Media Publics and Critical Discourse Laboratory

The Media Publics and Critical Discourse Lab aims to understand, document, and challenge people’s relationships with media and language.  We investigate how media have the power to define reality and to set the tone for public culture and civic life.  We ask about the power relations and habits of talk that sustain or inhibit the production of knowledge.  We are a multi-disciplinary, multi-generational, and multi-ethnic team of media and discourse scholars, educators, and artists.  Our work articulates with progressive politics, social justice movements, and education both in and beyond the academy. 

Lab Director

Dr. Debra Vidali, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Lab Projects


Media, Citizenship, and Political Engagement in the Lives of Young American Adults 
Dr. Debra Vidali, P. I. 

Current and previous funding:  Emory University Woodruff Funds, Emory University Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University Research Committee, Emory University Department of Anthropology, Emory University Program in Linguistics, Emory University Scholarly Inquiry and Research Partner Program (SIRE). 

Working Group on Critical Media Literacy
Dr. Debra Vidali, Director

Learn more about how media work and how people are taking action to end communication injustices.

FAIR  Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Our national media watch group, operating since 1986.  It defends journalists, exposes neglected stories, and works for greater diversity in media.  You can join their email list to receive free newsletters and alerts.

Committee to Protect Journalists
Dedicated to defending press freedom worldwide.  This organization issues reports from over 100 different countries, documenting cases where journalists have been censored, harassed, and abducted.

IndyMedia (or Independent Media Center, IMC)
A collective organization of independent media centers in over 100 cities worldwide.  It features hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage from their home countries.

Critical Media Literacy in Times of War
Teaching modules that get you to think about the contradictory news stories about civilian casualties, the effects of sanctions, and protests.  You can use the modules in a classroom or simply read them on your own.

Learn how media manipulate our mental environments and get us to buy what we don’t need.  They produce reports, funny anti-advertising campaigns, and actions such as a declaration advocating The Right to Communicate as a Universal Human Right.

Media Education Foundation
MEF “produces and distributes documentary films and other resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political and cultural impact of American media.”  You can order films like War Made Easy, Wrestling with Manhood, or Dreamworlds (an analysis of MTV imagery) from their website.

Center for Media Literacy
Excellent educational resources and training.  Mainly for K-12 teachers.

Media Reform Information Center  Over 100 links!!

Lab Network Projects

Stay tuned . . . . .