The Rise of Independent Journalism
“The shift from media controlled by a few, to media owned by all of us portends revolution as great as that which followed the invention of the printing press.” —David Hoffman, author Citizens Rising: Independent Media and the Spread of Democracy
From the fall of the Soviet Union and beyond the Arab Spring, media have played a decisive role in political affairs across the globe—driving the revolutionary changes shaping today’s new world. David Hoffman’s new book Citizens Rising: Independent Media and the Spread of Democracy (October 2013) reflects on decades at the frontlines of social change from the perspective of independent journalists and activists working to revolutionize information.
As the founder and president emeritus of Internews, the world’s largest non-governmental media development organization, Hoffman has had a backstage pass to many of the seminal world political upheavals in recent years. In Citizens Rising, Hoffman explores how media have been used for both good— to prevent conflict, facilitate free elections, expose corruption, promote nation-building, provide critical information amid natural disasters, and bring about massive social changes such as free education and women’s rights; and ill—to trigger genocide. With the rise of digital technology, the power of media to intervene in global affairs is in the hands of everyone.
What is the connection between independent media and the spread of democracy? Why does media have such a strong impact on social change? Does traditional media have a future when anyone with a camera phone can report news? Will democracy only come to those with access to mobile devices in the future?