Roger Streitmatter discusses in Voices of Revolution, the people who made rights, that are sometimes taken for granted, into laws. The dissident press in America advocated for labor laws, education and children’s rights. Newspapers like The Revolution discussed women’s rights including abortion, voting, harassment and domestic violence. Mainstream media renounced these publications. But like today independent media plays a large role in creating dialogue on issues swept under the carpet. It is their voice, which brings these issues into the open.
The Revolution opened a public forum to talk about women’s issues. They allowed the public to contribute opinions and stories engaging the people. Media today is doing the exact same thing with blogs. An article is written and a blogger can either comment right on the bottom of the page or can link to it with comments. It is an updated model of the kind of call-to-action collaboration that was done during the nineteenth century.
Independent media today is still as powerful as it once was. Jeramy Scahill brought the discussion of Blackwater and private contractors to the table of the justice system. Wikileaks showed the world images of unsettling events in the Iraq War. While even satire, like The Onion, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are able to question the reliability of their own field into question. The dissident voices in the nineteenth century continue to be heard.