At the end of the chapter, students will be able to:

define and differentiate the concepts “civil society,” “public,” and “community”;

define what public media and community media are. Name some criticisms of both kinds of media;

suggest how the three approaches (media economics, political economy of communication, and production studies) conceptualize the media for civil societies;

name different funding models for civil society media. Give an example for each of the funding models;

name some criticisms of the funding models;

define the concepts “independent media,” “anarchist media,” and “hacker media”;

summarize what a crowdfunding site does;

analyze a crowdfunding site and/or a crowdfunded project from the three perspectives.

In 2010, protestors from Tunisia to Egypt took to the street and surprised the world with their demand for democracy. The global media 156were not familiar with citizen activism in the region, so they called the wave of protests the Arab Spring (Keating, 2011). Some explained the quick spread of social movements from one country to another with the citizens’ adaptation of social media: protestors used Facebook and Twitter to inform each other where to gather. The ease of uploading images and texts, the cheap cost of mobile devices, and the possibility of bypassing the states make social media the perfect platform for a revolution. Images uploaded on social media not only inspired Arab citizens around the globe to demand democracy, but they also informed Western media of the rising power of political activism on social media. However, it was revealed later that the protest leaders had spent years planning for the events. In fact, quasi-governmental organizations in the US trained activist leaders to campaign, organize through new media, and monitor elections (Nixon, 2011). These background stories made one ask whether the Arab Spring was as homegrown and spontaneous as it seemed. There is no denying that social media was chosen to be a technology of change. Quite suitably, the Arab Spring is called a social media revolution.