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Issues Lists from Genoa G8 Summit

We watched the aftermath of the G8 Summit in Genoa on the Web (and on TV and in the newspapers), during an issue mapping workshop in Budapest. The exercise we undertook at the workshop a few days after the completion of the summit was straightforward. We asked, what are the issues, according to the leading web sites of the protesters and the summiteers, and what are their respective issues according to selected newspapers? Thus, again we made issue lists, compared them and drew some preliminary conclusions. The findings would be of relevance not only to potential issue index-makers interested in the distinctiveness and demystification of organizations treating globalization, but also to those using the web as ‘reality check’ (as featured in chapter two) and to those evaluating whether the printed press or perhaps other starting points (e.g., search engines) are to be the chosen inroads into ‘issue networks’ on the Web (chapter three). Whilst the above media analysts are mainly discussing coverage bias, standpoint engineering and (serious) subpolitics, the conclusions may be pertinent to them as well. Even if in finding wide discrepancies between the mass media and the Web realities on offer, the point would not be to add fuel to debates about journalisitic biases, driven by the pecuniary interests of media empires and other forces, and introduce indymedia alternatives, however valuable. Rather we are enquiring into the distinctiveness of a Web reality as a worthy competitor to the official reality-makers, in the sense put forward by C. Wright Mills: