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Digital media activism

Treré, Emiliano ORCID: and Kaun, Anne 2021. Digital media activism. Balbi, Gabriele, Ribeiro, Nelson, Schafer, Valérie and Schwarzenegger, Christian, eds. Digital Roots: Historicizing Media and Communication Concepts of the Digital Age, Vol. 4. Studies in Digital History and Hermeneutics, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, pp. 193-208. (10.1515/9783110740202-011)

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This chapter engages with the notion of digital media activism. The starting point is that current studies often fall short in situating digital media activism within a longer historical trajectory and in the context of a complex media ecology, comprising both old and new media interactions. As a result, they frequently assume activism has been (and is) predominantly “digital”. Countering this assumption, this chapter argues for the importance of establishing both a historical perspective and a contextualized ecological lens of this concept, allowing for a nuanced analysis of activist media practices beyond the technological sublime. In the first part, the chapter situates the notion of digital media activism within broader research on media activism and then disentangles its constitutive elements, i.e. “digital,” “media,” and “activism.” In the second part, the chapter brings together attempts to historicize and contextualize digital media activism. It shows that a historical perspective is able to capture the continuities and evolution in relation to a long history of technologically mediated activism. Then, it illustrates how media ecology perspectives can contextualise digital activism by (a) identifying the coexistence of multiple media practices and artefacts; (b) elucidating motivations and obstacles in the adoption and rejection of digital tools; (c) shedding light on how citizens purposely disconnect from media technologies as a form of resistance.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: De Gruyter Oldenbourg
ISBN: 9783110739886
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2023 15:45

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