In Chapter 6 of Antonio Lopez’s book, The Media Ecosystem, he talks about an activist, Bill McKibben, who “advocates for the media equivalent of a farmer’s market” which brings people living in the same areas together to address “regional issues with planetary causes” (143). McKibben’s website not only addressed the issue of the Keystone Pipeline Project with information that educated people on the problem, but still “distributes media [on the climate crisis that]…facilitates live encounters during coordinated days of action when people gather in their communities to bring attention to the cause (144).” McKibben’s media advocacy platform seems like a strong mix that not only engages people online, but mobilizes them to take action in the real world. I think what is particularly powerful about this approach is that it breaks down the larger issue of the climate crisis to address the issues certain communities are facing. Instead of merely asking for money and advocating against the crisis, the website provides options for people to really become engaged in how the movement addresses their home communities. If more websites addressing larger problems were able to move from ideas of immediate, sweeping, and large scale change to advocating for people to educate their friends and fix issues in their communities, online activism campaigns would be able to involve more people, and create change past the realm of advocacy. I also think that this sort of internet use, while maintaining an outlook that addresses a global problem, encourages people to tie their internet usage to local, practical solutions.  

Do you think that more websites should push people to work in their own communities to create change there, instead of advocating for issues far from home?  Would this type of model decentralize the ‘global village’ and would that be a positive consequence? 

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3 responses »

  1. cvurlumi3815 says:

    I actually had the pleasure this summer to participate in one of Bill McKibben’s organized protests against Chevron this summer. The voice of people coming together was incredible. The strength in unity of people working in their own communities can be quite powerful. The call to action and active participation in one’s own community acts as a very good baseline to advocate for change outside of one’s home. I think working locally and advocating for change elsewhere are both very important. Oftentimes there are greater issues out there that are not at the local level. Policy is a very good example of this.

  2. cmaas3882 says:

    I think that more active work in local communities will only bring about more positive change. Working on an issue in a local community works to engage people more in the issue at large after they have spent their valuable time and effort devoted to the cause in their community. From here, it is less of a leap to get involved with broader change on a higher policy-type level.

  3. jennalym says:

    Yes I strongly believe “think globally act locally” is the way to go. With the availability of transnational news and the constant array of global problems we are bombarded with it can often me overwhelming and disheartening. Therefore I think that the great thing about New Social Movements is that we can agree to participate in a couple of movements we feel more passionate about, and start on the small scale at home.

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