On November 15, TIPI hosted Dr. Amit Schejter for a research talk on campus. Dr. Amit Schejter is a Professor of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Communications and Co-Director of the Institute for Information Policy at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he was the President of Oranim College. Dr. Schejter’s research delves into the nexus between media and justice, examining the impact of new technologies on public interest, minority rights, the unequal distribution of communication resources, and the suppression of public voices, especially those from marginalized communities. A key theoretical framework he explores is the capabilities approach.

This talk featured Dr. Schejter’s recent book, Digital Capabilities: ICT Adoption in Marginalized Communities in Israel and the West Bank. The result of an eight-year research project, this book delves into a pioneering exploration of the abilities that communities facing inequality in Israel and the West Bank have harnessed through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). It examines the opportunities these communities have created to communicate with each other, and how ICTs have helped them realize their aspirations. The capabilities approach, frequently discussed in theory, is brought to life in this project. It is showcased as empirically observable phenomena, providing a basis to evaluate if ICTs meet genuine needs, if communication resources are equitably allocated and distributed, and if they promote the universally recognized right to communicate.

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