New Blogging Chapter Out Now

Megan Boler's new collection from MIT Press, Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times, is on sale now. It has a chapter of mine in it that takes a critical look at hyperbolic media narratives around political blogging and the CBS News "Memogate" controversy during the 2004 US presidential election. UPDATE: New info on free sample chapter and instructor copies after the jump---> In it I suggest ways that narratives can be more effective and discuss what I call "suprarational" perspectives for producers and scholars of tactical media. Jodi Dean also contributes a great chapter on her theory of "communicative capitalism" that I read in manuscript and have been citing and recommending a lot. Looking forward to reading the rest!

* * great gift and popular appeal--interviews with journalists Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!), Hassan Ibrahim (Al Jazeera), Deepa Fernandes (WBAI Radio, NY), Robert McChesney (author, Free Press media reform advocate)
* * edited collection ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses media and communication studies, political theory, digital and new media, journalism

Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press, 2008) Edited by Megan Boler
(you can download Introduction for free as a PDF)

also available for discounted prices on amazon:
$25.54 CAD
$20.00-$32.00 US

free examination copy for instructors:

from the back cover:
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 Interviewees:
Shaina Anand, Chris Atton, Megan Boler, Axel Bruns, Jodi Dean, Ron J. Deibert, Deepa Fernandes, Amy Goodman, Brian Holmes, Hassan Ibrahim, Geert Lovink, Nathalie Magnan, Robert McChesney, Graham Meikle, Susan D. Moeller, Alessandra Renzi, Ricardo Rosas, Andréa Schmidt, Trebor Scholz, D. Travers Scott, R. Sophie Statzel, Stephen Turpin.

May 2008 / 7 x 9, 464 pp., 21 illus.
$40.00/£25.95 (CLOTH)


  1. I was looking through VerveEarth and noticed a new neighbor blogging. Congrats on the book. I just bought it. I'm an Ed.D. student at LMU. I'm in the early stages of my program and will be looking at how digital natives use web 2.0 for social justice causes (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGSDzDF7xoY as an ex). Sounds like we're hitting similar topics from different approaches. Enjoy the vid

  2. Cool Dave thanks - just signed up on VerveEarth, we'll see how it goes. Good luck with your program!

  3. right back at ya

  4. The book came in today and read your chapter. I'm a huge proponent of the Internet as a democratization tool, but as you point out (and I'd love to see a stronger emphasis) in the end, it's up to MSM what's important and what's not. How do we change this? We as humans love good stories, but when we get sucked into fiction presenting itself as fact instead of listening to truth, we have big problems. How do we sift through this overabundance of info to get to the core of truth? Are we at the point that there are so many "facts" out there we will all just construct our own realities and be able to justify them regardless of opposing viewpoints? And as an educator, I always have to ask, if I am grappling with this (and I consider myself both tech and politically savvy), how are our students supposed to dissect this information critically?

  5. by the way, I really liked the chapter. didn't put that in the prior post. just started shootin from the hip

  6. Hi Dave thanks for the comments and glad you liked the chapter! I agree critical thinking is the key, especially in areas that have a long history of exaggerated cultural excitement pro and con -- such as new communications media. Not sure how to fix things but my suggestion with suprarational media analysis aims to address this by including in analysis the 'irrational' degrees of utopic/dystopic/triumphal discourse, not just rational information...