Which function do “mobile camera witnesses” have when they film state violence? Do social media such as Reddit or 4Chan have an impact on the public sphere? This category looks at the tactics deployed by individuals and communities who use traditional and social media to convey their message and guide social, political, or economic transformation. It explores how political and environmental movements build their communication strategy in the digital age.

Femen: Tactical Nudity by Kolbie Goodrich 

Cities throughout Europe have become a battleground for female “sextremists” protesting bare-chested in their crowns of heroism. These women deliver their truth by writing on their naked bodies. Marching in the streets and in front of parliament buildings, these protests call for rights for women. Yet they are also designed as tactical maneuvers to provoke violence, craving mass media dissemination.

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FEMEN describe themselves as “an international women’s movement of brave topless female activists painted with the slogans and crowned with flowers”. The main FEMEN tactic is to stage provocative marches and demonstrations, with the stated goal of pursuing the freedom of women from patriarchy. Women in the group are trained to carry and disseminate their militant motto around Europe and the world.

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Fashion Bloggers and the Democratization of Fashion in Today's Digital Communication Society: A Challenge to Global Media Outlets? by Tomislava Tomova

Present day digital communication environments establish inclusive platforms, where like-minded individuals gather together to form a digital culture striving for mutual exchange of ideas, inspiration, art, fashion, and style. Challenging the fashion paradigm imposed in big media outlets, fashion blogs substantially contribute to the democratization of fashion and freedom of aesthetic expression.

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The endless creative potential of blogs circumvents the rules established by power holders such as investors or media moguls. As a result, blogs have the possibility to showcase a wider variety of clothing and brands, not limited to the ones sponsoring magazines and subsequently being shown in them. Founders of blogs and their creative audience try to establish a degree of citizen control over these abuses and declare their right to freedom of communication without corporate control or interference. 

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PETA's Facebook Page: Helping the Cause? by Sarah Brodsky 

In early 2017, a rare white rhinoceros was killed in his enclosure at the Paris zoo. The poachers removed his ivory horn with a chainsaw, probably hoping to sell it on the black market. On Facebook, many of the articles conveying this news came from PETA, a non-profit organization advocating for the ethical treatment of domestic animals.

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This article explores the rhetorical power of PETA, as well as its pedagogical value. Studying their communication methods and content on their Facebook page, we question here their success in provoking their viewers’ awareness on these issues through three different modes: their videos, their happenings and demonstrations, and their comments.

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Classroom vs Real World: How People Consume the News

In the Spring semester 2017, Professor Westley’s class CM 1023b undertook a research project into their peers’ news consumption.

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The research methodology was triangulated through three different stages and modes of enquiry. 

  • Stage 1: The class filled out detailed news diaries of their news consumption over one week. These diaries were then analyzed by a group of students (group 1). The data analysis was presented to the class in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, when each student explained his/her own slides. Their findings were further summarized in an essay. 
  • Stage 2: A second group of students designed and sent out a news survey to the AUP student body. There were 80 respondents. The group then analyzed these results and compared them with the results from group 1 to identify trends and differences. The research was presented to the class in a PowerPoint presentation and summarized in an essay. 
  • Stage 3: A third group of students examined research into international millennials’ news consumption. They then compared this research with the findings of group 2. Similarly, the results were first presented and explained in a PowerPoint presentation and then summarized in an essay. 
Read Their Results and Analysis