Media Art and Design Research Blog

Research Seminar: 9 March 2016 – Dr Jonathan Cable, Protest Campaigns, Media and Political Opportunities.


Research Seminar: 9 March 2016 – Dr Jonathan Cable, Protest Campaigns, Media and Political Opportunities.

Canterbury Christ Church University
School of Media Art and Design
Research Seminars 2015-2016

9 March 2016

Protest Campaigns, Media and Political Opportunities:
An examination of the creation and exploitation of media and political opportunities by protest groups
Speaker: Dr Jonathan Cable, University of Cardiff

This paper is concerned with the interactions between protest groups, their political targets and the mainstream media. Paying particular attention to the tactical repertoires and media strategies protest groups, and how their messages are transmitted through protest action and into mainstream media coverage and political debates. Using three protest groups as the core case studies, this paper covers a range of different protest tactics and issues from the conventional to the confrontational. They take the form of a local community campaign to save a pub, Plane Stupid’s actions against airport expansion, and the mass protests by G20Meltdown against the G20 in London in 2009.

This paper argues that relative success and failure of protest action in achieving a group’s goals lies in the extent to which issues and the reasons behind protest are explained in the mainstream media, and the positioning of an issue on the political agenda. Further, protest action is situated within a wider context of mainstream media and political opportunities. The more a group can create and exploit these opportunities the greater their ability to propagate their message as far as possible and achieve their goals.

Dr Jonathan Cable is a Research Associate on the ESRC funded project “Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK State-Media-Citizen Relations After the Snowden Leaks” and the Pathways to Progression Coordinator for Our Media, Our World between Continuing & Professional Education and JOMEC.

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