Political activism online: organization and media relations in the case of 15M in Spain

Josep Lluís Micó, Andreu Casero-Ripollés

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

111 Cites (Scopus)


The Internet is causing major changes in the field of political activism. One particularly significant case is the 15M movement, which emerged from a popular initiative organized in several Spanish cities in 2011. Based on the analysis of these protests as a case study, this paper has two aims: first, to examine the role of digital technology - websites and social networks - in the online organization of political activism; second, to analyse the relationships established between the conventional media on the one hand and activists on the other. The methodology combines the technique of in-depth interviews and qualitative analysis of reports, working papers and file data about 15M. The findings show an intensive use of digital technology by activists, both of their own social networks (for example, N-1) and commercial ones (Facebook or Twitter). These digital tools enabled them to disseminate their own information and optimize their internal organization. The indignados established an interplay between online activism and offline actions. Digital technology facilitated the organization of the mass gatherings in the streets. The possession of communicative and technical skills played an important part in organizing 15M. On the other hand, the relationship between journalists and activists was a difficult one. The indignados did not follow the established patterns of the journalists' work routines. The latter had to resort to the demonstrators' websites and social networks to obtain information. The activists recognize that the conventional media were crucial to the protests achieving a widespread impact in the news.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)858-871
Nombre de pàgines14
RevistaInformation Communication and Society
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - d’ag. 2014


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