity has been conceptualized as a key objective of national and international cultural policies. The 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is a clear proof of this. The UNESCO Convention is a culmination of the efforts of the international community to secure regulatory space for domestic policy-makers in the field of culture, on the one hand. On the other hand, it goes beyond this and the inherent trade versus culture, international versus culture contestations and tries to promote diversity as a matter of global law and policy. One flaw of the Convention that has been rarely thematized is that in this endeavour, the primary focus has been placed upon analogue means of communication. This flaw of the Convention is natural rather than triggered by political economy contexts, and has to do with the conventional evolution of law and its tendency to lag behind technological advances. Indeed, this ‘error’ flows from the similar ‘errors’ made at the national level in formulating and implementing cultural policy tool kits for the protection and promotion of diversity. This chapter argues that a peculiar characteristic of all these policies has been the almost concentration on the diversity of supply – that is, on the availability of diverse formats, outlets, media owners, etc. The chapter casts some doubt upon the both the viability as well as the efficiency of such policies in the digital age. It will on the one hand question the underlying presumption for a causal link between source diversity, diversity of content, and the actual consumed diverse content.

On the other hand, it should be underscored that the chapter is not intended to criticize past and existing policies. Learning from past mistakes, it is rather meant to serve as a forward-looking analysis of the possibilities offered by digital technologies and how these can be best utilized to ensure exposure diversity – that is, a palette of diverse contents, as actually consumed by users.

The chapter argue that although the balance between state intervention and non-intervention in the digital media certainly is precarious and individual rights are to be safeguarded, there may be subtle ways of intervening and promoting exposure diversity, such as for instance by fostering serendipity or facilitating exposure. It will explore a number of tools as potentially more efficient instruments of cultural policy aimed at diversity.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


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UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Mira


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation








Tihomira Burri

Date Deposited:

11 Nov 2016 14:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:59





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