Edited by Kevin Howley
Associate Professor of Media Studies
From public health campaigns and media education programs, to community
organizing and social change communication, media interventions are a
common feature of contemporary culture. And yet, despite the frequency,
scale and scope of these practices, the concept of “media interventions”
remains somewhat elusive and theoretically underdeveloped. This
situation has significant practical as well as theoretical implications.
On a practical level, conceptual muddiness inhibits effective use of
media interventions to influence public knowledge, attitudes, and
behaviors. From a theoretical perspective, narrow or vague definitions
of what we might mean by “media interventions” limit our ability to
fully comprehend the operations of media power.
In the fields of media and cultural studies, media interventions are
typically associated with media literacy programs and alternative media
organizations that seek to counteract the power and influence of
commercial media. Drawing on insights from “alternative,” “citizens,”
and “community” media studies (Atton, 2002, Howley, 2005; Rodriguez,
2001) as well as related work on the operation of “media power” in
contemporary society (Couldry, 2000; Couldry & Curran, 2003) this
collection develops a more flexible and expansive definition of media
interventions: one that considers how, why, and to what ends states,
commercial and corporate interests exercise media power. For example,
popular TV programs such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition manifest the
commercial logic of, as well as the communal solidarity engendered by,
“mainstream media” interventions.
This collection of essays, the first book-length treatment of its kind,
explicates the concept of “media interventions”: herein defined as
activities and projects that secure, exercise, challenge or acquire
media power for tactical and strategic action. Throughout, contributors
survey a range of media interventions -- from culture jamming and
autonomous media, to public relations campaigns and reality television
shows. In doing so, this volume attempts to break new ground on the
theory and practice of media interventions.
Chapters should address, but are not limited to, the following areas of
• Theory and method in the study of media interventions
• Strategies and tactics of media intervention
• Grassroots media, guerilla video and conservative politics
• Community building through media interventions
• Media literacy, youth media programs and edutainment
• Fox News, Clear Channel and conservative cultural politics
• Telethons, media spectacles and humanitarian intervention
• Alternative, Autonomous, and Tactical Media
• Citizens’ Journalism
• VNRs and “Fake news”
• Hoaxing and stunt journalism (e.g., James O’Keefe’s ACRON report)
• Media reform movements
• Free Press
• Center for Public Integrity
• Academic labor in policy making circles
• Mashups, remixes and file sharing
• Commercial logics of media interventions
• Celebrity, promotional culture and media interventions
• Industry/trade organization interventions
• State and corporate media interventions
• The Yes Men
• Media Education Foundation
• Future of Music Coalition
• Culture jamming, hactivism, piracy and pranksters
• Open source, copyleft and intellectual property interventions
Atton, C. (2002). Alternative Media. London: Sage.
Couldry, N. (2000). The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses
of the Media Age. London: Routledge.
Couldry, N. & Curran, J. (Eds.) (2003). Contesting Media Power:
Alternative Media in a Networked World. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
K. (2005). Community Media: People, Places, and CommunicatiTechnologies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rodriguez, C. (2001). Fissures in the Mediascape: An International
Study of Citizens’ Media. Cresskill: Hampton Press.
Send extended abstracts (1000 - 1500 words, including references) and a
short biographical statement by June 1, 2010 to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted contributions may not have been published before or be under
consideration for publication elsewhere. The editor will review all
contributions, however, there is no guarantee of eventual publication.
Associate Professor of Media Studies
Department of Communication & Theater