Movements and Messages is a rare study of an important political phenomenon – the attempt by social and political movements to shape their own communication strategies in opposition to the power of the State and mainstream media.
Marc Raboy digs into the turbulent Quebec of the sixties and seventies and comes up with a wealth of communications initiatives – from the alternative newsweekly Québec-Presse and the news agency l’Agence de presse libre du Québec to the daily Le Jour , the short-lived attempt of the Parti québécois to exert its own control over news. He analyzes the “direct communication” tactics of the 1970 October Crisis and the 1972 general strike in the public sector and the emergence in the 1970s of the Marxist-Leninist movement with its publications Mobilisation and Bulletin populaire.
These media initiatives contributed to the building of a new culture in Quebec, one that still exists today. But at the same time, Raboy finds, social movements operating in the heat of battle used de facto communication strategies. They provided only partial answers to the problems of communications, or sometimes only reproduced the patterns of domination being opposed.
Movements and Messages appears at a time when people in Quebec and elsewhere are beginning to ask new questions about the diverse forms of militant action. Marc Raboy’s research and conclusions are pertinent to anyone interested in the frustrating - but crucial- link between media and social and political change.
Between The Lines