Martha Fuentes-Bautista

Martha Fuentes-Bautista, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Director of Engaged Research & Learning
Department of Communication & School of Public Policy
N372 Integrative Learning Center
Fall 2018 office hours: Thu 2:30-5:30
413 545-3455

My research focuses on digital inequalities, digital media policy, and the role of media advocacy networks and media activism in shaping digital inclusion and media democracy in the U.S. and Latin America. My work also promotes engaged scholarship that builds capacities and enables dialogue between scholars, user communities, practitioners, and policy-makers to create inclusive solutions to digital and communicative disparities in contemporary society.

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on media industries, media and public policy, internet governance, and technology and social inequalities. Through my teaching, I advance digital policy literacy that emphasizes critical understanding of the political economy of media, media governance and the policy-making processes, and politics of technological infrastructures, empowering students to be informed consumers, active citizens, and innovative scholars and creators of media.

You can follow my publications at 


Ph.D., University of Texas Austin

M.A., SUNY at Buffalo

Licenciatura, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Courses Taught: 

Undergraduate: COMM 122 Media Programming and Institutions; COMM 339 Media & Public Policy; COMM 332 Convergent Media and Activism; COMM 397M New Media Technologies and Social Change; COMM 497 Feminist Media Justice. 

Graduate: PPA 651 Technology, Social Inequalities & Public Policy; PPA 597I Internet Governance; PPA 697CP Communication Campaigns & Public Advocacy; PPA 597N Communication for Nonprofits; Capstones in Public Policy.


Fuentes-Bautista, M. & Olson, C. (2018) Digital Divide. In Philip M. Napoli (Ed.) Mediated Communication, Handbook of Communication Science Series (513-534). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mounton.

Butler, A., Fuentes-Bautista, M. & Scharrer, E. (2018). Building media literacy in higher education: Department approaches, undergraduate certificate, and engaged scholarship. In Cubbage, J. (ed). Media literacy in higher education environments. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Davis, S., Straubhaar, J., Fuentes-Bautista and Spence J.P. 2017. The Social Shaping of the Brazilian Internet: Historicizing the Interactions Between States, Corporations, and NGOs in Information and Communication Technology Development and Diffusion. In Gerard Goggin (Ed) The Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories. Pp 122-134. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Castañeda, M. Fuentes-Bautista, M. and Baruch-Blanco, F. (2015) "Racial and Ethnic Inclusion in the Digital Era: Shifting Discourse in Communication Public Policy." Journal of Social Issues.

Fuentes-Bautista, M. (2014) “Rethinking localism in the broadband era: A participatory community development approach.” Government Information Quarterly 31 (1) 65-77.

Fuentes-Bautista, M. (2013) “Redistributing the wealth of networks: Community media’s contributions to digital inclusion.” In Paul M.A. Baker, Jarice Hanson and Jeremy Hunsinger (Eds). The Unconnected: Social Justice, Participation and Engagement in the Information Society (347-382). Peter Lang Publishing

Fuentes-Bautista, M. & Inagaki, N. (2012) “Bridging the broadband gap or recreating digital inequalities? The social shaping of public Wi-Fi in Austin, TX”. In J. Straubhaar, J. Spence, Z. Tufekci and R. Lentz (Eds) Race, Class and the Digital Divide in Austin: The Persistence of Inequity in the Technopolis.Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Fuentes-Bautista, M. and Gil-Egui, Gisela (2011) Community Media and the Rearticulation of State–Civil Society Relations in Venezuela. Communication, Culture & Critique 4, 250–274

Fuentes-Bautista, M. (2009, June). “Beyond television: The Digital Transition of Public Access.” SSRC Necessary Knowledge Program.


Co-Principal Investigator (with Prof. Gisela Gil-Egui), The Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (Fall 2013). $40,010 for the “Latin American Hub for the Internet Policy Observatory”. Submitted.

Co-Principal Investigator (with Prof. Mari Castañeda) (Fall 2013). $10,000 for a Media Justice Practitioner in Residence; Five College Public Policy Initiative. Awarded.

Co-Principal Investigator (with Prof. Mari Castañeda, Prof. Demetria Shabbaz, and Prof. Bernardine Mellis) (2012-2013). $10,000 for the creation of a learning community and seminar in Feminist Media Justice; Five College Digital Humanities Project, FC Women's Studies Research Center. Awarded.

Principal Investigator, City of Amherst- Amherst Media (Spring-Summer 2011). $10,228 for “Mapping ACTV Publics in the Digital Transition.” Awarded.

Principal Investigator, Healey/Faculty Research Grant, UMASS Amherst (2009-2010). $21,515 for “Examining impacts of local broadband initiatives on universal service goals.” Awarded.

Co-Principal Investigator (Communication Junior Facuty Group) (2008-2009). $7,550 for Mutual Mentoring Grant, UMASS Amherst. Awarded.

Principal Investigator, SSRC Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere Program (2008-2009). $7,500 for “Assessing Public Access in a changing Media Landscape: An evaluation of Public Access Community Television in Austin, Texas.” Awarded.

Principal Investigator, City of Austin - channelAustin (2008-2009). $7,500 as matching funds for “Assessing Public Access in a changing Media Landscape: An evaluation of Public Access Community Television in Austin, Texas.”  Awarded.

Current Projects: 

Media activist habitus and the reconfiguration of media policy fields in the U.S.

From digital Inequalities to communicative capabilities: A reinterpretation of the digital divide literature.

Building the infrastructure of engaged scholarship in communication research: Lessons from the field and departmental approaches. 

Neo-populism and digital media policy in Latin America