Understanding citizen media as practice: agents, processes, publics

Stephansen, H. 2016. Understanding citizen media as practice: agents, processes, publics. in: Baker, M. and Blaagaard, B. (ed.) Citizen media and public spaces: diverse expressions of citizenship and dissent London Routledge. pp. 25-41

Chapter titleUnderstanding citizen media as practice: agents, processes, publics
AuthorsStephansen, H.
EditorsBaker, M. and Blaagaard, B.
Abstract

Much recent commentary on citizen media has focused on online platforms as means through which citizens may disseminate self-produced media content that challenges dominant discourses or makes visible hidden realities. This chapter goes beyond a concern with media content to explore the much broader range of socially situated practices that develop around citizen media. Drawing on Couldry’s proposal for a practice paradigm in media research, it suggests shifting the focus from ‘citizen media’ to ‘citizen media practices’ and demonstrates, through a case study of communication activism in the World Social Forum, how this framework can bring into view a broad range of citizen media practices (beyond those directly concerned with the production and circulation of media content), the different forms of agency that such practices make possible, and the social fabric they can help generate. I conclude by arguing that a practice framework necessitates a rethink of the way that the concept of (counter-) publics is used in the context of citizen media. Citizen media practices of the kind described here can be understood not only as practices of ‘making public’ previously unreported issues and perspectives, but as practices of public¬-making: practices that support the formation of publics.

KeywordsCitizen media, publics, practice, World Social Forum, social movements, alternative media
Book titleCitizen media and public spaces: diverse expressions of citizenship and dissent
Page range25-41
Year2016
PublisherRoutledge
FileUnderstanding citizen media as practice_Author Accepted Version.pdf
Publication dates
Published27 May 2016
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781138847651

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