Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jim Wittebols


Communication and the arts, Social sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This comparative case study investigates dynamics of organizational structure, strategies and outcomes of the Media Empowerment Project (MEP), a democratic media organization that works to empower historically marginalized communities in the United States working for media and social justice in site locations. Through a combination of semi-structured interviewing with MEP staff and volunteers as well as document analysis, this evaluation illuminates how the organization's structural and operational frameworks influenced the strategies and outcomes of the local sites and how the autonomy and rootedness of the local MEP sites in turn shaped the project as a whole. Through locating this case study within social movement and organizational theory, the case study analyzes the influences of philanthropy and social movement organization models upon grassroots media reform and media justice organizations.