Digital Media and Democracy

Digital Media and Democracy

Tactics in Hard Times

Edited by Megan Boler

With Andrea Schmidt, Alessandra Renzi and Nathalie Magnan

Media scholars, artists, activists, and journalists discuss how the uses of the emerging “Social Web” redefine the public sphere and influence mainstream journalism.





Media scholars, artists, activists, and journalists discuss how the uses of the emerging “Social Web” redefine the public sphere and influence mainstream journalism.

In an age of proliferating media and news sources, who has the power to define reality? When the dominant media declared the existence of WMDs in Iraq, did that make it a fact? Today, the “Social Web” (sometimes known as Web 2.0, groupware, or the participatory web)—epitomized by blogs, viral videos, and YouTube—creates new pathways for truths to emerge and makes possible new tactics for media activism. In Digital Media and Democracy, leading scholars in media and communication studies, media activists, journalists, and artists explore the contradiction at the heart of the relationship between truth and power today: the fact that the radical democratization of knowledge and multiplication of sources and voices made possible by digital media coexists with the blatant falsification of information by political and corporate powers. The book maps a new digital media landscape that features citizen journalism, The Daily Show, blogging, and alternative media. The contributors discuss broad questions of media and politics, offer nuanced analyses of change in journalism, and undertake detailed examinations of the use of web-based media in shaping political and social movements. The chapters include not only essays by noted media scholars but also interviews with such journalists and media activists as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Media Matters host Robert McChesney, and Hassan Ibrahim of Al Jazeera.

Contributors and IntervieweesShaina Anand, Chris Atton, Megan Boler, Axel Bruns, Jodi Dean, Ron Deibert, Deepa Fernandes, Amy Goodman, Brian Holmes, Hassan Ibrahim, Geert Lovink, Nathalie Magnan, Robert McChesney, Graham Meikle, Susan Moeller, Alessandra Renzi, Ricardo Rosas, Trebor Scholz, D. Travers Scott, Rebecca Statzel


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262026420 480 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 21 b&w illus.


$34.00 X ISBN: 9780262514897 480 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 21 b&w illus.


Megan Boler

Megan Boler is Professor in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and editor of Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press).


Andrea Schmidt, Alessandra Renzi, and Nathalie Magnan.


  • An ideal introduction to tactical media. All the chapters come from academics and activists who have made significant contributions to the field. The editing of the collection excels at putting these authors in dialogue, often referencing and responding to each other's ideas. The reflexivity of the book opens up more questions than it answers—exactly the task of a book that will be a great inspiration for the next wave of media activists.

    Fenwick Robert McKelvey

    Canadian Journal of Communication

  • Digital Media and Democracy shows how voices of dissent can come from many different quarters as people utilize the resources they have available in new and innovative ways.

    David Stuart

    Online Information Review

  • Digital Media and Democracy is an essential resource for scholars and students of the interfaces, synergies, and interstices between democracy, politics, media, and activism.

    Mark Hayes

    Media International Australia

  • Digital Media and Democracy's distinctive value lies in Boler's effort to balance traditional scholarly issues with more practical, activist concerns...This volume offers a rare engagement with decidedly practical political concerns, addressed it seems, as much to activists as to academics...Useful and insightful.

    Michael A. Xenos

    Information Communication and Society