Research Output

Reshaping social movement media for a new millennium.

  This article contextualizes Indymedia, the Internet-based network of Independent Media Centres (IMCs) that has developed since the 30 November protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization talks there in 1999. In a short space of time this network has become the backbone of communication for the broad coalition of groups that comprise the anti-capitalism movement. Context is sought from three perspectives: first, through a consideration of new social movement use of the Internet as a radical, socio-technical paradigm to challenge the dominant, neoliberal and technologically determinist model of information and communication technologies (ICTs). This perspective is approached through Paschal Preston's recent work on ICTs in late modernity ('Reshaping Communications: Technology, Information and Social Change', London: Sage, 2001). Second, the article regards Indymedia as the most current manifestation of radical Internet use. It examines the (inevitably) brief history of such use, exploring examples of praxis by anarchist groups, the Zapatistas and factions of the anti-capitalism movement, and assesses Indymedia's place in this history. Finally, the nature and value of Indymedia are assessed using the theoretical tools afforded by recent alternative media scholarship (Atton 2002: 'Alternative Media', London: Sage; and Downing 2001: 'Radical Media: Rebellious Communications and Social Movements', Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage): in particular, Indymedia is examined in terms of its organization, its socio-politics and its news cultures.

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Atton, C. (2002). Reshaping social movement media for a new millennium. Social Movement Studies. 2, 3-15. ISSN 1474-2837



Indymedia; anti-capitalism movement; new social movement; radical internet use; alternative media; digital media;

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