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Jamming the Media Paperback – October 1, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Branwyn gamely resolved to compile--in print, mind you--nothing less than a permanent, accurate, and reliable resource for all producers of alternative media…. You find yourself wanting terribly for him to succeed and--given the constraints--so he does. -- Wired, Ken Coupland

Product Details

  • Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 2nd edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811817954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811817950
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gareth Branwyn (born January 21, 1958) is a writer, editor, and media critic.

He has covered technology, media, DIY, and cyberculture for Wired, Esquire, the Baltimore Sun, Details, and numerous other publications. He was an editor at Mondo 2000 and Boing Boing (when it was a print zine), founded the personal tech site, StreetTech.com, and worked for MAKE magazine for 8 years, lastly acting as their Editorial Director.

Gareth co-edited The Happy Mutant Handbook (with Boing Boing) and is the author of Jargon Watch: A Pocket Dictionary for the Jitterati, Jamming the Media, The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots, and Mosaic Quick Tour: Accessing and Navigating the World Wide Web (the first book written about the Web). His most recent book, a collection of his best work, with many new essays, is called Borg Like Me & Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems. The book was crowd-funded and self-published.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In his book, Jamming the Media: A Citizen's Guide Reclaiming the Tools of Communication, Gareth Branwyn writes about an alternative media, a Do It Yourself (DIY) media, where everybody can produce high quality messages from their desktops. He talks about every kind of medium from zines, which are noncommercial amateur publications, to the most modern multimedia technologies. In every chapter, he provides a "starter kit and resources" section to encourage the reader to experiment with the making of zines, music recordings, multimedia CD-ROMs, WebPages, TV, films, videos, radio and other kinds of bizarre media.
The media, as an institution, have changed their role to an interactive, public access space where everybody can participate. With passion and a particular writing style, Branwyn gives the recipe, step by step, of how to design, produce, package, distribute and promote written, audio, visual and even animate messages. Moreover, he opens the reader's mind to create a new kind of message full of feelings and expressions that crosses the barrier of conventional and commercial media. Talking about media pranks and art hacks, Branwyn affirms: "Anything that's out of the ordinary or worthy of a sound bite will find its way into the local and national media (albeit shoved into a little suffocating compartment)" (p. 248).
The author introduces his book giving an explanation on how the development of new technologies has contributed to the creation of powerful personal computers that can now be used as "a full-color publishing house, a broadcast-quality TV studio, a sound recording studio, or an island in the digital oceans of the cyberspace" (p.13). He then talks about zines, as an easy and funny way to get on the bus in this DIY media.
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Comment 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
SPREADING THE MEDIA JAM =======================
By ROY BLUMENTHAL (This review originally appeared in Gadget Magazine)
If you're keen on rolling up your sleeves and getting into communicating with the masses, a superb book guides you in the tactics being used on the frontline by some of the most experienced media hackers in the world today.
Browzing at Facts & Fiction in Sandton Square, pretending to myself that my credit card wasn't too over-flexed, I saw a title that stopped me in my tracks. Which meant I had to apologise to the woman who had been walking behind me. Once she had dusted herself off and checked for fractures, she made straight for the alternative health section. I was glued to the media shelf. The book Reclaiming the Tools of Communication" by Gareth Branwyn. Now call me a sucker or something, but I really do judge books by their covers. This cover was seductive, steeped in the new design made popular by Ray Gun magazine, precursored by the boundary-shifting Mondo 2000. We're talking about a cover that would even make a darn good web page.
So what's this book all about and why did it encourage me to spend four hours at the Facts & Fiction coffee table developing concentration scars on my forehead? In short, it's a do-it-yourself book on how to manipulate the media of today for profit, gain and fun..
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Format: Paperback
you know, i'm pretty much sick of what the world today has to offer. if i see another Gap or Nordstrom or Slick-Chic sitcom that tries to tell me what i should be, look like, or do (as in "Don't Think For Yourself-Let ABC") i'll choke myself with my own vomit.
for weeks, i've been nervous about a painting project that's about to come to fruition, i've felt a void begin to eat in my comedy work, i've stopped drinking.
i'm dry.
then, in the mail, i get this gift-this wonderful gift a friend who works in a tie sent me.
"i know you- you'll love this book..." he said to me when it arrived.
and i did.
i'm a Carver fan, an Estep worshipper, a woman who adorrres Bukowski. a faithful commercial-book hater- to Sydney Sheldon i give the finger and the miserable like that dominates the Best Seller list that has to do with that form of smarmy apologia.
it takes alot- fiction or non- to impress me, make me want to write.
Gareth has done that very thing.
in a simply divine, concise use of language, i felt like he was taking me on this heathen-ess tour of areas to infiltrate the media. play with it. no longer try to fight being a consumer puppet-but showed me the way to help sever the strings.
i knew of some but never really put myself in a position, even in my imagination, to really be able to do it myself.
DIY publishing.
pirate radio.
...Jamming The Media.....
i ripped through this book, read parts over and over again til it sank in if it needed to, began scribbling notes first in the book, then my notebook, then on my drawing board...
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Comment 11 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
The media is rightfully ours. The airwaves are actually owned by the American people. (Here in the US) The FCC "lends" them out to companies, organizations and such. The corporate monsters have stolen the airwaves from the general public that gave it to them.
So, it is right that we should be able to use our first amendment rights to use the media to express ourselves.
Pirate radio or microradio, zines, public access television, the Internet, tapes and CD's. It is not about money, it's about expressing viewpoints.
This book shows us how. It's a bit old (1997), but it's still a good reference.
Free DC! (Taxation without representation is against the law!)
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