Christina Dunbar-HesterMar 25, 2015
Low Power to the People
Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism
MIT Press 2014
For the past few decades a major focus has been how the Internet, and Internet associated new media, allows for greater social and political participation globally. There is no disputing that the Internet has allowed for more participation, but the medium carries an inherent elitism and the need for expertise, which may limit accessibility. According to some advocates, old media like radio offer an alternative without the limitations of new media systems. In her new book Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism (MIT Press, 2014), Christina Dunbar-Hester, an assistant professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, explores the activist organization the Prometheus Project, and its role in advocating for greater community access to low power radio licenses. In an ethnographic examination of the medium of microradio, Dunbar-Hester examines the dichotomy of old versus new media, as well as the use of media for participatory and emancipatory politics on the local community level.