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Crisis Communication

A Quick Update from the Road: My Lectures from Helsinki

Well, as Tuesday's blogburst already indicated, I'm slowly progressing on my current travels. The event at the Copenhagen Centre for Communication and Computing was something of a preview for a panel on "Digital Data – Lost, Found, and Made" which is on the programme for the 2012 conference of the Association of Internet Researchers here in Salford; expect plenty of liveblogging from that conference to start tomorrow.

Before this conference and the Copenhagen event, though, I spent a few days in Helsinki, where I gave two guest lectures in the international Masters course – and I've neglected to post those lectures here so far. So, here they are. Unfortunately, my audio recorder ran out of batteries during the first lecture, so there are only slides for it - however, that lecture was a repeat of my SBPJor keynote in Brazil last October, so you can go to those slides for the audio.

Below are the two lectures:

Doing 'Big Data' Twitter Research

My own paper started the post-lunch session at the CCC Symposium, discussing our Mapping Online Publics work in the field of Twitter research. I'll post up the slides and audio properly as soon as I can!

Slides and audio are below:

Around the World in 28 Days (and 14 Papers)

It’s that time of the year again, when I set off for the usual end-of-year round of conferences – and this year has turned out to be an especially busy one. As I write this, I’m already in Toronto for the inaugural workshop of a Canadian-funded, multi-partner research project on Social Media and Campaigning which is led by Greg Elmer of Ryerson University; this comes at an interesting time, of course, with electioneering south of the border in full swing. We’re already tracking the Twitter performance of both campaigns’ key accounts – more on that as it develops.

My next stop is Helsinki, where I’ve been invited to present two guest lectures to the international Masters students. The first of these will be an update of the keynote “Gatekeeping, Gatewatching, Real-Time Feedback: New Challenges for Journalism”, which I presented at the Brazilian Society of Journalism Researchers last year, and addresses the challenges faced by journalism in an always-on, social media-driven environment; the second presents the work which my Mapping Online Publics colleagues and I have done on “Social Media and Crisis Communication”.

New Article on Twitter and Journalism in Australia

I’m please to say that a new article of mine has been published in Media International Australia (which means I’ve now had articles in consecutive MIA issues…). The issue in question, on “The ‘New’ News”, was edited by my QUT colleagues Stephen Harrington and Brian McNair, and looks like a bumper collection of exciting work – full details are here.

My article is on the use of Twitter by Australian journalists, looking especially at the Rudd/Gillard leadership spill in June 2010, and the federal election night in August. Below is the abstract – the full article is here, and a pre-print version is here.

Journalists and Twitter: How Australian News Organisations Adapt to a New Medium

From the substantial volume of tweets during the Rudd/Gillard spill, the 2010 election campaign, and the screening of Q&A episodes to Australian editor Chris Mitchell’s threat to sue journalism academic Julie Posetti for reporting on statements about him at an academic conference, Twitter has developed an increasingly visible presence in Australian journalism. While detractors like Mitchell remain vocal, many other journalists have begun to explore manageable approaches to incorporating Twitter into their work practices, and for some – like the ABC’s ‘star recruits’ Annabel Crabb and Latika Bourke – it has already become a career driver.

Building on the data generated by a continuing, three-year ARC Discovery project, this article examines the tweeting practices of selected high-profile Australian journalists during significant political events, and explores their positioning within and interactions with the wider network of Australian Twitter users. It employs innovative data processing approaches to assess the centrality of these professional journalists to the networks of Australians discussing the news on Twitter, and places these observations in a wider context of journalist/audience relations, a decade after the emergence of the first citizen journalism Websites.

New Publications on Blogs and Twitter

A couple more new publications before I head off overseas again (mainly for research workshops, but I’ll also take in the Digital Humanities conference in Hamburg and the Conference on Science and the Internet in Düsseldorf):

Tim Highfield and Axel Bruns. “Confrontation and Cooptation: A Brief History of Australian Political Blogs.Media International Australia 143 (2012): 89-98.

This article in a special issue of Media International Australia on the history of the Internet in Australia, edited by Gerard Goggin and Jock Given, reviews the development of the Australian political blogosphere, from the earlier ‘blog wars’ especially around the 2007 election to the increasing incorporation of leading blogs and bloggers into mainstream media stables.

Stephen Harrington, Tim Highfield and Axel Bruns. “More than a Backchannel: Twitter and Television.” In José Manuel Noguera, ed., Audience Interactivity and Participation. Brussels: COST Action Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies, 2012. 13-17.

A very brief introduction to our current thinking on the role of Twitter in relation to television. We outline a number of dimensions to this relationship, and point to key areas for further research and development.

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