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General Teaching Work

Cosmopolitanising Journalism, Media, and Communication Education

The final ANZCA 2017 keynote is by Wanning Sun, who continues our focus on China. She begins by highlighting the challenges that journalism, media, and communication educators are now facing in teaching an increasingly international cohort of students – many of whom, in the Australian context, come from China: how should they present the global media environment and its central issues, including questions such as freedom of speech and media bias, to such a diverse group of students?

Political Marketing: The State of the Discipline

The next plenary speaker at CMPM2014 is Jennifer Lees-Marshment, who reflects on the development of political marketing and management. This field focusses on how political actors and their staff use management tools and concepts to achieve their goals. This is not just about seeking votes, but also about driving certain issues and agendas, developing a political profile and image, and it is about governing as well as campaigning.

The scholarship of political marketing no longer just researches what voters want, but also explores how they might be involved in political processes, how long-term relationships can be built, and how internal marketing to the party faithful should be conducted. There are also questions about long-term, mutual, interactive communication relationships, and an expansion of these questions from campaigning to policy delivery and leadership in government.

New Approaches to Journalism Education

Canberra.
The final ANZCA 2010 paper for today is presented by Felicity Biggins and Christina Koutsoukos, whose focus is on journalism education. There have long been calls for journalists to adapt to a changing media environment in which anyone can be a journalist - so what is the value of journalism education? Online, citizens can participate in unprecedented ways - and are sometimes called citizen journalists, as opposed to 'professional' journalists - in the case of major events, anyone with a mobile phone can become a journalist. If the value of journalism comes from the underlying value of journalistic activity, that value is now near zero, some contend.

Structure, Authority, and other Noncepts

Ross Priory, Scotland (no sign of ghosts as yet).
Hamish McLeod and Jen Ross are the next presenters (full paper here). They explore metaphors for being an online tutor, and begin with a brief quote from Wikipedia on online tutoring, which presents a very matter-of-fact take on the issue that may not quite plumb the full depths of the question. The potential move of teachers from 'sage on the stage' to 'guide on the side' has been much highlighted, of course, but also doesn't quite cover this issue; traditional positions of the teacher are now much criticised, but exactly what role might come to replace them (if such replacement does take place) isn't very clear at this point.

Ambient Virtual Co-Presence through Mobile Devices in Japan

As if there hadn't been enough conferences over the last few weeks: I'm spending this weekend (mostly) at the Australian Teachers of Media conference here at QUT in Brisbane, which was organised by my colleague Michael Dezuanni. I'm also going to be a featured speaker on Sunday afternoon, talking about how to educate the coming 'Generation C' of produsers.

However, the conference starts with Mizuko Ito from the University of Southern California, speaking about the social life of mobile media. Japan is of course one of the key drivers of (3G) mobile media uptake at this point, especially within the younger generation. Mimi has mainly focussed on the use of digital technology amongst young people outside of school or work - i.e. in what are traditionally seen as non-educational contexts. Here, it is important to understand young people's uses of new technologies on their own terms - to regard them as digial natives and study their uses as such. Further, it is important to understand the social construction of such technologies. What emerges here are kid-driven peer-to-peer knowledge economies, from which adults have much to learn. Compared to traditional anthropology, Mimi's work also looks at a hybrid of the real (the physically local) and the virtual (the online and the remote); this can capture everyday action and local knowledge in personalised, non-institutionalised, and fluid settings.

Applied

Well, after working flat out on it nearly all of last week (and much more work in the preceding weeks), I finally submitted my application for promotion to lecturer level B at QUT on Friday. Let's hope for the best, and that I met the very specific format requirements for it as well! Many thanks especially to my referees - both those who provided statements of support for me and the four colleagues who will now act as formal referees commenting on my performance in the areas of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. So this weekend, I'm going to be catching up with other things that I didn't have time for during the week - answering the 180+ emails that are piling up in my inbox (and that's just the QUT email account alone), posting a few blog updates (including my report from the Eidos launch - see Mission Statements), and working on the next assignment for the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education that I'm currently studying for.

Mission Statements

Every once in a while you find something in your inbox that sounds interesting overall but doesn't really say much on what it's actually all about. The invite for the launch of Eidos, a new Queensland-based network of educational institutions, researchers, social policy planners, and industry was such a message - so, on Wednesday I spent the day at the Queensland Art Gallery forecourt to work out what's happening here. (And I'm back-dating this post to Wednesday - didn't get around to posting it immediately because of the promotion application which had taken over the rest of my life...)

What I'm Worth

Phew. I've spent the best part of the weekend, and half of today, working on my application for promotion to the level of Lecturer at QUT. While pretty much everyone I talk to tells me that I shouldn't have any problem getting there, that's not necessarily very helpful - I can't afford any complacency in preparing the application documents. And at any rate, the work required to complete the application itself (4 pages of a succinct case for promotion, 20 pages of a detailed case, and 20 pages of evidence in support of the application) is still the same.

I'm not necessarily opposed to talking about myself, but spending this much space listing my achievements does get pretty exhausting. Sure, it's kinda nice taking stock of what I've achieved these past few years, but I could well do without needing to prove their impact... I think I have everything under control now, though, and I've secured the support of a great group of referees - John Hartley, Jude Smith, and Paul Makeham from QUT, and my good friend Donna Lee Brien who is now at the University of New England in Armidale. I've worked closely with all of them and I'm sure they'll help me jump through this hoop.

Dirty Laundry

Must admit I'm pretty pissed off today - there's an ugly and ill-considered attack on the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT in The Australian today, written no less by colleagues of mine who really should know better. I hesitate even to link to the article, as it's so full of half-truths and dirty laundry that it makes for very unpleasant reading.

Perhaps there's a small positive in this at least - seems to me that any unbiased reader can't help but see this as a hyperbolic gripe piece. Nonetheless, it's very frustrating that it has the potential to set back at least temporarily some of the great work that my colleagues and I have achieved these past four years, and to diminish our collective and individual professional standing by dragging the Faculty through the mud.

Homework, Hitchhikers, Homework

Spending yesterday and today at home, working. This week and the next are strangely teaching-free weeks for me as the two Monday public holidays mean that my Creative Industries unit doesn't run again until Monday week. So, instead I'm getting some other important work done. Yesterday I made further inroads into two papers - the one co-authored with Sal Humphreys about our wiki efforts in KCB336 New Media Technologies (which will go out to the International Wiki Symposium organisers later today), and one with Danny Butt on digital rights management in the music industry, for a special issue of Media and Arts Law Review (which Sal also has a hand in).

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