edited by Megan Boler – Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times


The MIT Press, ISBN 9780262026420, USA, 2008, English
The gigantic media effort to justify the senseless war in Iraqi has become an historical case study for 21st century journalism (as the first Gulf War used to be for the nineties). With respect to modes of communication we are in divisive times, with power and media ownership on one side and alternative media and (mostly online) citizen journalism on the other. The question has become how to describe, or even define reality when the information we receive seems increasingly fragile. The role of the web is becoming more and more preponderant, and the ambivalence of trust and deception is played endlessly through pages with an established reputation. Activist individuals and groups, with their strategies, have always been there, leading the discourse in the mediated public sphere. In this anthology many different tactics are explained and documented, with an impressive attention on news and constructed narratives in reports. But it’s not really a self-celebrating anthology. Jodi Dean’s chapter (“Communicative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics”), for example, is examining different complications related to the web 2.0-based platforms, questioning the ultra-positive conception of technology typically discussed by tech-savvy activists. We are asked to consider that the shape of reality is partly formed by a large community that is well aware of the value and influence of information. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that it is currently an elite of talented writers who are fostering citizen journalism on the blogosphere. Their presence and work is vital for maintaining, defending and improving online freedom of expression and control over mainstream media constructed reality.