The next book that we’ve started to read in class is called Media and Social Justice and is a collection of articles by a variety of different writers. The introduction, “Media, Democracy, Human Rights, and Social Justice” by Sue Curry Jansen, one of the editors, recounts some of the history of the ways that the media has become a means to advocate for social justice, some of which is strikingly similar to the journalistic history discussed in the beginnings of Barlow’s Rise of the Blogosphere.
One of the ideas that Jansen highlights is the fact that different forms of social media “have played crucial roles in organizing social justice movements and rallying mass support for social change” (6). If you’ve read any of my previous posts, I’m sure this sounds pretty familiar and somewhat repetitive, but I think the fact that this idea keeps showing up is a testament to just how true it is. If it weren’t for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the Internet as a whole, social movements like Black Lives Matter and the organization of marches and protests would not exist, at least would not exist as they are today.
Furthering this point, Jansen also says that “Without a free, open, diverse, and robust media, democratic social change is virtually impossible” (7), and she is right. This quote made me think about not only the importance of said media, but also of those that are currently trying to limit it. Whether or not our president is even self-aware enough to consciously try to take down the media for this reason is another story altogether, but the fact of the matter is that he is trying to pit the American people against the media. He, kind of ironically, takes to social media to express his so eloquently-worded opinions:
When a person that has as much power as he does calls the media, who, by the way, has a constitutional right to share information, the “enemy of the American people,” many people will believe them, thus helping to stop the “social change” that Trump so badly wants to avoid from happening.