John Downing
Global Media Research Center
College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Social Movement Media: Achievements and Issues

I will begin the presentation by briefly addressing definitions of democracy and of social movement media. I then proceed to critique the ‘bible’ of many current global social justice/altermondialiste movements, namely Hardt & Negri’s two books Empire, and Multitude, for their apparent incapacity to think through issues of communication, amongst other issues; and also Geert Lovink’s concept of “tactical media.” My focus will then switch to five issues I judge central to social movement media, namely the relationship between movements to reform mainstream media, and social movement media; the relation between information and imagination; the relation between internet and cell phone mobilization tactics, and social movement media; the centrality of popularizing science and technology developments; and the issue of scale.

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Peace Institute Slovenian Communication Association Dep't of Media Studies