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Mediated Communities

Civic Voices, Empowerment and Media Literacy in the Digital Era

Moses Shumow

Mediated Communities brings together a diverse, global cohort of academics and professional communicators to assess the current state of democratic mobilizing around the world and the ways in which protest movements are being transformed in the midst of a communication revolution. Contributors draw on a variety of international settings – from Greece to Lebanon, China to Argentina – to demonstrate the ways in which community organizing in the digital age relies increasingly on digital media to communicate, help participants find common ground, and fight for change. Contributors acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead for creating real and lasting democratic change, but at the same time are able to draw attention to the potential that digital media hold for strengthening citizen voices around the globe.
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Chapter 2 – Media Literacy and Mediated Communities: Emerging Perspectives for Digital Culture


~ Chapter 2 ~


Paul Mihailidis

ON APRIL 15, 2013, during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, tragedy struck in the form of two homemade pressure cooker bombs which exploded near the finish line, killing two people, leaving hundreds with severed limbs, and leaving a city in the midst of a frenzy of chaos and fear. While responders were tending to the injured, and security forces were securing the area, thousands of runners were left stranded across the marathon course, with no real idea why they were left standing in the middle of the road on the outskirts of Boston as the day dragged on.

As the information began to circulate, runners and crowds, clutching their mobile devices, heard the story unfold. Almost immediately, onlookers along the marathon route wanted to help runners to safety, and to contact their families. And concerned families wanted to be in touch with those stranded on the marathon route. As cell phone lines were spotty under heavy traffic, runners and their families turned to social media to communicate, collaborate and organize.

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