This is an entirely new edition of the author’s 1984 study (originally published by South End Press) of radical media and movements. The first and second sections are original to this new edition. The first section explores social and cultural theory in order to argue that radical media should be a central part of our understanding of media in history. The second section weaves an historical and international tapestry of radical media to illustrate their centrality and diversity, from dance and graffiti to video and the internet and from satirical prints and street theatre to culture-jamming, subversive song, performance art and underground radio. The section also includes consideration of ultra-rightist media as a key contrast case. The book’s third section provides detailed case studies of the anti-fascist media explosion of 1974-75 in Portugal, Italy’s long-running radical media, radio and access video in the USA, and illegal media in the dissolution of the former Soviet bloc dictatorships.

Community, Democracy, Dialogue, and Radical Media

Community, democracy, dialogue, and radical media
  • Radical media are quite often referred to as community media and as democratic alternatives to media monopolies. However, both community and democracy are potentially fuzzy words, a mere heartbeat behind motherhood, typically signifying a “generally good thing.” They urgently need anchoring by definition and critique to make them in any way useful.
  • Some significant recent writers on democracy are reviewed to underscore the frequent failure to connect media to strong definitions of democracy. C. B. Macpherson's work is noted because his definition of developmental, counterhegemonic power helps ground radical media in a unifying concept.
  • The discussion of conversation as the leitmotif of democratic process is resumed, reaching more closely into the everyday role of media in ...
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