Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark is the co-author of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media with Tracy Van Slyke. She directs the Future of Public Media project at American University's Center for Social Media.

Recent Articles

Where Will We Get the Next Rachel Maddow?

The folding of Air America seems a grim omen for progressive media. It's not all dire -- three strategies for keeping progressive media makers flourishing.

(Air America)

The progressive media sector has suffered a few sharp blows in recent weeks. On Jan. 21, Air America Media unceremoniously folded, citing a "perfect storm" in the media industry. Just a few days later, a survey from Public Policy Polling revealed Fox News to be the most trusted television news source -- echoing Fox's continued ratings domination over CNN and MSNBC. Even old "crash the gates" Markos challenged progressive media's power to influence Democrats or inspire newly disillusioned voters in a recent blog post. "Our media machine is tiny," he wrote.

Girl Talk

A new book posits zines as the founding documents of third-wave feminist political culture.


Scrawled and stapled, filled with rough-edged collages and BLARING CAPS, often achingly, embarrassingly personal, zines hardly seem like the founding documents of a movement. But, in the first book-length treatment of this topic, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, Alison Piepmeier argues that zines played a signature role in the development of third-wave feminism. "These hopeful interventions are not identical to traditional modes of doing politics," she writes, "but they are political nonetheless, because they are drawing attention to what's wrong with the world, awakening their readers' outrage, and providing tools for challenging existing power structures."

Defining Public Media for the Future

Four experts discuss what "public media" means -- and what it will look like in the future.

How can we imagine a public-media network, which not only offers citizens news, information and culture but directly connects them to one another and stimulates debate? We asked four experts in journalism and media policy to help us brainstorm how this might work. An abridged version of their discussion appears below.

Will Public Media Survive Where Mainstream Media Failed?

We must construct a public media network capable of informing and engaging our citizenry.

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Print is dying, broadcast is evolving, and social networks are all the rage. What new vision will guide the way we fund and create public media?

Voter Protection, Twitter Style

A new coalition is using Twitter to map problems faced by voters across the country and connect voters in need with election-protection groups.

Organizers and volunteers at the Twitter Vote Report project have spent the last few weeks furiously hacking together a real-time reporting system for tracking problems at the polls. By the time the Web site, launched last Wednesday, text messages from early voters were already filtering in. Here's one from Michigan:

"My #early #votereport - absentee ballots in #48823 require extra postage. Don't let a $0.15 slipup keep your voice from being heard!"