Intersectionality in autonomous journalism practices

Sandra Jeppesen | 2018 | in Journal of Alternative and Community Media, vol. 3, no. 1

Media activists who are women, queer, trans*, Indigenous and/or people of colour are shifting mediascapes through intersectional autonomous journalism practices. This community-based co-research project analyses data from six semi-structured focus group workshops with media activists, who identify a contradictory logic between mainstream and alternative journalism.

Two distinct autonomous journalism practices emerge that complement and extend traditional horizontal prefigurative media activist practices through an attentiveness to intersectional identities and interlocking systems of oppression. In rooted direct-action journalism, grassroots autonomous journalists collectively report from a perspective rooted in the concerns of the movement, creating media as a direct-action tactic; whereas in solidarity journalism, autonomous journalists report across movements in solidarity with intersectionally marginalised groups and communities.

We argue that, emphasising intersectional mutual aid, relationship building, consent, accountability and content co-creation, these value-based practices have begun to shift dominant media and cultural logics. Finally, we offer critical reflections on some of the challenges inherent in these practices, including a meta-analysis of the intersectional value practices in our activist co-research methodology.

Keywords: alternative media, autonomous media, community media, direct action, intersectionality, media activism, media practices, new journalism forms, participatory action research, social movements, solidarity