Explores protest groups, their aims and protest tactics, and investigates the affect their decisions have on press coverage and political debate.

Summary

The attention paid to protest groups and social movements has rarely been higher, be it the Occupy movement, austerity protests, or student demonstrations. These formations are under continual scrutiny by academics, the press and politicians who are all attempting to interpret and understand protest groups, their tactics, demands, and their wider influence on society. Protest Campaigns, Media and Political Opportunities takes an in-depth look at three different protest groups including a community campaign, environmental direct action activists, and a mass demonstration. It offers a broad perspective of each group through a comprehensive combination of insider stories from activists, the authors own involvement with one group, newspaper coverage, each group’s social media, websites and leaflets, and government documents. This wealth of material is pieced together to provide compelling narratives for each group’s campaign, from the inception of their protest messages and actions, through media coverage, and into political discourse. This book provides a vibrant contribution to debates around the communication and protest tactics employed by protest groups and the significance news media has on advancing their campaigns.

Reviews

In an age of media saturation protest campaigns are media campaigns. Protest Campaigns, Media and Political Opportunities is required reading for anyone interested in understanding how the logic of media underwrites contemporary protest. Jonathan Cable brings much needed empirical detail and conceptual nuance to the study of how activists think about, select and interact with media when planning and enacting protests. Patrick McCurdy, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa

As traditional party and media systems break down, Cable offers a timely study on activists and their modus operandi. This in-depth analysis gives a nuanced perspective on protest group strategies. Clearly written and with well-chosen case studies, the book illuminates the complex relationships between protest, power and the press and should be required reading for campaigners and journalists alike. Phillip Chamberlain, Associate Head of Department for Broadcast and Journalism at the University of West of England, journalist and co-author of Blacklisted: The secret war between big business and union activists

Jonathan Cable has crafted a powerful account of the role of media in protest campaigns. Drawing on the campaigns of three protest groups combining insights from various disciplines, he shows how media shapes the success and failure of protest campaigns to reach their goal. He examines how political opportunities and the media, by reporting the spectacle, influence the relative success of protest campaigns. Bert Klandermans, Professor of Applied Social Psychology at Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Table of Contents

Introduction: Protest Groups and Contentious Politics / 1.The Meaning of the Message and Repertoires of Protest / 2. Case Study 1: Save the Vulcan – How to Save Pubs and Influence People / 3. Case Study 2: Plane Stupid – Lights, Camera, Direct Action / 4. Case Study 3: G20Meldown – More Than Just a March / 5. Similarities and Differences Between the Groups / 7. Conclusion: Protest Opportunities / Bibliography / Index

Author Bio

Jonathan Cable is a Research Associate and Lecturer at Cardiff University.