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Media Activism Anti-austerity features contributions from across the globe that illustrate how independent media have countered austerity narratives. We showcase activists and campaigners mobilising against media and political elites to press for media reform, to secure democratic gains and to protect public spaces.

Austerity nostalgia, racism and xenophobia

Why anti-racism and migrants rights activism need to be central to anti-austerity campaigning.

Public service austerity broadcasts

Public service broadcasters are implicated in legitimising neoliberal policies in response to political and economic crisis. The coverage of RTÉ, for example, invited Irish viewers to cheer on the forces of technocratic fiscal responsibility.

Transforming the mortgage system and challenging the Zombie Economy

By developing stable mortgage finance institutions that do not require government bailouts we can break the “doom loop” between the financial sector and the British state.

Challenges and opportunities of the unbanked and under-banked

Talking about access to appropriate and affordable finance is one thing but what happens when people reject those banks? What happens if some consumers never feel banks can provide for them?

Embracing Complexity: towards fairness, sustainability and happiness

Complexity suggests a different approach to engaging with the world – a middle ground between control and laissez-faire.

Economic change will not happen until the left understands money

Developing a sound analysis of the causes of the financial crisis, and of solutions to the crisis is essential to attracting widespread public support for a transformation of the economy.

Inequality: the nexus of wealth and debt

If we are to create a more equal world, and reduce the risk of financial meltdown, we need to cure ourselves not only of our love of debt, but of our love of wealth.

From austerity to indebtedness and back

Austerity can only be a temporary fix that does not touch upon the causes of the problem. Whatever the belt-tightening, debt will keep growing, crisis after crisis.

Hard Times today: popular culture and the austerity myth

The myth of ‘austerity’ is our alibi, a myth so persuasive that it has given its name across the western industrialised nations to the very age in which we live.

Performing beyond the gendered zombie economy

Contemporary performance can provide a way of understanding as well as re-imagining what inclusive economies look like, particularly during crises. Performances of the economy are critical in urgent times. 

Austerity Neoliberalism: a new discursive formation

Austerity does not necessarily have to be neoliberal and neoliberalism does not have any necessary connection to austerity. But taken together they represent a toxic combination, one that attacks us body and soul.

Bringing up neoliberal baby: post-austerity anxieties about (social) reproduction

Neoliberalism eats its young, requiring higher and higher ‘attainment’ for diminishing reward. The relentless individualisation of late neoliberalism reads structural failures as failures of character.

Beyond the Zombie Economy

The present day metaphor is the ‘Zombie’ economy depicting the economic system as an unthinking monster in relentless pursuit of a single objective. Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series with Goldsmiths.

Austerity and the mediated networks of solidarity in Greece

An aura of political creativity and a sense of ‘media justice’ have emerged in Greece; evolving communication practices have shaped the nature and character of solidarity.

Press freedom in 'post-democracy': Greece

No one would disagree on the importance of press freedom and freedom of expression. But it is utterly naïve to disconnect press freedom from the notion of media power.

Stolen debates: the financial crisis and Spanish media

Instead of acting as an open space for discussion and debate, Spanish media have been megaphones for the established powers supporting austerity measures and politics.

Austerity and 'Benefits Street' in Stockton-on-Tees

The myths on which Benefits Street was based – namely the myth of so-called “workless communities” – are demonstrably false; however the furore it has generated demonstrates that the politics of class and representation still matter.

Housing, immigration and the attack on multiculturalism

If the Immigration Act addresses who can live in the country, the Housing and Planning Act addresses who can live in particular cities. Together, these two acts will serve as pretext for an acceleration of social cleansing.

Brexit: inequality, the media and the democratic deficit

When publics are abandoned, when their voices no longer matter and their identities are demolished through economic inequality, precarity and non-recognition, they lose faith in the political institutions that are supposed to represent them.

The press didn’t divide us – we were already divided…

Britain's divisions weren't invented by the media.

Is there really an alternative? The mainstream media and the limits of public debate over austerity

Mainstream media can still have a critical influence in prescribing limits to potential policy solutions, and thus determining the nature and scope of reform. After the 2008 financial crisis mainstream journalists became complicit in the reassertion of an ideological paradigm. Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

Austerity and war against multiculturalism

Understanding how austerity, sexism, multiculturalism and racism become intertwined discourses. Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

#greekdocs: an archive for documentaries about the crisis in Greece

Independent media production in the context of austerity and declining media trust can allow for an exploration of documentary as a genre at the crossroads of journalistic and activist practice. Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

El Roto and graphic humour as a generator of alternative public opinion in Spain

Graphic humour is in fact graphic opinion and as such can effectively challenge the abusive practices of different social and political institutions; it can also depict the social divide from a number of different perspectives.  Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

Beyond Zombie Management?

Austerity only makes any sense at all if viewed as a strategy for sustaining the financial status quo; the zombie economy is premised on the notion that society itself is dependent on safeguarding its existing monetary architecture.

Anti-austerity forces and the digital media in Spain

The experiences of the 15-M and Podemos in Spain demonstrate that by participating in both the traditional mass media and the digital media, we can develop counter-powers at a local, national and international level. Español

Flying the nativist flag

Austerity has opened up rifts within the EU, with extreme-right nationalist parties gaining traction. But is it really viable to retreat into the comfort zone of the nation-state?

Anti-austerity in the tabloids: red-top campaigns against the Bedroom Tax

Tabloid human interest stories don’t always blame poor people for their poverty and can be connected to political arguments, but they also pose a danger of distinguishing 'deserving' cases from 'typical benefit claimants'. 

Spain: no country for old-men-politics?

While male politicians occupy newspapers headlines, television and radio debates in Spain, at local and regional levels women for change are challenging austerity head on. Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism seriesEspañol

Greek media and independent journalism under austerity

In Greece, the media landscape under austerity has created bleak conditions for journalism and media freedom; a post-austerity agenda could change this situation.

Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

The invisible victims of economic violence ought to shame the media

The dominant media have failed to report on the pain, misery and fatalities associated with economic violence: from the devastating effects of the Work Capability Assessments to the increase in foodbanks.

This is what Anti-Austerity looks like

Photo essay: People's Assembly against Austerity protest, London, 16 April 2016.

Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

Austerity as a failed experiment

Austerity is a failed experiment, it is an elite narrative that informs a set of policies whose outcomes are not yet fully known - they are contingent, contested and uncertain.

Media amnesia, austerity and the great crisis

In our era, media amnesia has played a central role in the legitimisation of Austerity measures. For certain sections of the media there is clearly a wilful forgetting – or, more accurately, misremembering.

UK media and the legitimisation of austerity policies

By featuring some perspectives whilst excluding others, UK media has played a crucial role in the legitimisation of austerity policies.

Part of the Anti-Austerity and Media Activism series.

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