Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times

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Megan Boler
MIT Press, 2010 - Computers - 464 pages
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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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Contents

Introduction
1
New Media and Global Capitalism
51
An Interview with Robert McChesney
53
2 The Space of Tactical Media
71
Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics
101
An Interview with Geert Lovink
123
Censorship Surveillance and the Militarization of Cyberspace
137
II The Changing Face of News Media
165
Presidential Campaign Stories that Failed to Ignite Mainstream Media
271
An Interview with Hassan Ibrahim
301
III Tactics in Action
321
Interview with Shaina Anand
323
Considerations on a Recombinatory Technology
343
15 Where the Activism Is
355
Tactical Media as Play
367
Satire and Sincerity as Truth to Power
383

6 Media and Democracy
167
An Interview with Amy Goodman
197
8 Alternative Media Theory and Journalism Practice
213
An Interview with Deepa Fernandes
229
Futures for Tactical News Media
247
The New Face and Form of White Supremacist Activism
405
Concluding Interview with Brian Holmes
429
Contributors
437
Index
441
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Megan Boler is a Professor in Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto and a graduate of the History of Consciouness Program, University of California, Santa Cruz. Her other books include Feeling Power: Emotions and Education and Democratic Dialogue in Education: Troubling Speech, Disturbing Silence. Her essays are published in such journals as New Media and Society, Cultural Studies, and Women's Studies Quarterly.

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