This chapter expands the limited work on leadership in the digital age and considers how the relative inclusivity of organizational identity as well as its corresponding…
This chapter expands the limited work on leadership in the digital age and considers how the relative inclusivity of organizational identity as well as its corresponding organizational scripts affects who performs “leading tasks,” formal leaders or committed supporters, in two social movement groups. Drawing on a random sample of 5% of Facebook posts from committed supporters and 1% of Facebook posts from group administrators associated with March Against Monsanto (MAM) and Occupy Monsanto (OM), two groups that have shared general goals but different organizational identities, we find that the clarity of an organization’s script shapes who performs leading tasks and how they perform them. MAM, which has an exclusive organizational identity and relatively defined script, encouraged supporters to engage with one another directly and perform a broad range of leading tasks even as it reinforced the group’s hierarchy. OM, which has an inclusive organization identity and relatively undefined script, had less supporter engagement. Absent scripts regarding the rules of participation, OM’s committed supporter primarily shared information with other site users, but rarely engaged them directly. We conclude with a discussion of our results and outline additional avenues for analyzing leadership in the digital age.
Much ink has been spilled about the selectivity and quality of newspaper data (Earl, Martin, McCarthy, & Soule, 2004; Oliver & Maney, 2000; Ortiz, Myers, Walls, & Diaz, 2005) and we do not intend to rehearse those arguments here. Instead, this volume focuses on pushing research forward by (1) expanding the domains considered in scholarly work and (2) providing a better understanding of the dynamics of social movement media coverage.
This study uses the concept of standing, or legitimacy, to bridge the disciplinary divide between social movement and communication scholarship on activism. Here, the authors…
This study uses the concept of standing, or legitimacy, to bridge the disciplinary divide between social movement and communication scholarship on activism. Here, the authors examine whether activist standing in 269 broadcast news stories sampled between 1970 and 2012 across five social movements – Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, Immigrant Rights, Occupy Wall Street, and Tea Party – is undermined by (1) the mix of visuals included in media coverage and (2) activists’ social statuses at the intersection of gender, race, and age. The authors find that broadcast media undercut the standing of activists in some social movements more than others. Occupy activists faced the most challenges to their standing because they were more likely to be shown as angry, young protestors wearing anti-government costumes and engaged in nonnormative protest behavior than activists associated with other movements. In contrast, Tea Party movement activists, who also made anti-government claims during the same relative time frame, were not cast in a similarly negative light. The authors also find that activist standing is diminished and enhanced at the intersection of gender, race, and age. For example, the social movements with the most racial diversity – the immigrant rights and Occupy movements – were also shown as the most deviant and deserving violent repression in coverage. The authors conclude the study with a discussion of the importance of interdisciplinary research and a call for additional research on the movement–media relationship.
Purpose – Although scholars have long been interested in how social movements use mass media to forward their goals, sociological research almost exclusively focuses on the…
Purpose – Although scholars have long been interested in how social movements use mass media to forward their goals, sociological research almost exclusively focuses on the ability of activist groups to get their ideas and organizations in general audience, mainstream media coverage. This paper contributes to a more systematic understanding of media coverage outcomes by broadening the range of outlets considered relevant to political discourse. In addition to mainstream venues, we consider conservative and liberal/left outlets in our analysis of social movement organization media coverage.
Method – Using negative binomial regression, we analyze how organizational characteristics, organizational frames, political elites, and event type affect the rates of social movement organization media coverage in mainstream and partisan news venues.
Findings – We find that the independent variables play very different roles in mainstream and partisan media coverage outcomes. Specifically, while organizational characteristics and frames often enhance the media coverage outcomes of activist groups in mainstream venues, political elites have no effect at all. In contrast, organizational characteristics and frames do not affect social movement media coverage in partisan outlets, whereas political elites and event type do.
Originality of the paper – Conceptually, this research broadens how scholars think about the relationship between social movement groups and mass media as well as the factors that influence media outcomes.
Purpose – To theorize and research the conditions under which a high-profile social movement organization (SMO) receives newspaper coverage advantageous to it.Design/methodology…
Purpose – To theorize and research the conditions under which a high-profile social movement organization (SMO) receives newspaper coverage advantageous to it.
Design/methodology approach – To explain coverage quality, including “standing” – being quoted – and “demands” – prescribing lines of action – we advance a story-centered perspective. This combines ideas about the type of article in which SMOs are embedded and political mediation ideas. We model the joint influence of article type, political contexts and “assertive” SMO action on coverage. We analyze the Townsend Plan's coverage across five major national newspapers, focusing on front-page coverage from 1934 through 1952, using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analyses (fsQCA).
Findings – We find that only about a third of the Townsend Plan's front-page coverage was initiated by its activity and very little of it was disruptive. The fsQCA results provide support for our arguments on coverage quality. Disruptive, non-institutional action had no specific influence on standing, but its absence was a necessary condition for the SMO expressing a demand; by contrast, assertive action in combination with movement-initiated coverage or a favorable political context prompted the publication of articles with both standing and demands.
Research limitations/implications – The results suggest greater attention to a wider array of SMO coverage and to the interaction between article type, SMO action, and political context in explaining the quality of coverage. However, the results are likely to apply best to high-profile SMOs.
Originality/value – The paper provides a new theory of the quality of newspaper coverage and finds support for it with fsQCA modeling on newly collected data.
It has become somewhat of a tired truism to note that there has been a revolution in media formats and technologies and that it is changing much about our lives. Of course it is also altering how social movements organize, communicate, and build communities, and how individual activists become active, contribute to communities online and elsewhere, and communicate about their activism. The truism about media revolutions is tired because it goes back at least 30 years – reflecting an unbroken, tightly linked chain of democratization in media technologies.