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  • 1. “Indymedia” refers to a loosely affiliated network of rhizomatic citizen-j ournalist “Independent Media Centers” (IMCs) devoted to creating and disseminating alternative news content that sprung up around 2000.
  • 2. William Carroll and Robert Hackett, “Democratic Media Activism through the Lens of Social Movement Theory,” Media, Culture & Society 28, no. 1 (2006): 83-104.
  • 3. I alternate between terms, using “media democracy movement” most frequently, but it is important to note that this is a disputed label. Indeed, the issue of whether this is actually “a” single movement is also contestable, which this chapter also seeks to address.
  • 4. Thomas Gieryn, “Boundary-Work and the Demarcation of Science from NonScience: Strains and Interests in Professional Ideologies of Scientists,” American Sociological Review 48, no. 6 (1983): 781-95.
  • 5. See Carroll and Hackett, “Democratic Media Activism,” 100.
  • 6. McChesney attributes this quote (paraphrased) to former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Nicholas Johnson. Robert McChesney, Russell Newman, and Ben Scott, eds., The Future of Media: Resistance and Reform in the 21st Century (New York: Seven Stories, 2005), 11.
  • 7. Carroll and Hackett, “Democratic Media Activism,” 84. See also Todd Gitlin, The Whole World is Watching (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980).
  • 8. Philip Napoli, “Public Interest Media Advocacy and Activism as a Social Movement,” in Communication Yearbook 33, ed. Christina Beck (New York: Routledge, 2009), 391.
  • 9. Carroll and Hackett, “Democratic Media Activism,” 88.
  • 10. Todd Wolfson, “The Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of 21st-Century Social Movements” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2008).
  • 11. Wolfson, “The Cyber Left”; emphasis in original.
  • 12. Philadelphia Independent Media Center, “About,” accessed June 13, 2007, http://
  • 13. Free Press, “Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund,” accessed June 13, 2007,
  • 14. Faye Ginsburg, “Procreation Stories: Reproduction, Nurturance, and Procreation in Life Narratives of Abortion Activists,” American Ethnologist 14, no. 4 (1987): 623-36; Hugh Gusterson, Nuclear Rites (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).
  • 15. Interview by author, January 2003.
  • 16. Interviews by author, July 19, 2006, and October 4, 2006.
  • 17. Interview by author, October 5, 2006.
  • 18. Interview by author, October 4, 2006. I was unable to interview Kennard himself.
  • 19. Ginsburg, “Procreation Stories,” 623.
  • 20. Mediageek, “Be The Media: Blogging from the Audience, Hallways and Streets of the 2005 National Conference for Media,” May 14, 2005, accessed February 26, 2007,
  • 21. Anarchogeek, “Followup on the National Conference On Media Reform,” May 16, 2005, accessed February 26, 2007, 05/16/followup-on-the-national-conference-on-media-reform.
  • 22. Field notes, February 2006.
  • 23. Field notes, September 30, 2005.
  • 24. According to the SSRC, in 2005—7, it received three grants from Ford for this program area, in amounts of $100,000 (for an initial feasibility study), $750,000, and $1.5 million (“SSRC Receives $1.5 Million Ford Grant to Continue Innovative Work on Media Reform,” June 22, 2007, fordgrant062107).
  • 25. See, for example, Ellen Lagemann, ed., Philanthropic Foundations: New Scholarship, New Possibilities (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999), on the impact of foundation patronage on academic research.
  • 26. Field notes, March 3, 2005.
  • 27. Field notes, March 8, 2005.
  • 28. See Ted Coopman, “U.S. v. Dunifer: A Case Study of Micro Broadcasting,” Journal of Radio Studies 7, no. 2 (2000): 287—309. See also Eric Klinenberg, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007), 256. Craig Cox describes similar conflicts between anarchists and communists (accused by the anarchists of being “reformers”) in food co-ops in the Twin Cities in the 1970s in his Storefront Revolution: Food Co-ops and the Counterculture (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994).
  • 29. Field notes, April 27, 2005.
  • 30. Steven Epstein, Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); Steven Yearley, The Green Case: A Sociology Of Environmental Issues, Arguments, and Politics (London: Harper Collins, 1991).
  • 31. Gusterson, Nuclear Rites.
  • 32. Kim Fortun, Advocacy After Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
  • 33. Pam Scott, Evelleen Richards, and Brian Martin, “Captives of Controversy: The Myth of the Neutral Social Researcher in Contemporary Scientific Controversies,” Science, Technology & Human Values 15, no. 4 (1990): 474—94.
  • 34. See H. M. Collins and Robert Evans, “The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience,” Social Studies of Science 32, no. 2 (2002): 235—96.
  • 35. Scott, Richards, and Martin, “Captives of Controversy.”
  • 36. Prometheus Radio Project, “Scholars!,” n.d.
  • 37. Gunter Getzinger, “Trans-disciplinary Research and Sustainable Technology Design” (paper presented at the sixth Annual Conference of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society, Graz, Austria, May 25,
  • 2007).
  • 38. Prometheus Radio Project, “Scholars!,” n.d.
  • 39. Seeta Pena Gangadharan, “Building the Case for Change: Knowledge Practices of the Media Reform and Media Justice Movements,” in Communicating for Social Impact: Engaging Communication Theory, Research, and Pedagogy, ed. Lynn M. Harter, Mohan J. Dutta, and Courtney E. Cole (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2009), 161-74.
  • 40. Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979).
  • 41. See also Annelise Riles, The Network Inside Out (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000) for more on paperwork or so-called network artifacts produced by advocacy organizations.
  • 42. Field notes, May 22, 2008.
  • 43. Interview by author, August 19, 2009.
  • 44. See Robert McChesney, Communication Revolution (New York: New Press, 2007), 173-75.
  • 45. Interview by author, August 19, 2009.
  • 46. Dominic Boyer, “The Social Context of Critical Intellectual Agency: The Shifting Fortunes of the German Educated Bourgeoisie and the Criticism of Modern Society” (paper presented at the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, May 2003).
  • 47. Christina Dunbar-Hester, “Geeks, Meta-Geeks and Gender Trouble: Activism, Identity, and Low-power FM Radio,” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 2 (2008): 201- 32.
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