The Media Justice Framework

In brief, Media Justice is an emerging framework to transform media and cultural content, conditions, and policies in the service of social justice and human rights, from the ground up. As a vision, Media Justice seeks accurate and representative media content that holds power to account and increases equity and democratic engagement- and cultural rights that inspire sovereignty and self-determination.

As an analysis, Media Justice acknowledges the powerful role U.S. media and communications play in shaping systemic poverty, democratic exclusion, and other conditions worldwide. The Media Justice analysis suggests communication is a human right, protected by human rights law. The MJ analysis says that media misrepresentation and marginalization are historical and structural problems -not individual ones, produce cumulative privilege and disenfranchisement over time, and have solutions that exist and are achievable, but require institutional and structural change, and an integrated movement with the power to bring about the changes we seek.

As a strategy and change model, Media Justice research proves the existence and impact of structural racism and economic inequity in our media, demonstrates the historic patterns and cumulative effects, highlights structural media problems and community based solutions, and offers communications strategies that support the critical use of media to win significant shifts in racial and economic policy. The Media Justice strategy develops movement leadership and coordination across the lines of issue and geography to mobilize resources, public opinion and culture, under-represented constituencies and allies, and public policy to transform media rules, expand media rights and infrastructure, and change the official story on race, poverty, and power.

The Media Justice vision, analysis, and strategy are guided by a set of 6 core principles:

  • Communication is a fundamental human right
  • Communications and cultural infrastructure should be public and used to empower communities
  • Media strategy and policy are core movement-building strategies
  • Movement-building demands participatory communications and organizing
  • Strategic stories can change the game
  • Media Justice is a powerful program for change - not just to transform media rules and rights, but to claim our stories and frame our future.