- Date: Thursday, 20 April, 2017
5.30pm to 6.45pm
Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets
- Contact Details:
Space is limited, so book your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Battle in Seattle, Occupy and the mediatisation of protest movements
The purpose of the paper on which this talk is based is to conceptualise the mediatisation (cf. Hepp, Hjarvard and Lundby) of protest movements through an historical approach that compares protest actions from two different events—the anti-World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle in 1999 (in which the early Web and mobile media played a key role) and the Occupy movement (engaged with social media).
Cammaerts et al. assert that social movements should organise staged events that lead to visibility in a mass mediated public sphere and ask how “media logic” can “shape, inform or constrain the way activist conceptualize and enact protests” (11). This approach was applied during the protests against the WTO during their annual meeting in Seattle in 1999, sometimes referred to as “The Battle in Seattle.” The protests garnered a significant amount of media attention from news organizations in multiple countries. However, some activists involved in these protests, upset or mistrustful of mass media coverage, attempted to combat what they felt was unfair representation by establishing Indymedia as a hub for user-generated media on the protests.
The Occupy movement, in contrast, places a greater emphasis upon collective, open, long-term actions supported by social media. Although the occupation of public space is the cornerstone of the Occupy movement, the Internet had a marked effect even on offline incarnations of the movement. Claims that position the Internet—particularly social media—as a new, digital public sphere are reflected in the Occupy movement’s offline processes of recognition, inclusion, and consensus formation. In short, the Occupy movement is attempting integration through diversification. This comparative, historical analysis aims to examine the ways in which the contemporary media logic and mediatisation influenced not only the media activities of these movements, but also their structure, development, expectations, and activities (both offline and online).
About the speaker
Michael S. Daubs is a lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. His current research projects investigate the mediatisation of activist groups such as Occupy Wall Street, the use of mobile technologies by migrants and refugees, and the dissemination of “fake news” on social media. His co-edited volume (with Vincent Manzerolle), Mobile and Ubiquitous Media: Critical and International Perspectives will be published in mid-2017.
"Leaderless control: understanding unguided order", Synthetic Daisies .