[By Austin, Eva, And Jenny]
Guerrilla activism is a form of culture jamming that empowers individuals, allowing marginalized voices to be heard, giving them a temporary platform to speak, and in turn empowers the collective with knowledge.
Ian Murphy is one individual who has helped inform the public and make them increasingly aware about America’s corrupt political ties to corporations, and particularly about the loss of collective bargaining rights by unions. The Yes Men work in a similar way of informing society with false knowledge to spread awareness of an injustice to have society change it while encouraging others to join their network and do alike. W. Lance Bennett elaborates on these ideas in New Media Power: The Internet and Global Activism and elaborates on these groups calling them “Global Activist Networks.”
Although they are unlike mobs and have “considerably more refined communication and deliberative capabilities,” they have been also referred to as “smart mobs,” a term coined by Howard Rheingold (22). We want to look at Guerrilla Activism and the tactics used by Ian Murphy, James O’Keefe, and the Yes Men. Then, we discuss how each create a scandal to get in to mainstream news, and talk about how videos can be manipulated in terms of O’Keefe, how O’Keefe seems to discredit the media, and how he is also more of a political strategist.
We want to compare the Yes Men who are less about perpetuating a lie, and more about spreading awareness by having the media pick up a story which is how Ian Murphy gathered attention with communication infrastructures changing in important ways, particularly enabling the convergence of the media system so that personal micro media content has more pathways through which to enter mass media channels.
Some the other questions we are considering:
1) How does Guerrilla Activism work and inform their viewers and readers? In a discussion about Global Activist Networks.
2) What is the role of new media through new platforms/technology and how effective is Guerilla Activism? in a discussion about communication infrastructures changing, and how these global activist networks use new media.
3) How Guerrilla Activism change to our news values? In a discussion about James O’Keefe and the Yes Men.
4) Should we invest our faith in the collective and/or technology to keep us informed? In a discussion with Jaron Lanier.
5) Does the truth even matter when the scandal already manipulates the opinion of the public? Looking at these case studies: Ian Murphy & James O’Keefe
6) Is impartiality a worthy and attainable aspiration of news media? Discussing new types of journalism.
I am going to work on the narration for the video or presentation we make, and give a through explanation of what events have occurred and what has been academically said about these global activist networks, and maybe expand on some of the questions we pose. Jenny will work on making the presentation, and gather information to answer those questions and help examine our case studies. Jenny will create video and analyze our case studies’ video.