Democracy, Participation and Convergent Media: Case Studies in Contemporary News Journalism in Australia<br />Presentation...
The 21st century zeitgeist<br />“a period of unparalleled social creativity when we sought to devise new ways of working t...
Not the Internet, but social production<br />Need to periodise Internet history – participatory claims of Web 2.0<br />Ass...
From mass communications media to convergent media/Web 2.0 <br />4<br />
Perspectives on media democratisation: beyond the “Cyberbole”<br />Hype generates its own counter-hype e.g. Clay Shirky ve...
Maximalism and optimism: Brian McNair, Cultural Chaos<br />New developments in media have strengthened national public sph...
Democratisation and media citizenship<br />Democratisation is a difficult process to define – is the right to vote suffici...
Digital scepticism: JurgenHabermas<br />‘lack of face-to-face interaction … in a shared practice of collective decision-ma...
Concept of “voice”<br />Albert Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty (1970)<br />Voice as a politicised counter-point to exit...
Is the challenge to established media loss of audiences or disaggregation of media content?<br />Australian evidence on es...
11<br />Brisbane Times<br />
12<br />Fairfax print media titles have been successful online<br />
13<br />Online-only Fairfax Media titles<br />The Vine (young people 18-29 y.o.)<br />Brisbane Times (Brisbane/S-E Queensl...
14<br />Brisbane Times impact in SE Qld. market<br />Very successful when launched<br />Employs fraction of journalists of...
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Democracy, Participation and Convergent Media: Case Studies in Contemporary News Journalism in Australia

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Presentation to "Journalism in the 21st Century: Between Globalization and National Identity". International Communications Association regional conference, University of Melbourne, July 16-17, 2009

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Democracy, Participation and Convergent Media: Case Studies in Contemporary News Journalism in Australia

  1. 1. Democracy, Participation and Convergent Media: Case Studies in Contemporary News Journalism in Australia<br />Presentation to Journalism in the 21st Century: Between Globalisation and National Identity, ICA Regional Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 16-17 July, 2009<br />Professor Terry Flew<br />Media and Communication<br />Creative Industries Faculty and ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation<br />Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia<br />
  2. 2. The 21st century zeitgeist<br />“a period of unparalleled social creativity when we sought to devise new ways of working together to be more democratic, creative and innovative … creating a collective intelligence on a scale never before possible” <br />Charles Leadbeater, We-Think: Mass innovation, not mass production, 2008, pp. 3,5. <br />2<br />
  3. 3. Not the Internet, but social production<br />Need to periodise Internet history – participatory claims of Web 2.0<br />Associated factors in rise of social production (YochaiBenkler)<br />Rise of knowledge-intensive service industries<br />Co-ordinate effects of individual activities in networked information environments<br />Rise of peer production and sharing of information, knowledge and culture<br />3<br />
  4. 4. From mass communications media to convergent media/Web 2.0 <br />4<br />
  5. 5. Perspectives on media democratisation: beyond the “Cyberbole”<br />Hype generates its own counter-hype e.g. Clay Shirky versus Andrew Keen<br />Democratising potential of new media practices for news and journalism (e.g. McNair, Hartley, Bruns, Jenkins)<br />‘In the era of cultural chaos, people have access to more information than ever before. If information is the pre-requisite of knowledge, and if knowledge is power, other things remaining equal, this trend corresponds to a power-shift from the traditionally information-rich elite to the no longer so information-poor mass” (Brian McNair, Cultural Chaos, 2006, p. 199)<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Maximalism and optimism: Brian McNair, Cultural Chaos<br />New developments in media have strengthened national public spheres and developing a globalised public sphere. <br />Criteria:<br />Opportunities to produce and distribute media are much more widely available<br />Opportunities for ‘diversity of bias and balance of critical opinion’ have increased<br />Media competition and 24hr. news cycles stimulate critical scrutiny of political elites<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Democratisation and media citizenship<br />Democratisation is a difficult process to define – is the right to vote sufficient? If not, what else needs to be there?<br />Citizenship as a way forward, but ‘potentially limitless’ in its scope of application<br />Two traditions of citizenship and democracy (Held)<br />Developmental republicanism: focus on participation and substantive equality of citizens<br />Protective republicanism: focus on freedom from coercion and pluralistic division of powers<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Digital scepticism: JurgenHabermas<br />‘lack of face-to-face interaction … in a shared practice of collective decision-making’<br />‘lack of reciprocity between roles of speakers and addressees in an egalitarian exchange of claims and opinions’<br />‘power of the media to select, and shape the presentation of, messages’<br />‘strategic use of political and social power to influence agendas’<br /> ‘fragmentation of … mass audiences into a huge number of isolated issue publics’<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Concept of “voice”<br />Albert Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty (1970)<br />Voice as a politicised counter-point to exit (consumer behaviour in markets)<br />Participation as linked to voice esp. in digital media environments<br />How to avoid ‘revolution of rising expectations’ in political communication<br />Democratisation may not appear a priority in liberal-democratic societies, but other goals (e.g. media diversity) might<br />Need to give citizenship some tangibility, rather than simply being a “good other” to “bad neo-liberalism” <br />9<br />
  10. 10. Is the challenge to established media loss of audiences or disaggregation of media content?<br />Australian evidence on established media outlets does not show as much decline as the U.S. or Britain<br />Major online sites are based around established media (ninemsn, ABC, SMH, The Age and News in Alexa top 25 for Australia)<br />‘It is the loss of control over the format and timing of the distribution of information that presents the true challenge to the traditional media … the value created by traditional media models is based on scarcity, but the Internet supports an environment of information abundance.’ (Miel and Faris, 2008, p. 5)<br />10<br />
  11. 11. 11<br />Brisbane Times<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />Fairfax print media titles have been successful online<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />Online-only Fairfax Media titles<br />The Vine (young people 18-29 y.o.)<br />Brisbane Times (Brisbane/S-E Queensland)<br />WAToday (Perth/Western Australia)<br />Online classifieds:<br />Domain (houses)<br />My Career (jobs)<br />Drive (cars)<br />RSVP (personals/dating)<br />
  14. 14. 14<br />Brisbane Times impact in SE Qld. market<br />Very successful when launched<br />Employs fraction of journalists of incumbent (Courier-Mail)<br />Growth has slowed over 2008-09<br />Minimal opening up for user-created content<br />Dilemma is whether to invest in “hyperlocal” content generation or to be an inferior version of established media<br />

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