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Media Responses to Convergence Culture

The next plenary session at the CCi conference responds to Mark Deuze's talk - John-Paul Marin from SBS and Tony Walker (blogger at ABC Digital Futures and the ABC's Manager of Digital Radio) will share their own experiences of operating in the new, user-led, media environment that Mark has sketched out.

Building New Media Organisations

The third and last day of the CCi conference starts with a keynote by the fabulous Mark Deuze, author of Media Work. He begins by pointing to Henry Jenkins's work on convergence culture, and reminds us of the magnitude of that trend. Why is this happening, what is the context for this - how do media professionals work in this environment?

Media organisations are very well positioned to make sense of this from a production perspective - they are well placed to find new ways to tell stories across multiple (new) platforms, but in doing so reproduce mainly what they did before. We need to move forward beyond this approach, though: how do we start from scratch in developing new content forms and forms of participation which are native to the new (media) environment, characterised as it is by niche communities and diverse interests? (Mark's upcoming book Beyond Journalism tells this story for the journalistic environment.)

Thinking through Citizen Journalism

The post-lunch session at the CCi conference starts for me with a panel on citizen journalism which involves my colleague Jason Wilson from Youdecide2007 (and, Larvatus Prodeo's Mark Bahnisch, and Graham Young from Online Opinion. Their theme is the role of citizen journalism in the 2007 Australian federal election.

Futures for Journalism?

The next plenary speaker in this very enjoyable session on day two of the CCi conference is Margaret Simons, asking the question "What are journalists for?" She begins by noting the role of the Australian Press Council, long perceived as a publishers' poodle, and recounts how she has recently been contacted by a researcher at the APC inquiring about the development of journalistic staff numbers in Australian publishers - publishers themselves were not interested to share these numbers, presumably because there is a strong decline in numbers in the current, distressed context of the journalism industry.

Digital Campaigning with Kevin07 and Beyond

The next plenary speaker here at the CCi conference is Camilla Cooke. She managed the Australian Labor Party's digital campaign during the 2007 Australian federal election - "Australia's first digital election", as she describes it. Initial ideas for this campaign (even before the arrival of Kevin Rudd as opposition leader) were to engage debate, to use the Web for propagating messages, to utilise it as the key route to youth, and to use it for highly efficient and cost-effective marketing. Ultimately, these goals transformed into components like the Kevin07 Website, the social networking spaces, in Facebook and elsewhere, the YouTube channel, and a variety of other online platforms - and they also enabled the campaign to do some slightly cheeky things which would not have worked in other media works.

Participation and Voice in Citizen Journalism and Transmedia Documentary

We're now in the final session of the first day at the CCi conference, which I'll try to chair and blog at the same time - we'll see how it goes. My colleague Terry Flew is the first presenter, and he begins by outlining the three layers of impact of new media technologies as artefacts or devices (technologies); communication activities and practices using these technologies; and the social arrangements, institutions, and organisational forms which develop around the use and management of such technologies. Journalism has so far responded to the Internet as a new technology mainly in the first sense, no so much in the two latter senses. This also takes place at a time of perceived crisis in journalism, and in the face of the emergence of citizen journalism in responding to that crisis.

Club Bloggery 13: Once Were Barons

Last week we published another instalment in our ABC Online series Club Bloggery - this time dealing with the demise of iconic Australian news magazine The Bulletin. As always, the article is also cross-posted over at Gatewatching:

Club Bloggery: Once Were Barons

By Axel Bruns, Jason Wilson, and Barry Saunders

Though we often give the print media a hard time here at Club Bloggery, we're not so sanguine about the end of the iconic magazine, The Bulletin, last month.

Despite its virulently racist origins, and its tendency under Kerry Packer to be used now and then as the mogul's mouthpiece, its end is an alarming symptom of something wider and more serious. The worrying structural problem it reveals is the difficulty of sustaining any venues for the specialised task of investigative journalism in Australian and international media.


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