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Anton LOA

by on May 4, 2011
This class motivated me to think about social media, social networks, and their larger connection to issues of inequality and access.  First and foremost, this class made me realize that social media encompasses more than new social media like Twitter and Facebook. Megan Boler’s Digital Media and Democracy has a chapter in which community radio serves the role of progressive social media within New York (Boler and Schmidt, Community Radio, Access, and Media Justice: An Interview with Deepa Fernandes). The Theorizing the Web conference had a presentation by Daniel Greene, who argued that weekly newspapers such as the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Afro-American served as sites of social communication for white and black communities in Baltimore during the early 1900s.
These alternative sites of social media and learning more about how people interact has taught me to critically look at issues of access. The aforementioned Boler chapter brings up the problem of access to the Internet. While financial districts are inundated with free wireless hot spots, the poorer sections of town do not have good access to the Internet, even when they pay for a high quality broadband connection. Furthermore, Daniel Greene’s presentation highlighted how race and class played into access to the editorial page of the Sun and Afro. The Sun was primarily targeted towards middle class, moderate whites while the Afro was targeted towards poorer blacks and radicals. Due to the radical politics of the Afro, advertisers were less likely to support the paper. So, the ad contents of each paper differed. Likewise, the content in the paper differed as well based on what was considered “appropriate” for the paper.
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