Host Michelle Schroeder Fletcher interviews Sarah Sobieraj, author of Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism.
Sobieraj explores the dynamics and costs of media obsession by activist groups. She says the pervasive mediatization of politics has jeopardized the ability of dissenting groups to engage in public discourse and so has altered the very fabric of both social movements and the civil society that the news media claim to inform.
Her book is an ethnographic portrait of fifty diverse organizations over the course of two presidential campaign cycles. She argues that while most activist groups equate political success with media success and channel their energies accordingly, their efforts fail to generate news coverage and come with deleterious consequences.