1st Edition

Citizen Media and Public Spaces

Edited By Mona Baker, Bolette B. Blaagaard Copyright 2016
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    Citizen Media and Public Spaces presents a pioneering exploration of citizen media as a highly interdisciplinary domain that raises vital political, social and ethical issues relating to conceptions of citizenship and state boundaries, the construction of publics and social imaginaries, processes of co-optation and reverse co-optation, power and resistance, the ethics of witnessing and solidarity, and novel responses to the democratic deficit.

    Framed by a substantial introduction by the editors, the twelve contributions to the volume interrogate the concept of citizen media theoretically and empirically, and offer detailed case studies that extend from the UK to Russia and Bulgaria and from China to Denmark and the liminal spaces within which a growing number of refugees now live.

    A rich new domain of scholarship and practice emerges out of the studies presented. Citizen media is shown to embrace both physical and digital interventions in public space, as well as the sets of values and agendas that influence and drive the practices and discourses through which individuals and collectives position themselves within and in relation to society and participate in the creation of diverse publics.

    This book will be of interest to students and researchers in media and communication studies, particularly those studying citizen media, media and society, journalism and society, and political communication.

    Cover image: courtesy of Ruben Hamelink


    1. Reconceptualizing Citizen Media. A Preliminary Charting of a Complex Domain

    Mona Baker & Bolette B. Blaagaard 

    Part I Empowering Citizens

    2. Understanding Citizen Media as Practice: Agents, Processes, Publics

    Hilde Stephansen

    3. Frontiers of the Political: ‘Closed Sea’ and the Cinema of Discontent

    Sandra Ponzanesi

    4. Citizen Mediations of Connectivity: Narrowing the ‘Culture of Distance’ in Television News

    Bolette B. Blaagaard & Stuart Allan

    Part II Questions of Performance and Affect

    5. Theatricality and Gesture as Citizen Media: Composure on a Precipice

    Jenny Hughes & Simon Parry

    6. Nanodemonstrations as Media Events: Networked Forms of the Russian Protest Movement

    Evgenia Nim

    7. The Politics of Affect in Activist Amateur Subtitling: A Biopolitical Perspective

    Luis Pérez-González

    Part III The Personal and the Political

    8. Media Participation and Desiring Subjects

    Sara Beretta

    9. Participatory Urbanism: Making the Stranger Familiar and the Familiar Strange

    Stine Ejsing-Duun

    10. Ironic ‘Resistance’ in Chinese Citizen Media Online

    Astrid Nordin

    Part IV Processes of Appropriation: Whose Agenda?

    11. The Securitization of Citizen Reporting in Post-Arab Spring Conflicts

    Lilie Chouliaraki

    12. The People Formerly Known as the Oligarchy: The Cooptation of Citizen Journalism

    Julia Rone

    13. Memory, Guardianship and the Witnessing Amateur in the Emergence of Citizen Journalism

    Karen Cross


    Mona Baker is Professor Emerita in Translation Studies at the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, UK. She is the author of Translation and Conflict (2006) and In Other Words (2011) and editor or co-editor of numerous reference works, including Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (2009).

    Bolette B. Blaagaard is Associate Professor of Communications at Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the co-editor of Deconstructing Europe: Postcolonial Perspectives (2012) with Sandra Ponzanesi, After Cosmopolitanism (2013) with Patrick Hanafin and Rosi Braidotti, and Cosmopolitanism and the New News Media (2014) with Lilie Chouliaraki.

    "The research collected here takes the study of citizen media into new and productive areas.  It is impressively interdisciplinary, drawing on scholarship in drama, translation studies, information technology and film to enhance the book's foundation in media and communications.  Its studies of memory and witnessing provide fruitful ground for re-energising citizen media as a set of diverse, politicised practices that honour the particularities of place as much as they engage with questions of globalised space."

    Chris Atton, Professor of Media and Culture, Edinburgh Napier University

    "With the conceptually sharp and engaging introduction by Baker and Blaagaard and the insightful individual case studies that follow, this lively collection challenges prevailing notions about publics (and their spheres), citizens, and even media. It marks an innovative turning point in our efforts to understand the communicative practices and dynamics of democracy."

    Peter Dahlgren, Professor Emeritus of Media and Communication Studies, Lund University

    "Citizen Media and Public Spaces is a compelling and timely collection that explores how citizens find creative and tactical ways to use media and communication to express and enact political agency. The volume is a fascinating journey through raw video footage of a journalist’s death in Gaza; gestures of occupying, swarming, and dancing as political protest in Ferguson and Istanbul; nano-demonstrations in Russia, where toys and stuffed animals hold signs of protest, and many other forms of citizen media."

    Clemencia Rodríguez, Professor of Communication, University of Oklahoma