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The Media Ecosystem: What Ecology Can Teach Us about Responsible Media Practice (Manifesto Series) Paperback – July 10, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The media is the air we breathe and the water we swim in; Antonio López reminds us of its importance, and of its many failings—but he also suggests how we can increasingly take control of media-making in ways that can shift the world in positive directions.” —Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature, and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"How can the burgeoning use of the mediasphere by billions of inhabitants of planet earth help us to address systemic environmental challenges? And what can our knowledge of ecological best practices contribute to our use of media? The Media Ecosystem offers a bridge between the cyber-realm and the bio-realm that could be one of the most important survival tools our species can wield in coming years." —Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and Net Smart: How to Thrive Online
“The Media Ecosystem is a necessary, timely, and useful piece of work.” —David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous
“Twenty-first-century media is a moving target. In The Media Ecosystem, Antonio López helps us understand the multi-faceted (and more importantly, multi-cultural) aspects of delivering critical information in today’s world. Learn from nature and López’s book, and carry on the good fight!" —Randy Hayes, founder of Rainforest Action Network and director of Foundation Earth
“The turning point in López’s The Media Ecosystem is the call for archetypal intelligence through his citation of parallels between ancient Hopi traditions and his own anti-colonial urban punk scene. López is one of his generation’s original social thinkers. This book is urgent and chock-full of savage insights.” —Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name Is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization
“Antonio López has accomplished the Herculean task of creating a powerful manifesto for the media world! This is a thoughtful, challenging, and inspiring book, a wake-up call to all journalists, editors, writers, and publishers. The book is a plea for media men and women to help to create a sustainable, resilient, and joyful future in which people and nature can live in harmony with each other.” —Satish Kumar, editor in chief of Resurgence Magazine
“Combining media savvy, earth wisdom, and a deeply ethical account of today’s attention politics, Lopez hacks his way through the noosphere while keeping his feet on the ground. Sharp and accessible, The Media Ecosystem provides practical models for a green mediascape that will help us re-occupy the planet and the human imagination.” —Erik Davis, author of Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica and host of the radio show Expanding Mind

“Lopez paints a visual metaphor of the intersection between media and ecology.” —Shawna Brown, Media Literacy Project


"By bringing our attention to the subtle and insidious propaganda machine, Lopez makes it possible for us to recognize what really motivates us as individuals and as cultures. His well-crafted argument is followed by simple and sensible actions for bringing media to the people, FROM the people: be subversive where it counts, think within your landscape, and become aware of how your attention is hooked. The Media Ecosystem is an important book with the potential to cause a paradigm shift." —New Consciousness Review

About the Author

Antonio López is a media educator and journalist who has written for Tricycle, Punk Planet, In These Times, High Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Reality Sandwich, and scores of other magazines, newspapers, websites, and academic journals. His essays have been featured in several anthologies, including Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age. His book on media education and sustainability, Mediacology, was published in 2008. López currently resides in Rome, Italy.

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Product Details

  • Series: Manifesto Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: EVOLVER EDITIONS (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583944591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583944592
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift, and am glad that I did as I normally would not have noticed it, bought it, or reviewed it. I hope my review will inspire others to buy the book, and if not, provide a summary of some of the highlights that I consider quite timely, original, and useful.

This is a manifesto of sorts, on CRITICAL INFORMATION, or stated another way, on public decision-support needs and the urgency of restoring both integrity (tell the truth) and holistic soundness (report on everything, and on the cause and effect cost and consequences of everything in relation to everything). Of course modern media fails this test, and the author should be credited with providing a manifesto and high-level handbook of how we might proceed.

This is a book about the development of parallel collective intelligence and collaborative information sharing in support of a sharing economy, and a real complement both to my own book (under the signature line) and two others by the same publisher, Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series), and Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.

The author views media in the ideal as a form of education, as a mediator of both human democracy and human-terrestial relations, and as a necessary outlet and inspiration for collective imagination.

I am struck early on by the author's discussion of "anima mundi" as the all-encompassing life force of minerals, matter, air, plants, animals, and humans.
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I'll just be transparent up front and say that I have known Antonio as a colleague for a number of years and have seen his ideas and approach evolve.

What this book represents is a true gestalt moment, where a great range of ideas, literature, recent history, and critical thinking come together to provide a refreshing and realistic perspective of media and the way we can use it effectively.

Fundamentally, critical media studies looks at the way in which we are shaped by and shape communication strategies. This book takes an approach founded on critique of mass media and includes a bigger-picture perspective that includes post-colonial and traditional ecological knowledge in a way that actually values both without making the mistake of idealizing or romanticizing either. It avoids the trap of much postmodern literature on media that can lead to ennui, endless deconstruction, and nihilism by proposing life-enhancing practices which root a media prosumer (producer and consumer) in real-world connections as well as virtual ones. Its emphasis on the commons, on culture as a means of resistance to hegemony, and on the importance of linking ecological thinking to realms that often ignore the physical environment is refreshing and speaks directly to our current media climate of misinformation, climate denial, and corporate-sponsored political processes. If you are actually confused why neither presidential candidate has spoken realistically about our global environmental crises, you could read this book as a primer.

Beyond the incredible range of content and useful citations, this book has a punk flavor to it, and actually manages to speak to poignant and deep insights with a lot of verve and flavor. Lopez is a gifted thinker and expressed his ideas clearly.
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"So what happens if this metaphor [of media ecology] is taken literally, if media were indeed a kind of living system?"

This sentence from Media Ecosystem: What Ecology Can Teach Us About Responsible Media Practice encapsulates the heart of Antonio López’s cutting edge book, in which the author proposes radically applying our ideas of ecology to our interactions with media, towards us all becoming empowered “media gardeners” in a more sustainable mediasphere.

Humanity on the whole is more aware than ever before of environmental issues, which encourages us to think in terms of systems, complexity, flow and relationships. López argues that this extends into how we might experience media, seeing ourselves as stewards of a healthy, thriving media environment just as we would with our natural environments. He lays out a vision for a future of "sustainable" media: participatory, place-based, empowering (anti-oppression), and organic. We needn't be passive consumers of media. We can interact mindfully and creatively with the media making up our environment, becoming "media ecologists" who shape, channel, and innovate media to reflect new awarenesses.

The author also explains how our own media “ecotones” (meaning: local ecosystems) shape how we make sense of the world, like in the case of news stories being reported and framed differently according to different cultures. With consumption being the driving force of environmental disasters worldwide today, it is key that we realize that media is a powerful force in our lives whose language and messages shape the reality we perceive and, subsequently, the choices we make.

This resonated with me.
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