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Prominent Metaphors in Propositional Journalism about Tasmanian Development

The final speaker in this ANZCA 2017 session is Bill Dodd, whose focus is on 'propositional journalism': journalism that proposes change and assesses possible future solutions and opportunities. This has been suggested as a way to re-engage audiences with democratic processes and might be seen as empowering, but whose ideas are presented and how they are framed in such journalism – that is, who is chosen to be empowered – can also reveal democratic deficits.

Local Newspaper Journalists' Attitudes towards Their Changing Industry

The next speaker in this ANZCA 2017 session is Kathryn Bowd, whose interest is in the work practices of local journalists in regional areas in a changing communicative environment. Local journalists have long been key members and organisers of the local community, but like their metropolitan colleagues they are now feeling considerable economic pressures; regional newspapers have perhaps held up for longer than their larger city and national counterparts, but are now also struggling – and here, given their smaller staffing bases, the loss of a handful of journalists can have a disproportionately large impact on the news outlet.

The Role of Unions in a Changing Journalistic Work Environment

The post-lunch session at ANZCA 2017 starts with a paper by Penny O'Donnell, on the continuing transformation of journalism. She suggests that journalism unions still play an important role in promoting occupational cohesion and jurisdictional control over what is journalism, even in spite of the substantial changes to journalistic practices.

The Project and Its Attempts to Initiate Connective Action

The third paper in this ANZCA 2017 session is by Stephen Harrington, Tim Highfield, and me, and I'm including our presentation slides below. We explore the #milkeddry campaign initiated by Australian news entertainment TV show The Project.

Studying Connective Action from an International Perspective

The second speakers in this ANZCA 2017 session are Andrea Carson and Luke Heemsbergen, who continue our discussion of connective political action from an international perspective. This presentation emerges from the work of the Political Organisations and Participation group in the Australian Political Studies Association (APSA). There is an overall perspective of a move away from traditional modes of engagement to a more flexible, citizen-initiated and policy-oriented engagement with politics. This has also changed practices of organisation and mobilisation to political action.

Assessing the Successes of Destroy the Joint

The first paper session at ANZCA 2017 begins with Jenna Price, who asks what winning looks like in the conduct of activist campaigns through social media; she focusses here especially on her own Destroy the Joint campaign. This was created in August 2012 and campaigns on violence against women and related issues, and was sparked by radio announcer Alan Jones's persistent, deeply misogynistic attacks on then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the time; it has since amassed a considerable follower base on Facebook and Twitter.

Understanding the Rise of Populist Politics

The second ANZCA 2017 keynote this morning is by Silvio Waisbord, who shifts our focus to the recent resurgence of populist politics around the world. We must study such populism beyond electoral results, however, reviewing broader structural trends in public communication, connecting to other structures and events, and identifying built-in trends that are conducive to the communicative politics that populism represents. What questions, then, should we ask about populism, communication, and the media?

Global Challenges and the Response of International Scholarly Associations

The second day of ANZCA 2017 starts with a keynote by Paula Gardner, whose focus here is on the ethical quandaries of the present day; these are exacerbated by the corporate and international dimensions of current problems. Paula is addressing this especially from the perspective of the International Communication Association, which has embarked on a course of greater internationalisation and decentralisation away from its traditional roots in the United States.

Assessing the Online Distribution of 'Fake News'

The final speaker in this ANZCA 2017 session is Scott Wright, who presents the framework for a new study on 'fake news'. He begins by asking whether there is a 'fake news' problem in Australia: the country is highly politically polarised, with decreasing satisfaction in the conventional party system; online news plays a crucial role in how citizens inform themselves; and the mainstream media system is highly concentrated. In this environment, is there still a functioning marketplace of ideas?

Factors in the Rise of Fake News

Up next at ANZCA 2017 is Sarah Baker, who again reminds us that the bending of the truth that 'fake news' alludes to is hardly new. Political propaganda has been used throughout the ages to mobilise the masses in favour of particular courses of action, but those masses have also become more adept at spotting such false stories. The latest tide of 'fake news' is again political, but also deeply connected with economic motives.

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