Current Issues in Alternative Media Research



Research in alternative media has burgeoned since the turn of the millennium. The majority of studies has examined the political and social dimensions of alternative media and has focused on the media of social movements. The value of these amateur media projects lies not only in the content they produce, but also in the educational and political empowerment they offer to their participants. Other forms of alternative media, such as blogs and fanzines, present challenges to mainstream journalism; they challenge the exclusive authority and expertise of professional journalists. Recent research has begun to examine the relationship between alternative and mainstream media practices, particularly examining how alternative media offer ways of rebalancing media power and how ‘ordinary’ people are able to represent their own lives and experiences and concerns in ways that are often ignored or marginalised by the dominant media institutions. However, we need to learn more about specific alternative media practices and how audiences use their content.