Gopher, Translator, and Trickster: The Ethnographer and the Media

Coleman, Gabriella

Gabriella Coleman describes herself alternately as a translator, a broker, a gopher, and a trickster as she responds to solicitations by journalists. Studying a secretive network of hackers rendered both her knowledge and her mediation particularly coveted. Her public contribution mainly consisted in explaining and rehabilitating Anonymous and its members since they aroused a combination of curiosity and suspicion. This investment had double returns: she gained recognition among the hackers, and she used the journalists to transform the image of the activist network. Interestingly, with time her relation with the media seemed to gain serenity and mutual trust.