Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times

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In an age of proliferating media and news sources, who has the power to define reality? When the dominant media declared the existence of WMDs in Iraq, did that make it a fact? Today, the "Social Web" (sometimes known as Web 2.0,groupware, or the participatory web)—epitomized by blogs, viral videos, and YouTube—creates new pathways for truths to emerge and makes possible new tactics for media activism. In Digital Media and Democracy, leading scholars in media and communication studies, media activists, journalists, and artists explore the contradiction at the heart of the relationship between truth and power today: the fact that the radical democratization of knowledge and multiplication of sources and voices made possible by digital media coexists with the blatant falsification of information by political and corporate powers. The book maps a new digital media landscape that features citizen journalism, The Daily Show, blogging, and alternative media. The contributors discuss broad questions of media and politics,offer nuanced analyses of change in journalism, and undertake detailed examinations of the use of web-based media in shaping political and social movements. The chapters include not only essays by noted media scholars but also interviews with such journalists and media activists as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Media Matters host Robert McChesney, and Hassan Ibrahim of Al Jazeera.Contributors and interviewees [revised by Megan Boler 7/9/07]Shaina Anand, Chris Atton, Megan Boler,Axel Bruns, Jodi Dean, Ron Deibert, Deepa Fernandes, Amy Goodman, Brian Holmes,Hassan Ibrahim, Geert Lovink, Nathalie Magnan, Robert McChesney, Graham Meikle,Susan Moeller, Alessandra Renzi, Ricardo Rosas, Trebor Scholz, D. Travers Scott,Rebecca Statzel.Megan Boler is Associate Professor of Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An ideal introduction to tactical media. All the chapters come from academics and activists who have made significant contributions to the field. The editing of the collection excels at putting these authors in dialogue, often referencing and responding to each other's ideas. The reflexivity of the book opens up more questions than it answers—exactly the task of a book that will be a great inspiration for the next wave of media activists." Fenwick Robert McKelvey Canadian Journal of Communication

"Digital Media and Democracy shows how voices of dissent can come from many different quarters as people utilize the resources they have available in new and innovative ways." David Stuart Online Information Review

" Digital Media and Democracy is an essential resource for scholars and students of the interfaces, synergies, and interstices between democracy, politics, media, and activism." Mark Hayes Media International Australia

" Digital Media and Democracy"s distinctive value lies in Boler"s effort to balance traditional scholarly issues with more practical,activist concerns.... This volume offers a rare engagement with decidedly practical political concerns, addressed it seems, as much to activists as to academics....

Useful and insightful." Michael A. Xenos Information Communication and Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262514897
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Megan Boler is Professor in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and editor of Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press).

Megan Boler is Professor in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and editor of Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press).

Megan Boler is Professor in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and editor of Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press).

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Table of Contents

I The Shape of Publics: New Media and Global Capitalism 51

1 The State of the Media: An Interview with Robert McChesney Megan Boler Boler, Megan 53

2 The Space of Tactical Media Alessandra Renzi Renzi, Alessandra 71

3 Communicative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics Jodi Dean Dean, Jodi 101

4 Toward Open and Dense Networks: An Interview with Geert Lovink Megan Boler Boler, Megan 123

5 Black Code Redux: Censorship, Surveillance, and the Militarization of Cyberspace Ronald J. Deibert Deibert, Ronald J. 137

II The Changing Face of News Media 165

6 Media and Democracy Susan D. Moeller Moeller, Susan D. 167

7 Democracy on the Airwaves: An Interview with Amy Goodman Megan Boler Boler, Megan 197

8 Alternative Media Theory and Journalism Practice Chris Atton Atton, Chris 213

9 Community Radio, Access, and Media Justice: An Interview with Deepa Fernandes Andrea Schmidt Schmidt, Andrea Megan Boler Boler, Megan 229

10 Gatewatching, Gatecrashing: Futures for Tactical News Media Axel Bruns Bruns, Axel 247

11 Tempests of the Blogosphere: Presidential Campaign Stories That Failed to Ignite Mainstream Media D. Travers Scott Scott, D. Travers 271

12 Al Jazeera English: An Interview with Hassan Ibrahim Nathalie Magnan Magnan, Nathalie Megan Boler Boler, Megan Andrea Schmidt Schmidt, Andrea 301

III Tactics in Action 321

13 Media Interventions and Art Practices: An Interview with Shaina Anand Alessandra Renzi Renzi, Alessandra Megan Boler Boler, Megan 323

14 The Gambiarra: Considerations on a Recombinatory Technology Ricardo Rosas Rosas, Ricardo 343

15 Where the Activism Is Trebor Scholz Scholz, Trebor355

16 Whacking Bush: Tactical Media as Play Graham Meikle Meikle, Graham 367

17 The Daily Show and Crossfire: Satire and Sincerity as Truth to Power Megan Boler Boler, Megan Stephen Turpin Turpin, Stephen 383

18 Cybersupremacy: The New Face and Form of White Supremacist Activism R. Sophie Statzel Statzel, R. Sophie 405

19 Re-visioning the State of The Media: Concluding Interview and Commentary Brian Holmes Holmes, Brian 429

Index 441

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