This paper promotes a research agenda committed to a sustained, multiperspectival cultural analysis of community-based media. In doing so, the essay takes up two interrelated arguments. First, it is suggested that community media represent a conspicuous blind spot in cultural approaches to communication studies: a situation that is at odds with the hallmarks of cultural studies scholarship, especially its affirmation of popular forms of resistance and its celebration of and keen appreciation for local cultural production. Second, the author maintains that as a site of intense struggle over cultural production, distribution, and consumption within and through communication and information technologies, community media demand the rigorous, interdisciplinary approaches and interventionist strategies associated with the finest traditions of cultural studies scholarship. The author concludes that this research program is essential for appreciating the social, political, and cultural significance of locally oriented, participatory media in an increasingly privatized, global media environment.


Community Media, Cultural Studies, Political Economy, Qualitative Methods

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