111215 Fuchs: "Critical Theory and Alternative Media/Journalism"
From Jon Svensson
Christian Fuchs, Uppsala University
The presentation deals with the category of alternative media from a critical theory perspective. It aims at developing a definition and to distinguish different dimensions of alternative media. I discuss different ways of how scholars have defined alternative media. The notion of alternative media as critical media is introduced. Critical media product content shows suppressed possibilities of existence, antagonisms of reality, potentials for change. It questions domination, expresses the standpoints of oppressed and dominated groups and individuals and argues for the advancement of a co-operative society. Critical media product form aims at advancing imagination, it is dialectical because it involves dynamics, non-identity, rupture, and the unexpected. The category of critical media is connected to Negt's and Kluge's notion of the counter public sphere. Critical media can be seen as the communicative dimension of a counter public sphere. I also discuss one specific example from the sphere of online media: WikiLeaks. I deal with the question if WikiLeaks a) is a form of journalism or not and b) can be seen as an alternative medium or not.