Different approaches used by media activists

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Different approaches used by media activists

Stephansen 3 October 'Communicate to mobilise to communicate'. Biennially gathering tens of thousands of activists representing a huge diversity of movements and groups from around the world — most recently in in Dakar, Senegal — it is widely perceived as having a democratising function, providing a space where previously excluded voices can come together and debate alternatives to neoliberal capitalism.

Here, I examine how alternative media activism within the WSF process can contribute to the creation of democratising publics. Communication activists at the opening march of the WSF in Dakar. A global public sphere? Combined with its self-declared ambition to be a global process, this emphasis on discourse and dialogue makes it tempting to characterise the WSF as an emergent global public sphere.

Though appealing, it is however not at all clear that the WSF can or should be characterised in such terms. What has been practically absent from debates about the WSF and the concept of the public sphere which I have examined in more detail here is a concern with the role of media and communication.

Most obviously, this refers to efforts to disseminate media content about the WSF and ensure this reaches the widest possible audience. However, as is widely acknowledged, the WSF has consistently struggled to gain visibility in mainstream media.

Here, instead, I want to show how alternative media activism — in the form of collaborative and participatory processes of media production — can provide a foundation for the creation of democratising publics.

The idea of shared communication emerged on the eve of the first WSF inout of a concern that the event would not receive adequate media coverage. Organisers were worried that mainstream media would most likely either present a distorted image of the forum or simply ignore it altogether, while independent media lacked the resources required to produce comprehensive coverage of such a large event.

As a solution, a small communication team within the WSF organising committee created a web publication system, which was given the name of Ciranda a form of circular dance in Brazil.

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Based on copyleftCiranda enabled participants to freely share content, providing a much-needed outlet for independent media at a time before Web 2. Initially having emerged out of a need to facilitate sharing of media content, the concept of shared communication soon acquired a much broader significance.

Ciranda not only offered a platform for independent media coverage of the WSF; it also provided the occasion for media activists from different parts of the world to come together, creating spaces of sociality that encouraged dialogue and a sense of common purpose.

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Having enjoyed immediate success at the first WSF, with over articles uploaded to the Ciranda site, this exercise in shared communication was repeated at subsequent forums in Porto Alegre. In other years, when the WSF has taken place outside of Latin America, shared communication activists have covered the events and developed links with media activists from other parts of the world.

Alongside the Ciranda website, online platforms for video wsftv. These shared communication projects have formed the basis for the development of permanent activist networks and the idea of a politics and practice of shared communication.

A movement-building approach to communication How might we understand the significance of this particular form of media activism? Shared communication, in other words, has a strong movement-building dimension.

Different approaches used by media activists

By using social forums to engage in a prefigurative politics that demonstrates their model of democratic communication in practice, shared communication activists envisage the gradual proliferation around the world of their practices as new people are exposed to them.

This is closely linked to a conception of the WSF as an ongoing political process, not simply an event to be publicised through media coverage. An activist at the thematic social forum in Porto Alegre.

The crucial point here is that shared communication activists — many of whom are organically linked to the movements they report on — see themselves as acting together with rather than simply disseminating information about the movements that participate in the WSF.

Ciranda and the other shared communication projects not only facilitate information sharing through online communication, they also offer occasions for activists from different movement backgrounds to exchange knowledge and experience, and construct relations of solidarity.

Such networks of solidarity among media activists have an important role to play in creating links between different movements, constituting the social infrastructure of what might be understood as a different kind of global public in the making.

Rethinking the idea of a global public The kind of global public that is slowly being forged by these activists is more subterranean, less spectacular than that made visible by the mass gatherings at social forum events. Its continuity and expansion does not depend on the capacity of the WSF to gain mainstream media attention.

As I hope to have shown, making the WSF public through shared communication involves mobilisation, movement-building, and the proliferation of alternative communication practices as well as the circulation of media coverage about the WSF. It involves a laborious process of constructing relations of solidarity, involving new actors in the production of media content, and setting in motion dynamics in the places where the WSF is held.

What is discernible in the practices of shared communication activists is a different sense of globality. What connects them is a sense of solidarity across difference and a willingness to engage in dialogue and collective knowledge production.A detailed interview with LeiLei Phyu, Social Media Manager at the metin2sell.com is longer than my usual blog posts, but Lei has provided so much rich content and advice about the use of social media that I have left the interview in it’s entirety.

Sarah Sobieraj, in her book Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism (New York University Press, ), puts forward a sobering analysis as well as challenge to the left's orientation toward media catering and media metin2sell.coms: 1.

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2 activists may take different approaches and specific tactics vary by activist and situation, the media shows no signs of abating. Publically and, what was once privately available information, continues to increase. Amid opioid epidemic, ‘recovery activists’ shape a powerful grassroots movement.

using social media as a platform for people to connect with and support one another. including Hampton, they represent a different approach to overcoming addiction that is shifting with the new wave of activism and advocacy today. Jul 19,  · While both approaches may be useful in challenging marginalization, the reverse discourse strategy is far more inflexible and exclusionary—in fact, I contend that most legitimate complaints about activist language and stances are actually critiques of the reverse discourse approach.

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