Between Philosophy And Action: The Story Of The Media Reform
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Britain’s phone hacking scandal and the consequent launch of an unprecedented wide ranging inquiry into regulation of the media has created a new space for public debate on media reforms and, in particular, how to restructure media systems that serve the interests of citizens above those of media owners. This paper will reflect on the experience of the Media Reform Coalition - formerly known as the Co-ordinating Committee for Media Reform - a network established at Goldsmiths University to “co-ordinate the most effective contribution by NGOs, academics and media campaigners to the Leveson Inquiry and the Communications Review” (Media Reform, 2011). Drawing on this UK-based case study, the paper aims to unveil the principles and paradigms that underpinned the Coalition’s campaign and to elucidate the key challenges it has confronted. There is a pressing need to re-articulate media reform as a movement for social justice aligned with other more recognisable groups engaged in resistance to glob- al capitalism. In conjunction with this, there is a need to think laterally about how to campaign effectively with minimal resources; to set up and maintain strategic alliances with civil society groups both within and beyond media activist circles; to focus conceptually on media owners as the primary targets of resistance; and to reach out to both professional and citizen journalists.

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