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Online Publishing

Towards More Ethical Management of Online Social Interactions

The next session at ANZCA 2017 deals with social media and ethics, and starts with Jonathon Hutchinson. This needs to be tackled from a number of different perspectives. For instance, what ethical choices are being made as publishers approve or reject the comments being posted in response to their articles? What are the implications of these choices, for public debate in general and for specific groups and individuals being vilified in particular?

The Visual Representation of Real Estate

Next up at ANZCA 2017 is Chris Chesher, who begins by pointing out the increasing role of real estate agents as media producers. Agents selling homes produce public representations of private spaces, portraying the home to be sold as personal and family space, and offering it up for (mediated as well as in-person) inspection. In Australia this occurs mainly through one or both of the duopoly sites Domain and RealEstate.com.au.

Evolving Attitudes to Paying for Online News

Finally for this session and for ECREA 2016, Richard Fletcher directs our attention to the question of paying for online news, drawing on a six-country study of online pay models. Such models have been a major concern in the industry for a long time, but have remained elusive; there are also few findings in the research that are consistent across different national media systems.

New Models for Scholarly Publishing

Canberra.
We’ve entered the final afternoon of the Digital Humanities Australasia 2012 conference, and the next session I’m attending starts with Danny Kingsley, whose interest is in the changing nature of scholarly communication. Such communication generally follows a cycle from publication to reading to ideas to research to new publications, but there is no generic scholarly researcher: there is also an invisible college of people who share an interest in a topic, but may not be immediately connected to the research.

Scholarly communication ranges from ‘urban’ science models (lots of researchers, fast-moving, high volume and speed of publications, especially through conference papers) to ‘rural’ research activities (slower moving, longer timeframes, slow editing processes, and a greater focus on monographs). Journals sit somewhere in the middle, and haven’t changed all that much since the emergence of journals in the 1600s; the scholarly article remains a fairly stable unit of currency in academia, and is deeply embedded in its rewards systems.

The Shape of an Emerging Monitory Democracy

Canberra.
Another day at ANZCA 2010, another keynote: we're starting this last day of the conference with a keynote by John Keane, whose theme is monitory democracy. He begins chronologically, in 1945 - when there were only 12 parliamentary democracies left in the world. Democracy was a beleaguered species.

John himself is in search of a 'wild category' - a category that provides a new way of seeing conventional wisdom, provides alternatives to traditional ways of ordering thought. We need a new term for describing the dynamics, changes of language, shifts in institutions, of democracy - and monitory democracy is the term he offers. We need a new term to describe these novel trends (which exist all over the world, especially also outside the traditional democratic countries), and in particular to better understand the intersections of democracy and communication forms.

User Attitudes towards Online News: An Inferior Good?

Hong Kong.
The final presenter at The Internet Turning 40 today is Iris Chyi, whose focus is on users' emotional attachment to online news. In the US, newspapers currently appear to be in crisis: print circulation is declining, and online usage has not translated into significant revenue. Paid content is positioned as a potential solution, but may remain an impossible dream - and that debate, too, has gone on for a decade already.

Media usage does not always correspond to the attitudinal factors that drive the media selection process - online news users' response to online news is not necessarily enthusiastic, and may be an inferior good. In the past, media choices were made between scarce goods, and the only alternative to using specific media was not to use the media at all; today, choice has increased, and media use follows a preceding process of media selection - and that process is driven by user perceptions of the various media options available to them. Attitudinal factor deserve more attention, then.

Open Access to Scholarly Information

Krems.
The final speakers in this EDEM 2010 session are Noella Edelmann and Peter Parycek, who begin by highlighting the importance of open access journals, and the mindshift amongst users who now expect to have open access to information.

Open access has caused a stir in the academic community by providing a different model for publication; it is still poorly understood, however: it does not necessarily change peer review processes, for example, though some open access projects do substantially change the approach to scholarly publication. It operationalises the advantages of publishing online by minimising costs and maximising distribution; in doing so, it also creates substantial benefits especially for disavantaged scholars (e.g. from developing countries).

Considering the 'Gated' in Gatekeeping Theory

Milwaukee.
The next speaker at AoIR 2009 is Karine Barzilai-Nahon, who shifts our interest to network gatekeeping theory. Online, users can become gatekeepers, and are no longer simply being gatekept for - so gatekeeping power has shifted to some extent; additionally, gatekeeping is no longer a solid state, but is becoming a much more dynamic phenomenon where we're sometimes gatekeeping ourselves, sometimes receiving the results of gatekeeping processes.

Gatekeeping theory was developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s, observing food habits in families (and seeing housewives as gatekeepers at that time); this was later applied in a major way to the editors in news publications, who control what information is selected for publication from all the daily events. Other applications are the management of technology (what new technologies reach a larger range of users) and information science (already starting to look at the role of communities as gatekeepers).

The Impact of Content Management Technology on Journalistic Practice

Cardiff.
The final presentation at the Future of Journalism 2009 conference, then, is by Ivar John Erdal, whose interest is in the relationship between technological changes and journalistic practices, examined through a study of journalists; experiences with digital production systems. Media organisations now rely increasingly on content management systems, which embed some specific technological and socio-cultural constraints and opportunities; in line with Giddens's structuration theory, these institutional structures (determined by intangible rules and tangible resources) affect journalistic practice.

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