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Activist Media

Robert Huesca


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Activist media are radio, television, and other media practices that aim to effect social change and that generally engage in some sort of structural analysis concerned with power and the reconstitution of society into more egalitarian arrangements. Many activist media practices are also committed to principles of communication democracy, which place at their core notions of popular access, participation, and self-management in the communication process. These dual characteristics – structural analysis and democratic communication practice – often create a tension that some activist media projects are unable to negotiate successfully (→  Development Communication ; Media Democracy Movement ). The topic of activist media is closely related to development communication inasmuch as they both focus on the uses of communication for social change (→  Social Movements and Communication ). But the traditional twin concerns of structural analysis and communication democracy distinguish these two fields of study. Studies of activist media emerged in response to transnational, capitalist communication with the goal of countering class, gender, ethnic, and other forms of domination, placing it within the tradition of critical scholarship (→  Critical Theory ). At the same time, activist media have established a commitment to democratic communication principles, forging relationships with ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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