Cyberprotest: New Media, Citizens, and Social Movements

By Brian D. Loader; Paul G. Nixon et al. | Go to book overview

7

Mass media driven mobilization and online protest

ICTs and the pro-East Timor movement in Portugal

Gustavo Cardoso and Pedro Pereira Neto

This chapter addresses the pro-East Timor movement in Portugal in 1999 and the role that ICTs and the traditional mass media played in its emergence and orientation. It aims to identify the pattern of use of these media by the agents directly implicated and, on the other hand, to ascertain changes prompted by such usage on the underlying organizational structure and communication fluxes. We do this through the intertwining of the constructive insights of different analytical approaches in the social movements field, thus shedding light not only on the societal context in which the protest evolved and the resources it mobilized but also on the cultural identity framing it promoted. We highlight the following aspects, all of which are staple features of our analytical objective: (a) that this movement qualifies as a networked social movement, i.e. a movement focused on cultural values, acting from the local in an attempt to influence the global, using ICTs as a fundamental tool (Castells 2001:138); (b) that it illustrates an ability to integrate fruitfully different media, with a central axis on the internet; (c) that media agents themselves may be assuming a key role in the very orientation of some protests. Accordingly, the following hypotheses will be tested: on one hand, that ICTs facilitate traditional forms of protest; on the other hand, that ICTs are simultaneously a tool used by protesters and sometimes a target of their actions.


East Timor: think local and act global

Following its 1974 democratic revolution, Portugal initiated a process meant to give up its authority over several colonies, one of these being the territory of East Timor-north of Australia, bordered by land by

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