are media that differ from established or dominant
types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Alternative media take many forms including print, audio, video, Internet and street art. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada (later rebranded Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), and more recently online open publishing
journalism sites such as Indymedia.
While mainstream mass media
on the whole represent government and corporate interests, alternative media tend to be non-commercial
projects that advocate
the interests of those excluded from the mainstream, for example, the poor, political and ethnic minorities, labor groups, and GLBTQ identities. These media disseminate marginalized viewpoints, such as those heard in the progressive
news program Democracy
Now!, and create communities of identity, as seen for example in the It Gets Better Project that was created on YouTube in response to a rise in gay teen suicides at the time it was created.
Alternative media challenge
the dominant beliefs
and values of a culture and have been described as "counter-hegemonic" by adherents of Antonio Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony
. However, since the definition of alternative media as merely counter
to the mainstream is limiting, some approaches to the study of alternative media also address the question of how and where these media are created, as well as the dynamic relationship between the media and the participants that create and use them.