his paper follows the actor-centered approach in the studies on mediatization and reli- gion with the aim to introduce the concept of ‘media settlers’ that refers to how organiza- tional actors, such as Churches, actively use and shape the digital media and respond to trends and consequences of deep mediatization. In doing so, media settlers aim to expand the reach of the content in a controlled manner and prevent misinformation by deploying several strategies, including the replication of content, and the mass-mediatization of dig- ital media. They use technology in a specific way, sometimes contrary to how it was de- signed or envisioned by those who developed it. With such processes, they are no longer passive actors but become an active part of the societal change in times of deep mediatization.
The need for this new concept comes from the recognition that the existing notions do not enable an accurate interpretation of the data derived from our research on how selected Churches use the media. Nevertheless, the concept of media settlers and the theoretical perspective behind it are based on the previous work in the field of mediatization and reli- gion, in particular the RSST framework. Our intervention should thus be understood as a proposal for enhancing this framework so that it embraces an increased variety of engage- ments with the digital media by religious organizations.
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