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CCI Symposium - Computational journalism - Brian McNair
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CCI Symposium - Computational journalism - Brian McNair


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  • 1. Computational journalism – journalistsas data miners, and more Brian McNair QUT
  • 2. Left and righteast and westcommunist and capitalistelite and massprofessional and amateurproducer and consumer.
  • 3. the limiting fact of geographical andcommunicative distance,the political capacity of states toenforce communicative control andcultural isolation,the robustness of professional andaesthetic distinctions and hierarchies inthe production of journalism.
  • 4. Dominance/control paradigmElite control and dominanceof media and other culturalinstitutions produce Elites„consensus‟ and support for controlstatus quoPredictable outcomes (socialstability) based on vertically Masses Mediahierarchical control of support controlinformation
  • 5. Cultural Chaos
  • 6. Mainstream Chaos/competitiveElites compete with non-elites for media Mainstream media Mainstream media Mainstream paradigmaccess to and impact on theglobalised public sphere, which media Mainstream media Mainstream mediaconstantly evolves, changing witheach iteration of the cycle Sphere of Globalised GlobalisedThe evolution of the system dissent anddissent Sphere of opposition public Globalised public Sphere of elite control Sphere of elite controlcannot be forecast with and opposition Globalised sphere public Globalised Sphere of dissent and Sphere of opposition sphere public Sphere of elite control Sphere of elitecertainty dissent and of Sphere oppositionand dissent Globalised sphere public control Sphere of elite opposition Sphere of debate, dissent and sphere public control control Sphere of elite sphere opposition sphere Non-elite media (Wikipedia, blog gers, socialmedia Non-elite (Wikipedia, bloggers, networking, user social generated media media Non-elite networking, user Non-elite (Wikipedia, content) blog (Wikipedia, media generated bloggers, social content)Non-elite networking, user generated gers, social content) (Wikipedia, networking, media (Wikipedia, bloggers, social Non-elite user generated networking, bloggers, social networking, user user generated content, content) generated WIKILEAKS) content)
  • 7. Bill Clinton & Monicagate
  • 8. 9/11
  • 9. Acceleration of information flow Proliferation of information sources Dissolution of producer-consumer boundary Loss of controlCollapse of 20th century analogue media business models
  • 10. Freedom House 2011 report9080706050 Series 140 Series 2302010 0 Free partly free not free
  • 11. Chaos in the Middle East The instantaneous nature of how social media communicate self-broadcast ideas, unlimited by publication deadlines and broadcast news slots, explains in part the speed at which these revolutions have unravelled, their almost viral spread across a region. It explains too, the often loose and non-hierarchical organisation of the protest movements unconsciously modelled on the networks of the web.(Peter Beaumont, February 25 2011)
  • 12. GM Crops“Parts of the mediahave conducted suchan extraordinarycampaign ofdistortion, it is hard toknow where to begin.Anyone who has daredto raise even thesmallest hand in protestis accused of beingeither corrupt or a DrStrangelove”(TonyBlair, 1999)
  • 13. Autism in the newsMMRHealth scare orcause for concern?
  • 14. Tony Blair When I fought the 1997 election - just ten years ago – we took an issue a day. In 2005, we had to have one for the morning, another for the afternoon and by the evening the agenda had already moved on. You have to respond to stories also in real time. Frequently the problem is as much assembling the facts as giving them. Make a mistake and you quickly transfer from drama into crisis.(Tony Blair, June 12 2007)
  • 15. The feral beast First, scandal or controversy beats ordinary reporting hands down. News is rarely news unless it generates heat as much as or more than light. Second, attacking motive is far more potent than attacking judgement. It is not enough for someone to make an error. It has to be venal. Conspiratorial. Third, the fear of missing out means todays media, more than ever before, hunts in a pack. In these modes it is like a feral beast, tearing people and reputations to bits. But no-one dares miss out.
  • 16. The „sideshow‟ syndromeLindsay Tanner, former To maintain an appearanceCabinet minister, Australia of activity and to feed the ravenous media, governments feel obliged to serve up a stream of announceables. The policy merit of these announcements is largely irrelevant, as long as they‟re directed at tackling a perceived problem that attracts media coverage… the purpose of an announceable is to send a message, not to solve problem.
  • 17. Wikileaks
  • 18. Tehran 2009 – Neda Soltan
  • 19. Wikileaks
  • 20. Julian AssangeIt has been my long term beliefthat what advances us as acivilization is the entirety of ourintellectual record, and theentirety of our understandingabout what we are goingthrough. What humaninstitutions are like, and howthey actually behave. And if weare to make rationaldecisions, in so far as anydecisions can be rational, thenwe have to have informationdrawn from the real world (Froma debate held at the FrontlineClub in London, July 2 2011).