1 Introduction No readings
2 The 'Crisis in Journalism' and Digital Inequalities

Core Texts

"Bulletins from the Future," The Economist, July 11, 2011.

Hargittai, E. "The Digital Reproduction of Inequality." In Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective. Edited by David Grusky. Westview Press, 2008, pp. 936–44. ISBN: 9780813343730.

Modarres, Ali and Bill Pitkin. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Technology and The Geography Of Inequality In Los Angeles." Pat Brown Public Policy Institute, 2006.

MIT Communications Forum: "What is Civic Media?" September 20, 2007.

Additional Texts

NTIA. Falling Through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide, 1999.

DiMaggio, Paul and Eszter Hargittai. "From Digital Divide to Digital Inequality: Studying Internet Use as Penetration Increases." Princeton University's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies Working Paper Series, Summer 2011.

Levine, Peter. "Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication." KnightComm, 2011.

Federal Communications Commission. Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape In a Broadband Age. 2001.

Ashoka: Changemakers Citizen Media.

Zuckerman, Ethan. "What I Think We're Trying to Do." My ...Heart's in Accra, 2007.

Knight Report. The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.


Browse Pew Internet Data: Trend Data for Adults and Trend Data for Teens.

Browse examples of participatory news sites: Global Voices Online, iReports, Indymedia, Al Jazeera's The Stream, etc

Knight Report. "Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age." September 1, 2009.

3 Dialogic Approaches: From the Public Sphere to Networked Counterpublics

Core Texts

Fraser, Nancy. "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A contribution to The Critique of Actually Existing Democracy." Social Text, nos. 25 and 26 (1990): 56–80.

Squires, Catherine R. "Rethinking the Black Public Sphere: An Alternative Vocabulary for Multiple Public Spheres." Communication Theory 12, no. 4 (2002): 446–68. [Also available from Penn (PDF).]

Benkler, Yochai. "The Emergence of a Networked Public Sphere." Chapter 7 in The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780300125771.

4 Contentious Approaches: Power and Conflict, from Hegemony to Media Justice; Project Proposal Workshop

Core Texts

Hegemony, Ideology, Resistance

Selections from Downing, John D.H. Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. Sage Publications, Inc. 2001.

Fanon, Frantz. "This is The Voice of Algeria." In A Dying Colonialism. Translated by Haakon Chevalier. Grove Press, first published in French in 1959 and in English in 1965. ISBN: 9780394172620.

Media Justice

Additional Texts

Cunningham, Dayna. "Can African-Americans find Their Voice in Cyberspace?" [parts 1-4]. Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, March 9, 2009.


Center For Media Justice.

Media Justice Resources at the Media Justice History Project. Choose one to summarize and place in dialogue with the readings.

5 Critical Political Economic Approaches: Is it the System or is it Propaganda? Yes.

Core Texts

Garnham, Nicholas. "Contribution To A Political Economy of Mass-Communication." (PDF) Media Culture Society 1, no. 2 (1979): 123–46.

Chakravartty, Paula. "Introduction: Toward a Transcultural Political Economy of Global Communications." In Global Communications: Toward a Transcultural Political Economy. Edited by Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. ISBN: 9780742540453.

Read abstracts from the Media and Propaganda Conference, assessing the Propaganda model 20 years on.

Additional Texts

Uricchio, William. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Displacing Culture: Trans-National Culture, Regional Elites, and the Challenge to National Cinema." (PDF) In Trading Culture: GATT, European Cultural Policies and the Transatlantic Market. Edited by A. van Hemel, H. Mommas, C. Smithuijsen. Boekmanstichting, 1996, pp. 67–82.

Selections from Herman, Edward S. and Noam Chomsky. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Manufacturing Consent (PDF - 4MB). Pantheon Books, 1988. (This is a link to a webpage containing relevant text.)

Cull, Nicholas. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Perspectives on Public Diplomacy." (PDF - 6.6MB)., 2009.


They Rule

6 Free Cultural Labor

Core Texts

Lowenthal, Andrew. "Free Beer vs. Free Media."

Terranova, Tiziana. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy." (PDF) Social Text-63 18, no. 2 (2000): 33–58.

Hesmondhalgh, D. "User-generated Content, Free Labour and the Cultural Industries." Ephemera, 2010.

Schweidler, Christine, and Sasha Costanza-Chock. "Piracy." In Word Matters: Multicultural Perspectives on Information Societies. Edited by Alain Ambrosi, Valerie Peugeot, and Daniel Pimienta. Caen, 2005.


Selections from "Thought Thieve$"

Good Copy, Bad Copy.

Tim Maloney. "Gimme the Mermaid." May 27, 2006. YouTube. Accessed April 4, 2013.

7 Civic Maps

Core Texts

Civic Maps Toolkit - Project Overview.

Meier, Patrick Phillippe. Technical Tech: Maps for Advocacy. iRevolution: From Innovation to Revolution, October 22, 2008.

Dignazio. 2009. "Art and Cartography." International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 1 edited by R. Kitchin and N. Thrift. Elsevier (2009), pp. 190–206.

Ducao, Arlene, Lela Prashad, et al. "OpenIR (Open Infrared): Enhancing Environmental Monitoring Through Accessible Remote Sensing In Indonesia and Beyond." CHI’13, April 27 – May 2, 2013, Paris, France.

Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science: Dosemagen, Shannon, Jeffrey Warren, and Sarah Wylie. "GRASSROOTS MAPPING: Creating a Participatory Map-Making Process Ccentered on Discourse." The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest 8 (2001).

Meier, Patrick. "What is Crisis Mapping? An Update on the Field and Looking Ahead." iRevolution: From Innovation to Revolution. January 20, 2011.

Currien, Paul. "If All You Have is a Hammer: Deconstructing Humanitarian Crowdsourcing."

Additional Texts

Meier, Patrick. "A Brief History of Crisis Mapping." iRevolution: From Innovation to Revolution. March 12, 2009.


OpenIR, a Media Lab Project

8 Platforms and Affordances: From Pamphleteers to Peer-to-Peer

Core Texts

Carey, James. "Technology and Ideology: the Case of the Telegraph." In Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society. Routledge, 1992. ISBN: 9780415907255.

Tesquet, Olivier. "How a Handful of Geeks Defied the USSR." OWNI, March 13, 2011. The usenet logs are available from

saradhya. "How TXTMob influenced Twitter." Next Generation Labor, April 20, 2011.

Sifry, Micah, L. From TXTMob to Twitter: How an Activist Tool Took Over the Conventions., April 25, 2012.

Additional Texts

Berger, D. "John McMillian: Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America." (PDF) International Journal of Communication 5:0 (2011).

Tridish, P., and K. Coyer. "A Radio Station In Your Hands is Worth 500 Channels of mush! The role of community radio in the struggle against corporate domination of Media." In News Incorporated: Corporate Media Ownership and its Threat to Democracy. Edited by Elliot D. Cohen. Prometheus Books, 2005. ISBN: 9781591022329.

Browse Association for Progressive Communication annual reports.

John Emerson: An Introduction to Activism on the Internet, Last Edited 2005.

9 Net Culture, Civic Remix, and Kony 2012

Core Texts

Jenkins, Henry. "Contextualizing #Kony2012: Invisible Children, Spreadable Media, and Transmedia Activism." Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, March 12, 2012.

Woods, Emira. "Top 10 Reasons Kony2012 Does More Harm than Good." Africa Speaks 4 Africa, 2012.

Jardin, Xeni. "Round Up of African Voices Respond." BoingBoing, March 8, 2012.

Gregory, Sam. "Kony 2012: Juggling Advocacy, Audience and Agency When Using #Video4Change." Witness Blog, March 17, 2012.

Zuckerman, Ethan. "Unpacking Kony2012." ...My Heart's in Accra, March 8, 2012.

Suggested Texts

Moore, David. "Yochai Benkler: Blueprint for Democratic Participation." Participatory Politics Foundation, May 10, 2012.


Civic Tripod.

Browse Macarthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics.

Browse the Civic Paths project site.

Harry Potter Alliance.

10 From the Barricades to the New Normal, or, From Indymedia to the Age of Citizen Journalism

Core Texts

Kidd, Dorothy. "Carnival to Commons." In Confronting Capitalism: Dispatches from a Global Movement. Edited by Eddie Yuen, Daniel Burton Rose and George Katsiaficas. Soft Skull Press, 2004, ISBN: 9781932360028.

Whitney, Jennifer. "Make Media, Make Real Trouble: What's Wrong (and Right) with Indymedia." In LiP magazine 'Tipping the Sacred Cow' (2005): 44-55.

Juris, Jeffrey S. "The New Digital Media and Activist Networking within Anti-Corporate Globalization Movements." In The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 597 (2005): 189–208.

Additional Texts

IMC Essay Collection.

Indymedia Documentation Project.


This is What Democracy Looks Like, or Miami Model

11 Freedom of Information: from the Pentagon papers to Wikileaks and Beyond

Core Texts

Assange, Julian. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Conspiracy as Governance." (PDF) 2006.

EFF. Transparency Project.

EFF. "History of FOIA." Transparency Project.

EFF. "FOIA How-To." Transparency Project.

"The Pentagon Papers." Wikipedia.


Case study: Drafting the Egyptian FOI Act

Draft FoI Act by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) & Support for Information Technology, February, 2012. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.English (PDF) - This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Arabic (PDF).

Draft FoI Act by the Untied Group: This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.English (PDF)- This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Arabic (PDF - 5.1MB).

nashtc. "Across America, Sunshine is Under Attack." MuckRock Reporter's Notebook, March 17, 2012.

Taylor, Richard. "WhatDoTheyKnow – Oral Evidence to MPs on First Five Years of FOI in the UK." My Society, February 21, 2012.

Noveck, Beth. "Wiki-Government: How Open-Source Technology Can Make Government Decision-Making More Expert and More Democratic." (PDF), 2008.

Suggested Sites

Taylor, Richard. "WhatDoTheyKnow - Oral Evidence to MPs on First Five Years of FOI in UK.", February 21, 2012.


ACLU: What is FOIA?.

12 Mobile Civic Media

Core Texts

beckyh. "Case Study: New Day New Standard, an Interactive Voice Hotline Powered by VOIP Drupal." Center for Civic Media, May 31, 2012.

Napoli, Philip, and Minna Aslama. "This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Mobile Voices: Projecting The Voices Of Immigrant Workers By Appropriating Mobile Phones for Popular Communication." (PDF) In Communications Research in Action: Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere. Fordham University Press, VozMob project, 2010. ISBN: 978.0823233472.

Other Media


New Day New Standard (646-699-3989) to learn about the NY Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights

Call Sandy Storyline to hear stories from people affected by Hurricane Sandy.


Text FISH and the name of a species to the Blue Ocean Institute (30644) to learn it's environmental or health impact.





13 Civil Disobedience and Hacktivism, from the Black Bloc to DDOS and Beyond

Core Texts

Thoreau, Henry David. "Civil Disobedience." Thoreau Reader, 1849.

Selections from Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Civil Disobedience. 2009. [Read at least "Chapter 1. Electronic Civil Disobedience."]

Coleman, Gabriella. "Anonymous: From the Lulz to Collective Action." The New Significance, May 9, 2011.

Costanza-Chock, Sasha. "Mapping the Repertoire of Electronic Contention." 2001.

Sauter, Molly. "LOIC Will Tear Us Apart: The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activitst DDOS Attacks." 2013.

Fuchs, Christian. "Social Media and the UK Riots: 'Twitter Mobs,' 'Facebook Mobs,' 'Blackberry Mobs' and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism." Information - Society - Technology & Media, August 10, 2011.


Electronic Disturbance Theater.

Suggested Texts

MOAR critical art ensemble?

LulzSec: text included w/'Chinga la Migra' release.

14 Video Activism, Free Software, and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region

Core Texts (and Video)

Jenkins, Henry and Sasha Costanza-Chock. "DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part One)." Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins.

———. "DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part Two)."

———. "DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part Three)."

"Cameras Everywhere Report - 2011." Witness, 2011.



Video Chronic.

Papuan Voices.

15 Final Project IGNITE Talks No readings

Additional films recommended:

This is What Democracy Looks Like. Directed by Jill Friedberg and Rick Rowley. Color, 72 min. 2000.

Un Pocito de Tanta Verdad. Directed by Jill Friedberg. Color, 90 min. 2007.

Control Room. Directed by Jehane Noujaim. Color, 84 min. 2004.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Directed by Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain. Color, 74 min. 2003.

The Century of the Self. Directed by Adam Curtis. Color, 240 min. 2002.

Get on the Bus. Directed by Spike Lee. Color, 120 min. American Experience, 1996.

Page One

It Gets Better. Directed by Liesel Reinhart. Color, 42 min. Selections, 2012.

Video Activism selections from DIY 24/7