IJoC Publishes Special Section on Net Neutrality

net neutrality

Image credit: “Selected highlights from the campaign for net neutrality” from the
Media Democracy Fund website at

IJoC Publishes Special Section on Net Neutrality

Advocates of network neutrality in the U.S. won a major victory February 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify broadband Internet access services as telecommunications services—“policy speak” for codifying net neutrality rules into administrative practice. Although this victory has already withstood at least one judicial challenge, opponents are determined to take the dispute to the Supreme Court. Trying to understand more about the how of this landmark regulatory victory is important given that public interest policy battles are never over. Momentous wins like the 2015 FCC ruling are significant celebratory events in the otherwise mundane, yet vital, labors of policy advocacy—the ongoing struggles, efforts, and hard work essential for policy change.

Working for Internet Freedoms: Network Neutrality in the U.S. and the Labors of Policy Advocacy, guest-edited by Becky Lentz, McGill University, Canada, and Allison Perlman, University of California Irvine, is the latest Special Section of IJoC. Articles in this Special Section illuminate myriad strategies and tactics involved in policy advocacy as well as dynamics at play within and across advocacy organizations.

This Special Section contains 14 contributions by international scholars which includes: an editorial introduction that argues for enlarging the field of vision of media and communication studies to consider advocacy labor within the broader turn to studies of media labor; three interviews with key actors in the U.S. network neutrality struggle; a feature that takes a close look at a policy advocacy organization; seven original research papers, and two book review essays.

We invite you to read these articles that published in the International Journal of Communication on this U.S. Presidential Election Day,  November 8, 2016.  Please Ctrl+Click on the article title below for direct link to the paper of interest.

Editorial Introduction

Working for Internet Freedoms: Network Neutrality in the U.S. and the Labors of Policy Advocacy—Introduction
Becky Lentz, Allison Perlman


The Historical Moment of Net Neutrality: An Interview With Former U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps
Bill Kirkpatrick

Net Neutrality and the Public Interest: An Interview With Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO of Public Knowledge
Jennifer Holt

Funding Net Neutrality Advocacy: An Interview with the Founder and Director of the Media Democracy Fund
Becky Lentz


Fight for the Future and Net Neutrality: A Case Study in the Origins, Evolution, and Activities of a Digital-Age Media Advocacy Organization
Ian Dunham


The Role of the Networked Public Sphere in the U.S. Net Neutrality Policy Debate
Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, Bruce Etling, Dalia Othman, Yochai Benkler

Closing the Technocratic Divide? Activist Intermediaries, Digital Form Letters, and Public Involvement in FCC Policy Making
Jonathan A. Obar

CAP! Comcast: The Framing and Distribution Strategies of Policy Advocates Within Networked Communications
Gino Canella

Narrowing the Gap: Gender and Mobilization in Net Neutrality Advocacy
Deen Freelon, Amy B. Becker, Bob Lannon, Andrew Pendleton

From Net Neutrality to Net Equality
John McMurria

Wonkish Populism in Media Advocacy and Net Neutrality Policy Making
Danny Kimball

The Debate Nobody Knows: Network Neutrality’s Neoliberal Roots and a Conundrum for Media Reform
Russell Newman

Book Reviews

From Critical Perspectives to Media Reform: A Review of Three Books
James Losey

The Labor of Teaching and Learning Policy Advocacy as Media Activism: A Review of Works by Ollis and Choudry
Gretchen King