Overview

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New Media Power: The Internet and Global Activism

This article gives an extensive critique on the growing media trends around the world. The author offers his opinion on a few points, including information diversity, proper regulation of information and corporate control over news. More importantly, he directly addresses media’s role in the development of movements and global causes, and he offers specific examples of emerging global activism. For instance, adbusters.org and greenpeace.org rallied a campaign against Coca-Cola and its harmful gas emissions. The two organizations created commercials that not only taught their audience about the environmental damage caused by Coca-Cola, but they also created real change by provoking Coca-Cola to become more eco-friendly. This book gives a very thorough look into today’s digital activism and it pushes you to do some research of your own. His reference list is a great place to start.

Bennett, W. Lance. “New Media Power: The Internet and Global Activism.” Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World. 2003. Web. 12 July 2012. <http://depts.washington.edu/ccce/assets/documents/pdf/newmediapower.pdf>.

 

Activists

According to authors John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, there is a new generation the world should really keep an eye out for – the “Digital Natives.” Digital Natives are people who were born after 1980, an era of huge technological advancement that prompted them to become incredibly tech-savvy. Throughout the book, Palfrey and Gasser discuss the pros and cons of this generation’s new knowledge. In the chapter titled “Activists,” they analyze this generation’s developments in activism and the new mediums being used to connect with others, such as cell phones, the Internet, social networking sites and blogs. The authors address a variety of examples that demonstrate how new media technology and youth have come together to create change. For instance, organizations like UNICEF have created websites in order to connect young people, which will give them awareness and motivation to take action. The extent of and effects of the developments brought by the “Digital Natives” remain to be seen, but they could bring the change that the world needs.

Palfrey, John and Urs Gasser. “Activists.” Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008. Pg. 255-271. Print.

 

Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences

Media plays a huge role in people’s lives, and most people are exposed to some form of media every day. In this book, authors David Croteau and William Hoynes address some of the major questions that accompany the various uses of media. For instance, what kinds of media exist? How do they function within our societies? How does media influence our societies? The key point is that media can strongly influence the audience’s point of view, but the audience itself can also yield significant power over the media. This interconnection is important in describing the relationship between media and activism. Also, as media evolves, so do activists and movements. Today, we have increasingly more types of media available to us, making it possible for activists to use a wider range of mediums to shine the light on a cause.

Croteau, David, and William Hoynes. Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1997. Pages 24-30, 213-215, 261-286. 27 July 2012.

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