Motivations of Alternative Media Producers

Digital dissent in action

Authored by: Megan Boler

The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415644044
eBook ISBN: 9781315717241
Adobe ISBN: 9781317509417


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While alternative media have existed and served myriad purposes throughout history, arguably never before has there been such need for contesting accounts of local and global events. The lockstep relationship of many traditional news sources to government/ corporate interests has rendered hopes of a press that serves publics and democracy a nostalgic dream. This chapter offers an analysis of a particular and little-studied area of contemporary digital activist culture: the motivations of independent producers of blogs and web-streamed videos. I focus on the motivations of the producer/ makers of these practices I call ‘digital dissent’, with the aim of contributing to the literature that seeks to understand the individual’s motives, agency and role within the larger productive environment more commonly referenced as ‘alternative media’. Within this context, my research shows that those producing alternative media, and specifically interventions into traditional media, are motivated not only by frustration, but out of a desire to make sense of the combined forces of corporate owned media with political interests.

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