1st Edition

Beyond Prime Time Activism Communication Activism and Social Change

By Charlotte Ryan, Karen Jeffreys Copyright 2019
    290 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this accessible introduction to communication activism, organizer Karen Jeffreys and sociologist Charlotte Ryan draw on more than two decades of ongoing collaboration, using the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH) as a case study.

    The book examines a community with shared values, decision-making, and conflict resolution procedures, tracking its organizing strategy and matched communication plan. The authors first describe a communication campaign during the welfare reform battles (1990–1995) in which they began to practice communication activism. In ongoing work with two organizations over the next two decades, they distil a model of communication activism that draws directly from vibrant traditions of empowerment communication in U.S. social movements and movements from the Global South.

    Beyond Prime Time Activism provides students and researchers with an invaluable look at contemporary activism practices and with practical tools tried and tested in two decades of social movement engagement. This book is ideal for anyone participating in social change movements or studying how they navigate communication and media inequalities.

    Part I - Conceptual Models

    Chapter 1 - Communication Activism: The Positions from which We Speak

    Chapter 2 - Public Communication Models

    Chapter 3 - Introduction Communication Activism for Social Change

    Part 2 - Strategic Communication Practices

    Chapter 4 - Change is a collective noun: Forming a learning community

    Chapter 5 - From organizing strategy to communication strategy - and back

    Chapter 6 - Framing stories

    Chapter 7 - Everyone is a communicator: Matching audiences, venues, and messengers

    Part 3 - Communication Activism for the Long Haul

    Chapter 8 - Collaborative research: Assessing communication impact

    Chapter 9 - Movement building on a shoe string and a banana peel: Learning communities in coalitions and internships

    Chapter 10 - Building sustained relationships in a digitalizing communication climate

    Chapter 11 - Conclusion: Unresolved and emerging challenges


    Charlotte Ryan teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and codirects the Media Research Action Project (MRAP; www.mrap.info). She and Karen have worked together since 1990 in campaigns with the Coalition for Basic Human Needs (CBHN), the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV; www.ricadv.org), and RICH (www.rihomeless.org).

    Rhode-Island-based Karen Jeffreys is a lifelong social justice organizer who specializes in communication and movement building. She has collaborated with groups organizing around social services, housing and homelessness, domestic violence, media, and racial justice. She offers regular community strategy workshops for state and national social justice activists.