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The New Media Nation

The New Media Nation: Indigenous Peoples and Global Communication

Valerie Alia
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 300
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  • Book Info
    The New Media Nation
    Book Description:

    Around the planet, Indigenous people are using old and new technologies to amplify their voices and broadcast information to a global audience. This is the first portrait of a powerful international movement that looks both inward and outward, helping to preserve ancient languages and cultures while communicating across cultural, political, and geographical boundaries. Based on more than twenty years of research, observation, and work experience in Indigenous journalism, film, music, and visual art, this volume includes specialized studies of Inuit in the circumpolar north, and First Nations peoples in the Yukon and southern Canada and the United States.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-782-2
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. viii-ix)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiii)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiv-xviii)
  7. Notes on Language and Research Methods
    (pp. xix-xxiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxx)
  9. Introduction How I Came to Be Here
    (pp. 1-6)

    This is not my story. My ancestry is East European-North American and not, to my knowledge, Indigenous. However, ethnicity is seldom sufficient to explain one’s interests and convictions. Let me briefly clarify how I came to be here.

    I was born in New York and raised in Oklahoma in the 1950s. It was a time of rapid change—from oppression and discrimination to sociopolitical unrest, activism, and change. Oklahomans annually celebrate the advent of statehood on “’89ers Day.” When I was a child, this meant “White Christian People’s Day,” and dressing up as “pioneers.” African American, Hispanic, Jewish, and other...

  10. CHAPTER 1 Scattered Voices, Global Vision
    (pp. 7-30)

    Some of the world’s least powerful people are leading the way toward creative and ethical global media citizenship. Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, Indigenous peoples are using radio, television, print, and a range of new media to amplify their voices, extend the range of reception, and expand their collective power. Emerging from the shadows of a shared colonial inheritance, the international movement of Indigenous peoples has fostered important social, political, and technological innovations.

    I first used the term, “New Media Nation,” in a chapter for Karim Karim’s edited collection on communication and Diaspora (Alia 2003). Emerging from the international movement...

  11. CHAPTER 2 Pathways and Obstacles: Government Policy and Media (Mis)Representation
    (pp. 31-78)

    George Githii, former editor-in-chief of theDaily Nationin Kenya has said: “For governments which fear newspapers there is one consolation. We have known many instances here in which governments have taken over newspapers, but we have not known a single incident in which a newspaper has taken over a government” (Githii, quoted in Robie 2005: 2). TheTundra Timescame close, for a few historic, politically pivotal moments. In 1962, it took on the US and Alaska governments. In a masterful mix of political strategizing and journalistic muckraking, it helped derail an Atomic Energy Commission plan to use an...

  12. CHAPTER 3 Lessons from Canada: Amplifying Indigenous Voices
    (pp. 79-108)

    The results were indeed crucial, and they arrived in a most unusual way. A “ham” radio operator picked up a message radioed from an airplane flying over Old Crow and relayed the information to Whitehorse (Alia 1991f). That convoluted, but effective, mode of transporting information may seem peculiar to those living in urban centers. In remote and northern regions, such occurrences are a part of daily life. Communication and transportation are inseparable; interdependence is not a theory, but a daily reality. Breakdowns in transportation and communication can mean life or death in places where radio or telephone lines link people...

  13. CHAPTER 4 Turning the Camera and Microphone on Oneself
    (pp. 109-154)

    Earlier, I called The New Media Nation an “outlaw” nation. According toWebster’s Online Dictionary(2008), the English noun, outlaw, dates back to before the twelfth century, evolving from the Old Norseūtlagi,fromūt(out) +lag- or loāg(law), to the Old Englishūtlaga,Middle Englishoutlawe. The current meanings are: “a person excluded from the benefit or protection of the law”; “a lawless person or a fugitive from the law”; “a person or organization under a ban or restriction”; “one that is unconventional or rebellious”; and “an animal (as a horse) that is wild and unmanageable.” The...

  14. CHAPTER 5 We Have Seen the Future: “Standing with Legs in Both Cultures”
    (pp. 155-184)

    Were he still alive, my father-in-law, the great journalist and “muckraker,” Lincoln Steffens, might express both delight and horror at the array of puns and paraphrases, quotes and misquotes, permutations and misrepresentations that have arisen from his original utterance, “I have seen the future and it works,” which he also expressed as, “I have gone over into the future.” I hope he would forgive me for yet another appropriation of the phrase. This concluding chapter looks at the contemporary realities and future potential of the New Media Nation. With tongue firmly in cheek but a serious point in mind, Lincoln...

  15. Chronology of Key Events and Developments
    (pp. 185-197)
  16. APPENDIX: Native News Networks of Canada (NNNC): Statement of Principles
    (pp. 198-200)
  17. FILMOGRAPHY: Indigenous Films and Videos
    (pp. 201-208)
  18. Indigenous Networks and Media Organizations: On- and Off-line Resources
    (pp. 209-227)
  19. Notes
    (pp. 228-229)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 230-258)
  21. Index
    (pp. 259-270)