This area of research focuses on the relationship between civic media (media created with the intent of civic participation) and self-empowerment, agency, and civic engagement within historically marginalized populations. Throughout the project descriptions below, you will see a variety of similar terms used: civic media, participatory media, community media, and citizens’ media. My examination of these type of media consistently examines their relationship with civic engagement.


Vincent, C., & Gismondi, A. (2021). Fake News, Reality Apathy and the Erosion of Trust and Authenticity in American Politics. In R. Lutrell, L. Xiao, & J. Glass (Eds.), American Democracy: Influence, Activism, and Misinformation in the Social Era. New York: Routledge.

Vincent, C. (2017). Raging Chicken Press, NCA Scholar Response. In Communication’s Civic Callings: The Social Justice Exchange and Community Engagement (pp. 38-39). A National Communication Association publication. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C., & Straub, S. (2016). Structures of Dissent: Social Media, Resistance Journalism, and the Mobilization of Poverty Activism. In G.W. Richardson (Ed.), Social Media and Politics: A New Way to Participate in the Political Process. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Vincent, C., & Foster, L. (2014). In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Select Presentations

Gismondi, A., & Vincent, C. (2019). Getting Beyond the Echo Chamber: How Students Can Engage Critically with Conflicting Sources about the Trouble We’re in and What We Need to Do. Session presented at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s 5th Annual Conference on Civic Learning and Engagement. Fitchburg, MA May 2019.

Vincent, C., Gordon, E., Koenig Richards, C., Lyons, M., Mihailidis, P., & Rhinesmith, C. (2016). Technology, Civic Participation and Social Change: Exploring Civic Media Across Practice, Research and Pedagogy. Seminar presented at the National Communication Association Conference. Philadelphia, PA November 2016.

Vincent, C. (2015). Civic Studies Panel: Continuum of Civic Action. Panel presented at Frontiers of Democracy. Boston, MA June 2015.

Vincent, C. (2010). New Media in the Public Sphere: Public Sphere Formation in Spaces of Conflict. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Doctoral Honors Seminar. Salt Lake City, UT July 2010. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Salem Civic Media Project

SSU students enrolled in MCO 220 Media Literacy and 3rd-8th graders in the Salem Public School District collaborated to co-create civic media (e.g., videos, apps, digital comics, websites, etc.) that highlight diversity and address social justice issues in the Salem community. This research was conducted to better understand how creations of civic media, like multimodal narratives, can engage youth in civic practices and bring a community together to confront and deliberate their own internalization of discriminatory actions and beliefs.

2016 Salem State University Seed Grant ($3,000)

2016 AEJMC Mass Communication & Society Service-Learning Award ($500)

2016 Salem State University Council on Teaching and Learning Summer Grant ($1,000)

Select Presentations

Vincent, C. & Jeffrey, J. (2018). Creating Agents of Change through Civic Media Production, Critical Media Literacy and Experiential Learning. Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference. Washington, D.C. August 2018. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2017). Students as Civic Agents: Civic Education, Media and Service-Learning. General interest session presented at Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting. Baltimore, MD June 2017.

Vincent, C. (2016). Celebrating Diversity Through the Salem Public School District Civic Media Project. Lightning talk presented at Boston Civic Media: Design, Technology, Social Impact. Boston, MA June 2016.

Photo by: Tibucio Garcia

Doctoral Dissertation

Can You Spare Some (Social) Change? Participatory Media as Catalysts for Change in Poor and Homeless Communities

My dissertation analyzed the role of participatory media processes in increasing self-empowerment and a sense of agency for people living in poverty and homelessness. I used a combination of comparative media analysis and multi-sited ethnographic approach in a critical theoretical framework. For the ethnographic research, two case studies of community media and civic engagement were used: POOR Magazine in San Francisco, CA and the Sanctuary Women’s Development Center in Oklahoma City (OKC), OK.


2014 Alice Mary Robertson Award ($1,000)


Vincent, C. (2016). Towards a Re-conceptualization of Lumpenproletariats: The Collective Organization of Poverty for Social Change Through Participatory Media. The Journal of Alternative and Community Media, 1, p. 70-83. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2013). POOR Magazine and Civic Engagement through Community Media. In R.A. Lind (ed.), Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audience, Content, and Producers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Select Presentations

Vincent, C. (2018). Catalysts for Action: A Civic Media Model of Participatory Engagement. Paper presented at International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Conference. Eugene, OR June 2018. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2015). Resistance Journalism: Expression, Self-Empowerment, and the Creation of Counternarratives on Poverty Through Community Media. Panel presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference. San Francisco, CA August 2015.

Vincent, C. (2015). Redefining Reflexivity in the Digital Age: The New Cultural Complexity of Reflexivity. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico May 2015. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2012). Language of Struggle: POOR Magazine and the Re-appropriation of “Poor” Language. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference. Orlando, FL November 2012. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2013). Deconstructing the Welfare Queen: Towards a Standpoint Theory of Poverty. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference. Washington, D.C. November 2013. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2011). Community Media and Processes of Civic Engagement. Paper presented at International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Conference. Istanbul, Turkey July 2011. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Master’s Thesis

Evolving the Collective Conscious: A Closer Look at the Offline Actions of the Online World

My master’s thesis applies Anderson and Meyer’s (1988) theory of social action media studies to examine whether social action occurs offline as a result of controversial topics discussed in online communities. A hybrid media analysis was used and incorporated an ethnographic study, analysis of online discussion forums, and semiotic analysis of postcards and community member engagement of the PostSecret blog and online community.


Vincent, C. (2009). En Route to Integrality: Consciousness Milestones Through Online Communities. Paper presented at the 39th Annual International Jean Gebser Society Conference. Hempstead, NY October 2009. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE

Vincent, C. (2008). A Means to an End: Suicide Messages Visually Communicated. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference. San Diego, CA November 2008. DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE