Media activist websites: The nature of e-participation spaces

Document Type

Journal Article


Journalism Education Association


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: Rodan, D. , & Balnaves, M. (2010). Media activist websites: the nature of e-participation spaces. Australian Journalism Review, 32(1), 27-39. Original article available here.


Civic engagement in the traditional sense of community values and civic participation is declining (Putnam, 2000). Discussions about this decline have not examined the ways in which new media use provides spaces for participatory cultures and participatory democracy now and in the future. The aim of this paper is to document and analyse the array of activities on two media active forums – GetUp! and AmericaSpeaks. The sites are examined as specifi c examples of media activist spaces that the authors argue enable participatory citizenship. Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of “smooth” and “striated” spaces are employed by the authors to consider the kinds of spaces emerging in new media active forums (1987, p. 500). In the evolution of media activism, the authors have revealed that the setting up of e-governance structures by non-government organisations to facilitate new kinds of participatory citizenship may well become the model for future e-government.