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Book Award for The McGannon Center

McGannon Book Award

Hashtag Activism

Our reviewers unanimously felt that the book's rigorous and interdisciplinary account of concerted and spontaneous online viral phenomena distinguished it from other book projects in communications research published in the past year. It stands out for the ways in which, methodically and empathetically, it explains the ways in which networks of black and brown people, women, and other historically subordinated groups have "birthed and nourished" counterpublics on social media and helped to mobilize progressive social change. It uncovers the lived social impacts of communications technologies in ways that this award means to recognize and celebrate.

#HashtagActivism is all the more compelling in consideration of the ways in which the outgoing U.S. President and his allies have exploited social media to spread antidemocratic disinformation, embolden reactionary grievance, and celebrate white nationalism. It doesn't offer an explanation for these distinct developments. Instead, in contrast, it describes the social media movements that have contested ideologies of domination in the U.S. and helped to bring us to this current moment of reckoning.

The McGannon Center has been honored to associate itself with our past winners - authors whose books' teachings remain influential today. These include Yochai Benkler's Wealth of Networks, James Boyle's The Public Domain, Tim Wu's The Master Switch, Siva Vaidhyanathan's The Googlization of Everything, Simone Browne's Dark Matters, Virginia Eubank's Automating Inequality, and Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri's Ghost Work. We similarly believe that #HashtagActivism is at least as likely as any other manuscript from 2020 to affect us well beyond today.

This announcement is not the only way that we want to celebrate #HashtagActivism. We will convene a 90-minute event over Zoom on March 2 at 4pm to recognize its authors. There, we will feature other scholars and authors whose work is in conversation with the book. We will distribute details, including a link, about this event next month.

We are grateful to Virginia Eubanks, Alice Marwick, and Siva Vaidhyanathan for serving as reviewers for this year's award. They carefully considered over two dozen entries, many of which were excellent and potential winners.

Previous Research Award Winners:

2019 – Ghost WorkHow to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri

2018 – Automating Inequality (St. Martin’s Press) by Virginia Eubanks (University at Albany, SUNY)

2017 – No award given 

2016 – No award given 

2015 – Dark Matters (Duke University Press) by Simone Browne (University of Texas at Austin).

2014 – Low Power to the People (MIT) by Christina Dunbar-Hester (Rutgers, USC) and The War on Learning (MIT) by Elizabeth Losh (William & Mary)

2013 – No award given 

2012- Why Americans Hate the Media: And How it Matters (Princeton University Press) by Jonathan Ladd (Georgetown University).

2011- The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) (University of California Press) by Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia).

2010- The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books) by Robert McChesney (University of Illinois) and John Nichols; and The Master Switch (Knopf) by Tim Wu (Columbia University).

2009- The Myth of Digital Democracy (Princeton University Press) by Matthew Hindman (Arizona State University).

2008- The Public Domain (Yale University Press) by James Boyle.

2007- The Future of Reputation (Yale University Press) by Daniel J. Solove (George Washington University).

2006- The Wealth of Networks (Yale University Press) by Yochai Benkler (Yale University).

2005- Investigated Reporting(University of Illinois Press) by Chad Raphael (Santa Clara University).

2004- Watching Jim Crow (Duke University Press) by Steven D. Classen (Cal State Fullerton).

2003- Campaigning Online (Oxford University Press) by Bruce Bimber (UC Santa Barbara) and Richard Davis (Brigham Young University).

2002- Media, Markets, and Democracy (Cambridge University Press) by C. Edwin Baker (University of Pennsylvania).

2001- Prometheus Wired (University of Chicago Press) by Darin Barney (University of Ottawa).

2000- Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Basic Books) by Lawrence Lessig (Stanford University).

1999- Inventing the Internet (MIT Press) by Janet Abbate (University of Maryland).

1998- Privacy on the Line (MIT Press) by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau.

1997- The Gordian Knot: Political Gridlock on the Information Superhighway (MIT Press) by L. McKnight (MIT), W.R. Neuman (University of Pennsylvania), and R. Solomon (MIT).

1996- Selling the Air (University of Chicago Press) by T. Streeter (University of Vermont).

1995- Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy (Pantheon Books) by J. Fallows.

1994- Managing Privacy: Information Technology and Corporate America (University of North Carolina Press) by H. Jeff  Smith (Georgetown University).

1993- “Conclusion” by R.W. McChesney (Wisconsin) in Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935 by R.W. McChesney (Oxford University Press).

1992- “Reconciling Economic and Non-Economic Perspectives on Media Policy: Transcending the ‘Market places of Ideas’” by R. M. Entman & S. S. Wildman (Northwestern) in Journal of Communication (Winter 1992).

1991- “The Periphery in the Center: The Information Age and the ‘Good Life’ in Rural America” by A. Calabrese (University of Colorado) in Gazette: The International Journal of Mass Communication Studies (April 1992).

1990- “The Deregulation of Telecommunications” by R. B. Horwitz (U.C. San Diego) in The Irony of Deregulation Reform by R. B. Horwitz (Oxford University Press).

1989- “Investigative Journalism and the Moral Order” by T. L. Glasser (Stanford University) & J. S. Ettema (Northwestern University) in Critical Studies in Mass Communication (March 1989).

1988- “World Television Trade: The Economic Effects of Privatization and New Technology” by D. Waterman (Indiana University) in Telecommunications Policy (June 1988).

1987- “Newsflow and Democratic Society in an Age of Electronic Media” by D. K. Davis (Southern Illinois University) & J. P. Robinson (University of Maryland) in Public Communication and Behavior Vol.II, edited by G. Comstock (Academic Press).