Book Review: By Any Media Necessary

Adriana Bernal, Classes & Clubs Editor

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In the age of Snapchat filters and Instagram selfies, the stereotype of youth being consumed by technology and uninterested in politics could not seem more true. However, as society continues to explore the depths of a fairly new digital world, By Any Media Necessary: The New Activism of American Youth shows that this stereotype could be completely turned on its head.

Co-authored by Henry Jenkins, Sangita Shresthova, Liana Gamber-Thompson, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, and Arely Zimmerman, the book is a lengthy read. However, it presents a new perspective on American youth making a difference through social media and the internet. Filled with a large amount of research, information from numerous studies, and a good amount of memes, (Surprised? Me too!) By Any Media Necessary breaks down the pros and cons of digital media’s role in participatory politics.

From examining the failures of the Kony 2012 campaign to analyzing how phenomena in popular culture can be harnessed to support a cause, the book extensively covers how these forms of digital communication are kickstarting American youth to have a passionate interest in politics and activism.

After reading through its daunting length and technical vocabulary, I felt so much more empowered and informed in a relevant topic of youth activism. The book reminds the reader that young people are a force to be reckoned with; they will continue to influence the world, by any media necessary.

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