What Is Alternative About Alternative Media?

2 months ago

So where does a platform like Whaleshares fit into the realm of alternative media? Well, it's important to note that alternative media is not just a term, it's also a phenomenon. For many people, including media academics and scholars, the term is an elusive and ambiguous one that engenders various different interpretations. There exists a broad and varied theoretical framework explaining what exactly alternative media means and what it entails. However, as with many things in the academic realm this should not be taken as necessarily true.

The left would try to claim that alternative media is their platform of expression. It is not. It is everyone's. In its most simplest form alternative media could be argued to be any type of media which is neither mainstream or conventional. However, this is a broad definition and does not fully explain the myriad alternative media that exists. For example where would a platform like Whaleshares fit into this definition?

Alternative media has existed for hundreds of years, but the concept as a specific type of media communications has only recently emerged, since the 1950s. Prompted by the outbreak of political and social unrest of the era which surfaced in various countries. The alternative agendas, and in many cases the revolutionary causes which became more common, fuelled the desire for a media which represented the voices and beliefs of the people. It was at this juncture where a new alternative press was incepted, where individuals and groups began to produce their own publications such as: leaflets, pamphlets, newspapers and magazines.

These publications were originally classed as fringe media. By the 1960’s fringe media had begun adopting the use of low budget films, independent radio and local television to convey its messages. A large proportion of alternative media publications are produced with minimal budgets. In the modern digital age the internet has made it possible for the production and distribution of an ever increasing diverse range of alternative media. Social media sites like Steemit and Whaleshares further the goal of permitting a wider freedom of expression. In fact the Whaleshares platform is so different from other social media contenders like Facebook and Twitter it could potentially empower users through content enrichment, whether that is inspiring people to broaden their knowledge bank or challenging people to question more.

The internet has spawned a plethora of alternative websites including platforms for the promotion of social causes, popular culture fanzines and anarchist movements. It is also an outlet where right wing conservatism can find a voice after a long period of suppression and censorship by mainstream media platforms. Blogs are proving to be a key feature of the modern alternative media landscape as well as video based services. The interactive element of these services means greater community engagement. This experience is heightened with a platform like Whaleshares as the issue of financial reward has to be factored in. In my opinion this helps to focus peoples' minds on the content they wish to share, and more consideration goes into the production of that content.

A new breed of alternative news media has also surfaced which offers different angles than that of the mainstream news media. It has also engendered the term ‘participatory media’ because of its global appeal and the fact that it encourages direct contributions from ordinary people.

It is important to remember that the term ‘alternative media’ is some times employed to describe media which in actual fact is not alternative. The subjective nature of the media renders it susceptible to many meanings and manipulations. This becomes even more important when considering the alternative news media. There can be no doubt that alternative news publications and websites have made a considerable impact on the media landscape, resulting in more choice of news consumption, but not as much as some people realise. Many huge media corporations are buying up smaller independent outlets.

Furthermore, alternative news platforms are constrained by their own independence and by the fact that they are participatory. Alternative news websites have proven they can be effective in dealing with localized news stories for an individual community, but they are less effective when competing with the global news organisations and their agendas. This is where I believe Whaleshares can bridge the gap.

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For almost 2 years now, I no longer watch the new or read any papers. If I want to know something, I find it out myself. I believe there is so much brain-washing going on that I started to become... I dunno... scared. They want us to be scared....
Also, they all scream, you are free to say what you want BUT....
I was done with that a long time ago.
I lost 2 accounts on facebook for having my own opinion... Shaduw banning... UGH don't even get me started!
I hope with the new platforms, these things will belong to the past!
I rather disagree with someone and have a good discussion than to be blocked by a platform for not thinking the same!


Banned from Facebook twice? Wow! Talk about censorship. I can't stand platforms like them anymore, they're just artificial platforms of regulated expression, saturated in commercial activity where corporations pump their messages at you relentlessly. Yes I agree the mainstream news media is for the most part brain washing. Thankfully though alternative platforms like Steemit and Whaleshares are emerging which prove that free expression can be allowed in some spaces on the internet.

For me personally, the communal aspects of whaleshares are what drew me to the platform as a secondary alternative media platform to steemit. Big time. I have always been somebody who enjoys the deep dive, but having such simple tools for checking out what other people in my community are digging into (be it music content, news or otherwise) sets it apart in a big way from any other platform I’m on. I also deeply appreciate the vastly more distributed pockets of influence...contrary to the name, WS seems much less about courting individuals and more about releasing a steady stream of content and information to your specific community.

A welcome change!


That's a great point you make, because I really do think the community aspect of Whaleshares is much stronger than on a platform like Steemit. It is absolutely about developing individual communities with the wider community of the whole Whaleshares platform, and indeed it is actively encouraged. I'm glad you found it and hope to see you around.


It is -fundamentally- easier for me to both check in on the artists I regularly follow (almost all of which I discovered on Steemit and Choon) ... and discover new people based on the resteems of a few members of the community whose tastes I know I dig. The fact that this is absent from Steem in the first place seems like a major oversight, but I'm not complaining given that my Steemit interactions are what made me the contacts to get me here in the first place! = ) Thanks for the kind words!

I watch YouTube. Not exactly YT "news channels" that cannot even vaguely compete to official media brainwash power even they would want to, but peoples documentaries and cell-phone footage. I am not saying it covers up for broad or deep areas I might not be interested in, but in few subjects/countries I follow. It is enough to watch few raw, as-is shots.

I get same feeling sometimes on WLS already (noticing where people are from and what they live thru). I would not want Whaleshares to turn into political arena though, where it is a rule to fight and take sides. Boiling as one "human" race, and in case of WLS, it is indeed some of the most proactive and talented people get involved - very yes! I love t learn cultures, history, people, life as it is. All the best opportunities here.


Hey @samprock, you're right to identify the immense influence mainstream media has over peoples' minds, and yes YouTube can not compete as much but it is making its mark. However, the sad thing with a platform like YouTube is that most of its content isn't that alternative and 80% liberal leaning, which is what you find in the mainstream media anyway. In my opinion YouTube is just an extension, in an online capacity, of the mainstream media I have very little time or respect for YouTube.

Whether there will be a large volume of political content on the Whaleshares platform remains to be seen but I don't think intelligent and considered conversations, in the form of posts, about politics is a bad thing, if anything Whaleshares offers a place for all types of politics to be discussed.

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Alternative comes from alternating, that is to say operating simultaneously.

Applying it to alternative media, these will be the means of mass communication that work simultaneously with the usual media such as television, the press and the radio. Also included as an alternative means the internet and within it are social networks and platforms such as Steemit and Whaleshares.

But there also exist as alternative means discord servers where many groups or communities are organized according to the same objective

This is quite an explanatory article..
Media has been existing just changes/ evolution have been taking place.
alternative news media is the new and real social media for me. Gone are the days when I do waste my time on platforms like facebook, twitter and tge rest.

You are right when you say that since the 50s alternative means have existed, always the competitiveness has led the media to fight to be competitive with other media.
In the case of Facebook, he was the impulse for other social networks to come out as twitter, instagram among others.
in the case of steemit, it was the first social network that rewards you for publishing content and for them other networks such as scorum, whaleshares, weku.io and others that try to compete with steemit have arisen.
Competitiveness means that many alternative media come online.


Absolutely dude, more social media platforms that pay you for your content are emerging and on the whole that isn't a bad thing. Naturally I am bias and want Whaleshares to be the best, and I'm sure it will be. But it's also important to recognise that other chains are contributing to the crytpo world and making life better.


you are going to say to me, that I live of those that I generate on the internet because here in Venezuela you do not get a job because of the economic crisis we are living.

I join whaleshares because I love to write and I like interactual with people but I also need general extra money to be able to sustain me, I hope that in whaleshares do not run with the same luck as steemit where I do not have anyone to support my talent.

Steemit could be an alternative media, but somehow some people there censored other for there own sake. I hope whaleshares people don't do that even we know the fact that most people here are coming from steemit.

I have to use alternative media platforms to find out what the UK media is blacking out, such as the bombing of Yemen and yet the billionaire newspaper owners would describe it as fake news. "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations" - George Orwell.

We hear the word "echo chamber" a lot recently. I think it's quite nice that we are finding our own communities of like-minded people, it's just a problem that they are a product of a centralized force whereas it should be happening of our own accord and in our own design, and also the different communities with different ideas need to learn to coexist and form productive or at least peaceful relationships with each other where interests can align.

I do not feel negative about the direction we are going in, it is just a bit of a difficult transition period where things seem like they could go either way, but which way they go depends on us


Well the Whaleshares platform is a baby that has just been born so there is still so much that has yet to form. You're right a huge aspect to your Whaleshares experience is about building constructive and fruitful relationships and creating harmonious and productive communities. Ultimately you will either find a community you fit into or you will create your own. Good luck!

In a world where anyone can create an alternative media source, how to differentiate the truth from propaganda or fake news?

you confuse the term alternative media with new media, alternative media is media that provides an alternate outlook to the mainstream ( left wing, right wing etc) , new media on the other hand is the new age form of media, Youtube spearheaded this but it has now moved to the decentralised space where crucially there is no advertising influence ...so, new media, alternative media, 2 distinct things, steemit / WS weku etc is new media


No confusion. Go and troll elsewhere. You enjoying your ban on the Whaleshares Discord server? I knew it would only be a matter of time before you showed your true colours again.


ah i could have u if i wanted to but i have other things to do ...... go learn the difference between alternative media and new media as i said


As I said no confusion, therefore no need to look up the difference. Perhaps you could educate yourself a bit better.

Furthermore, alternative news platforms are constrained by their own independence and by the fact that they are participatory. Alternative news websites have proven they can be effective in dealing with localized news stories for an individual community, but they are less effective when competing with the global news organisations and their agendas. This is where I believe Whaleshares can bridge the gap.

With this, you actually have thought beyond an ordinary person. You're a genius. I recently added you to my list of witnesses. You're very helpful to the community. I believe you deserve it.

Well, the truth is the truth no matter how it is percieved

people need sites like these.
blockchain has spawned new ways to deliver the truth


Indeed it has @frenklake, the blockchain has helped to produce a less manipulated truth.

Some of new "decentralized free speech media" don't really apply the platform because the administrators are easily ban users who critisize the admins. I think if we want independence media there is no banning. Banning is the same as centralized media. Flagging is the same prosecution to free speech. How can we fight for tendencious media mainstream while in the call " decentralized media banning is a custom'.