Archive for publications, January 2011

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[ecrea] new book: communications research in action. scholar-activist collaborations for a democratic public sphere

Wed Jan 19 20:16:46 GMT 2011



Edited by Phil Napoli & Minna Aslama. Fordham University Press

Companion Blog:

Why This Book?

The past decade has seen a notable increase in public
interest­oriented civil society activism and advocacy around
media-related change. These activities represent a distinctive,
developing social movement. These efforts have become a developing
point of intersection between scholars and activists. Yet engaged
research by academic researchers in collaboration with movement actors
has been sparse, and such collaborations have been subjected to
relatively little analysis.

The terms media justice and media reform are most commonly used, and
have come to represent two distinctive, though frequently overlapping,
components of the broader movement to improve the accessibility,
diversity, and quality of our media and communications system.
Although this burgeoning social movement may contain a diverse palette
of outlooks and approaches to the public interest in media and
communications, the unifying theme of collaborative research is a more
democratic public sphere.

Showcasing Issues and Good Practices

CRiA showcases a variety of scholar-activist collaborations that aim
to contribute to a communications environment in which individual
access to information is improved, in which the structure and
functioning of our media systems are better oriented to the needs of
our democracy, and in which the opportunities for individual
self-expression are enhanced and more widely distributed.

The specific subject areas addressed in this collection reflect many
of todayâ??s most pressing media and communications issues, including
the persistent digital divide in access to communications
technologies, concentration of ownership of media outlets, the use of
new technologies to foster the growth and development of alternative
and community media, and the impact and evolution of the field of
public interest media advocacy and activism.

The chapters feature a variety of methodological approaches to
collaboration, from distinct divisions of labor between scholars and
practitioners to participatory action research (PAR) involving joint
activity at every stage of the research design and implementation. The
book also provides some broader assessments of the state of affairs of
collaborative work in the field of public interest media advocacy and
activism, and of efforts to develop institutionalized support
mechanisms for such collaborative work.

Two Levels of Purpose

This collection can be useful to readers on two levels. First, the
specific research questions and topics addressed within this
collection are of relevance to scholars, students, activists, policy
makers, and mediamakers, and the new knowledge generated by these
collaborations can enhance our understanding of topics ranging from
community media to media ownership to the digital divide.

Second, these exemplars of the process of scholar-activist
collaboration?and the reflections contained within each chapter on tthe
dynamics, challenges, and opportunities associated with engaging in
this process?will be of interest to those scholars, students,
activists, funders, and university administrators interested in
gaining a deeper understanding of the wide range of opportunities for,
and approaches to, such collaborative work as well as the benefits and
challenges of engaging in, developing, and supporting such
collaborations. The ultimate aim of this bi-level structure is to
inform and inspire those who work towards a more democratic, mediated
public sphere in theory and praxis?whether as scholars, activists,
policy makers, or citizens.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Becky Lentz

Introduction: Minna Aslama and Philip M. Napoli

Part I: Explorations of Movement Actors: Strategies, Impacts, and Needs

1. Digital Inclusion: Working Both Sides of the Equation: Dorothy Kidd
and Eloise Lee
2. Engaging in Scholar-Activist Communications in Canada: Leslie Regan Shade
3. Toward a Taxonomy for Public Interest Communications
Infrastructure: Dharma Dailey & and Alison Powell

Part II: Media Ownership: Bridging Research and Regulation

4. Big Media, Little Kids: The Impact of Ownership Concentration on
the Availability of Television Programming for Children: Katharine E.
Heintz and Christina Romano Glaubke
5. Minority Commercial Radio Ownership: Assessing FCC Licensing and
Consolidation Policies: Catherine J. K. Sandoval
6. Cross-Ownership, Markets, and Content on Local TV News: Danilo Yanich

Part III: Alternative and Community Media: Discovering Needs and Opportunities

7. Measuring Community Radioâ??s Impact: Lessons on Collaboration:
Graciela Leóon Orozco
8. Youth Channel All-City: Mapping the Media Needs and Interests of
Urban Youth: Isabel Castellanos, Amy Bach, and Rachel Kulick
9. Mobile Voices: Projecting the Voices of Immigrant Workers by
Appropriating Mobile Phones for Popular Communication: The VozMob
10. Community Connect: A Network of Civic Spaces for Public
Communication in North Dakota:
Lana F. Rakow and Diana Iulia Nastasia

Part IV: Communications Infrastructure: Rethinking Rights

11. Telecommunications Convergence and Consumer Rights in Brazil:
Estela Waksberg Guerrini, Diogo Moyses, and Daniela Batalha Trettel
12. Citizen Political Enfranchisement and Information Access:
Telecommunications Services in Rural and Remote Areas: Richard S. Wolff
13. Open Access in Africa: The Case of Mauritius:
Russell Southwood, Abiodun Jagun, and Willie Currie
14. Public FM Project: Supporting the Licensing of New Nonc-Commercial
FM Radio Stations for Students and Community Usage: Todd Urick

Part V: Assessment: Creating Support for Scholar-Activist Collaboration

15. Cultures of Collaboration in Media Research:
Joe Karaganis
16. Engendering Scholar-Activist Collaborations: An Evaluatorâ??s
Perspective: Catherine Borgman-Arboleda
Conclusion: Minna Aslama and Philip M. Napoli

Dr. Minna Aslama
Visiting Lecturer
Fordham University
Department of Communication & Media
Associate Research Fellow
McGannon Communication Research Center /
University of Helsinki
Department of Communication &
Swedish School of Social Science,
Research Institute
(minna.aslama /at/

~ There is only one reason/We are in this world:
To encourage laughter, freedom, dance/And love.(Hafiz)

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