Comment on East Greenland Online: Media Commenting Systems as Spaces for Public Debate –
A Focus on East Greenland in the Greenlandic Media
In Digital Environments – Ethnographic Perspectives across Global Online and Offline spaces. 2017. Transcript Media Studies, Bielefeld. [ISBN 978-3-8376-3497-6]
Editors: Undine Frömming, Steffen Köhn, Samantha Fox and Mike Terry.
Link to publication and pre-oder:
“Shot a polar bear in front of his house,” the sentence that accompanied the image above. This was a shared link from the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq AG about Gedion Kúnak, a hunter in Kulusuk, who had shot a polar bear from his doorstep. What was striking about the news was that unlike most of the occasional news from East Greenland, often about violence or negative social challenges, this news was neutral. But in the following days, commenting became a lively debate between supporters of polar bear hunting and those against it. This instance provided an interesting lens to study Greenlandic media as the story about Gideon is a good example of how new online platforms have become official public spaces for debate, and thus a means of commenting-activism. This paper focuses on the user’s point of view, that of the readers and commenters, to gain ethnographic insight about East Greenland and changing cultural traditions within the media landscape and by drawing up the Greenlandic Mediascape, I establish a base to discuss the potential of commenting systems as public space, across geographical boundaries.