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Low Power to the PeoplePirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism$
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Christina Dunbar-Hester

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028127

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028127.001.0001

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Do New Media Have Old Politics?

Do New Media Have Old Politics?

(p.161) 7 Do New Media Have Old Politics?
Low Power to the People

Christina Dunbar-Hester

The MIT Press

This chapter follows radio activists’ assessments of emerging Internet-based technologies (primarily wi-fi networks). Particularly for urban areas where LPFM licenses were out of reach, the activists considered other “appropriate technologies” to as platforms for community media. The chapter shows that radio activists were selective in their adoption of or resistance to various options, some of which they largely rejected (such as webcasting) and others of which they cautiously embraced (such as community wi-fi networks). Having identified radio as the artifact with which their politics best aligned, they were circumspect about the promotion of other technologies that were less obviously tied to the values they identified in radio.

Keywords:   open source, activism, community wi-fi networks, technological adoption, emerging technologies, Low-Power FM (LPFM), FM radio, ethnography, digital media, politics of technology

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