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Politics

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.

Does ABC News Siphon Audiences from Fairfax?

Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood has been busy. His company’s announcement on 3 May 2017 that Fairfax would sack 125 of its newsroom staff led to Sydney Morning Herald and The Age journalists going on strike, at the worst possible time in the Australian political calendar.

Meanwhile, media reports highlighted Hywood’s annual pay of over $7 million – which at a median reported salary for journalists of just over $51,000 would comfortably pay for the total number of staff laid off in Hywood’s announcement.

This is not to say that Hywood does not deserve a CEO-level salary, of course. But in light of the criticism of the job losses at Fairfax, his defence of executive pay levels was tin-eared, to say the least:

We pride ourselves on providing above-market salaries. … We need good people to work at this business. You don’t fix the issues confronting the media business by doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result.

2016 Publications Round-Up

We’re already deep into February 2017, but I thought I’d finally put together an overview of what I’ve been up to during the past year, at least as far as research outputs are concerned. It’s been a busy year by any measure, with a number of key projects coming to completion; research publications from some of these are still in production, but here’s what’s already come out.

Twitter-Based Journalist/Politician Interactions in Germany

The final paper in this ECREA 2016 session is by Christian Nuernbergk, whose focus is on the interaction of political and journalistic actors via social media. Both now have to deal with emerging personal publics in social media, in addition to their conventional mass media publics; they now need to have in mind a range of such publics in their everyday professional practice.

Factual Content in a Post-Factuality Environment

The morning session on this final day of ECREA 2016 starts with a panel that emerges from the "Journalism beyond the Crisis" ARC Discovery research project that Brian McNair, Folker Hanusch and I lead. As Aljosha Schapals explains in his introduction to the panel, this explores the changing content forms, journalistic practices, and user reception of factual content, as well as the implications of these developments for overall democratic processes.

Uncovering Early Twentieth-Century Citizen Journalism

The final speaker at ECREA 2016 for today is Bolette Blaagaard, who shifts our focus back to citizen journalism. This has largely been understood as a process of citizens distributing news and journalism, often in opposition to conventional professional journalism; but here the focus is more on citizens making (or citizen-making) journalism, with an emphasis on the creative and the embodied political.

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