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  1. Arts and Social Sciences
  2. Sociology
About City

Helton Levy



PhD Topic

The peripheral media


2014- present PhD in Sociology (City, University of London)
Media and Communications MA (City University London)
Journalism, BA (Casper Libero Foundation, São Paulo, Brazil)
Library and Information Science BA (Federal University, Brazil)

Awards: Santander Scholar 2013

The Study

In a context of popular blogosphere and growing independent journalism, the alternative media thrives in Brazil. New outlets appear particularly vocal at denouncing the many types of inequality that have been perpetuated for decades. Blurring the lines between community and social movement media, these outlets stem from different kinds of authorship, gathering multiple profiles of producers, including journalists, activists, students, NGO leaders, academics, and other non-mainstream actors, spreading over many platforms and exploring distinct languages and styles.

This research aims to engage with discourses on inequality found in blogs and non-commercial media of Brazil, understanding the nature of their claims, assessing their interaction with the main public sphere, and analysing their views on politicians, the mainstream media, and society. Using mixed content and frame analyses alongside semi-structured interviews, I also look at different production realities to verify potential challenges to success, amid a monopolized media system, and a high digital divide. In addition to the empirical part, this study proposes the notion of “peripheral media” as a framework to address the increasing complexity of the grassroots media centred at inequality into a broader media landscape, defending a “non-mainstream-dependent” thesis of media democratization.


Dr Dan Mercea
Dr Petros Iosifidis

Research Interests

  • Alternative media
  • Latin America
  • Media representations
  • Communication and development
  • Citizen media
  • Social movements


Levy, H (2015) “The Rise of “Free” Journalists in Brazil”. Open Democracy. Available at https://www.opendemocracy.net/helton-levy/rise-of-free-journalists-brazil%27s-alternative-media-scene

Blog: heltonlevy.wordpress.com