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Alternative Journalism

Jon Bekken


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Alternative journalism is a fluid concept, often casually attributed to a wide array of media practices unified only by being different from the journalism in so-called mainstream media. Such a “definition” can encompass everything from local entertainment weeklies thick with advertising to the clandestine media of revolutionary movements. Recent scholarship has moved beyond this approach to focus on practices that challenge the communicator/audience divide typical of mainstream media, including the range of voices presented, the privileging of marginalized and excluded news sources over traditional elites, a conscious identification with the audience being served, and a conception of journalism that promotes social action ( Atton 2002 ; Downing 2001 ; →  Citizens’ Media ; Community Media ; Development Journalism ; Media Democracy Movement ; Social Mobilization ). Although the term is of relatively recent origin, commonly dated to the →  underground press of the 1960s, alternative journalism has been around as long as journalism itself (→  Journalism, History of ). Dissidents have contested the terrain of mass communications since the beginnings of recorded history, from the underground printing presses used in eighteenth-century France to the anonymizers and remote hosting sites bloggers use today to evade local censors (→  Blogger ; Censorship ). Throughout the nineteenth ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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