A new culture of advocacy: An exploratory analysis of social activism on the web and social media

Michelle I. Seelig, Diane Millette, Chun Zhou, Jialing (Catherine) Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined how non-profit organizations (NPOs) adapted to the new media environment and created an innovative culture of advocacy to directly facilitate engagement with interested supporters. Findings from this content analysis and virtual ethnography revealed NPOs dramatically transformed the structure of online content. Shifting the emphasis of the web and social media from a one-way transmission of information to an interactive conversation substantially changes the dynamics for activism, and fosters new models of engagement between NPOs and supporters. In this participatory, co-operative media culture, people were actively engaged and shared digital content that inspired others to care about important issues. These overall results indicated that the web and social media, when used to its fullest extent, played a key role encouraging communication and inspiring interaction among individuals on- and off-line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-29
Number of pages15
JournalAtlantic Journal of Communication
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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