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Palgrave Macmillan

Media Resistance

Protest, Dislike, Abstention

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

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  • Explores media resistance as an integrated part of culture, rather than as incidents of moral or media panic

  • Draws on political and organizational sources, personal testimonies, fiction and non-fiction bestsellers as well as dystopian films to show how the media are placed in a villainous and disruptive role

  • Takes a historical perspective, looking at early resistance to books, print, cinema, radio and comics in the 1800s and 1900s; resistance to television in the late 1900s; and resistance to online and social media from around 2000

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY license.

New media divide opinion; many are fascinated while others are disgusted. This book is about those who dislike, protest, and try to abstain from media, both new and old. It explains why media resistance persists and answers two questions: What is at stake for resisters and how does media resistance inspire organized action? 

Despite the interest in media scepticism and dislike, there seems to be no book on the market discussing media resistance as a phenomenon in its own right. This book explores resistance across media, historical periods and national borders, from early mass media to current digital media. 

Drawing on cases and examples from the US, Britain, Scandinavia and other countries, media resistance is discussed as a diverse phenomenon encompassing political, professional, networked and individual arguments and actions.


“Trine Syvertsen takes us on a historical journey through the underexplored history of how people and societies have been resisting media, from protesting and criticizing to outright rejecting them. The book is well-researched, insightful and, most of all, refreshing as it inspires readers to look and think beyond the more obvious and well-trodden paths when studying media.” (Hilde Van den Bulck, Prof. Of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

“In these digitally-defined times it is increasingly important to think critically about how we use media. Trine Syvertsen reminds us of the importance of being able to choose not to use. This book does a great job of reminding us of the long history of media resistance and Syvertsen warns us not to dismiss media non-use as a personal trouble. Instead, she highlights ways in which media resistance is a public issue and a powerful basis for collective action and change.” (Neil Selwyn, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

“In a well-argued, historically grounded text, Syvertsen draws on examples and cases from several countries to explore the concept of media resistance as an everyday phenomenon that continues to occur and change with the emergence of each new media. In doing so she provide insights into what both media use and media resistance mean in a world steeped in mediated information.” (Marina Krcmar, Wake Forest University, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo , Oslo, Norway

    Trine Syvertsen

About the author

Trine Syvertsen is professor of Media Studies at the University of Oslo. She has published extensively in the field of media history, public service broadcasting, television studies, and media policy. She is co-author of The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era, published in 2014.

Bibliographic Information

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