We conceptualize mass media as a field of action and consider how a social movement organization's reputation affects its media strategy as well as the quality of coverage it receives. Drawing on an analysis of two organizations mobilizing around academic freedom, Students for Academic Freedom (SAF) and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), we find that an organization's reputation is consequential. FIRE, which has a strong reputation, gets high-quality coverage and primarily uses this media attention to threaten its targets. SAF has a weak reputation and, consequently, uses alternative and organizational media to create opportunities to spread its ideas to a broader public. It does so by exploiting the linkages among media outlets and moving its ideas from smaller to larger news outlets. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this research for understanding the role of mass media in strategy, outcomes, and institutional change.
|Number of pages||24|
|State||Published - Feb 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science