Research Items (120)
There has been a conventional wisdom in contemporary media studies that views the phenomenon of globalisation (economic, political, technological and cultural) as a process that diminishes the role of the nation-state. Extrapolating from the observation that each generation of media technologies has enabled more rapid transmission of messages from one place to another, and that the scale of technologies such as those associated with communication satellites and digital networks is global, it has been claimed that forces associated with globalisation weaken the capacity of nation-states to regulate media institutions and media content.
- Jan 2016
- Global Media and National Policies
There is a widely held view that the nation-state has become less central to media and communications policy over the last two decades. As Jan van Cuilenberg and Denis McQuail (2003, p. 181) observed in their overview of trends in communications policy-making, ‘the old normative media policies have been challenged and policy-makers are searching for a new communications policy paradigm’. There are characteristically five factors put forward as to why the nation-state has become less central to media in the twenty-first century: 1. Economic globalisation has seen an overall decline in the power and capacities of nation-states, as power has shifted both to the global level and — to a lesser degree — to the local level; 2. Political ideologies of neo-liberalism have been deliberately used to weaken the powers of nation-states vis-à-vis global media corporations; 3. The globally networked nature of the Internet makes regulation through national laws and policies less feasible; 4. Globally networked media have enhanced consumer choice, and the assumptions of media scarcity that previously legitimated media policies are no longer valid; 5. The locus of regulatory influence has shifted from nation-state agencies to non-state actors, ranging from digital media corporations themselves to non-government organisations and various advocacy groups.
- Nov 2015
This paper argues that Michel Foucault’s lectures that form The Birth of Biopolitics owe a considerable debt to the thought of Max Weber, particularly in their analysis of how different socio-legal regimes shape distinctive national forms of capitalist economies, and the role that is played by social and economic institutions in the shaping of individual identities. This is in contrast to a common interpretation of Foucault’s account of neoliberalism, which synthesizes his work into neo-Marxist notions of hegemony and capitalist domination. It also identifies Foucault’s approach to neoliberalism as an exploratory one, which considers insights into how a particular relationship between ideas and institutional practices may help in imagining socialist forms of government practice.
This short article proposes an institutional framework for understanding questions of social media governance, based around the four axes of formal and informal institutions, national and supranational governance, public and private, and large-scale and smaller scale governance.
- Apr 2015
This article argues that the concept of national media systems, and the comparative study of media systems, institutions, and practices, retains relevance in an era of media globalization and technological convergence. It considers various critiques of ‘media systems’ theories, such as those which view the concept of ‘system’ as a legacy of an outdated positivism and those which argue that the media globalization is weakening the relevance of nation-states in structuring the field of media cultures and practices. It argues for the continuing centrality of nation-states to media processes, and the ongoing significance of the national space in an age of media globalization, with reference to case studies of Internet policies in China, Brazil, and Australia. These studies indicate that nation-states remain critical actors in media governance and that domestic actors largely shape the central dynamics of media policies, even where media technologies and platforms enable global flows of media content.
- Feb 2015
This paper argues the case for closer attention to media economics on the part of media, communications, and cultural studies researchers. It points to a plurality of approaches to media economics, including the mainstream neoclassical school and critical political economy, but also new insights derived from perspectives that are less well known outside of the economics discipline, such as new institutional economics and evolutionary economics. It applies these frameworks to current debates about the future of public service media, noting limitations to both "market failure" and citizenship discourses and identifying challenges relating to institutional governance, public policy, and innovation as public service media worldwide adapt to a digitally convergent media environment.
- Jan 2015
This paper draws upon public sphere theories and the “mediatization of politics” debate to develop a mapping of the Australian political public sphere, with particular reference to television. It discusses the concept of a “political public sphere,” and the contribution of both non-traditional news media genres, such as satirical television and infotainment formats, to an expanded conception of the political public sphere. It considers these questions in the context of two case studies: the Q&A program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and its uses of social media and interactive formats to engage citizens, and the comedy program Gruen Nation, also on the ABC, which analyzed the use of political advertising to persuade citizens during the 2013 Australian Federal election.
With the digitisation of all forms of media content, and the convergence of media industries, platforms and services, many of the longstanding assumptions of media policy and regulation are thrown into question. In particular, the idea that one can pursue platform-based regulation, and enact laws and policies related to the content delivered through that platform, is now becoming less relevant as content is accessed across multiple platforms and devices, and as content users are themselves increasingly content creators. For policy makers throughout the world, new questions are being raised about how to transform laws and regulations for twenty-first century media, if we assume that the ‘public interest’ principles that have traditionally informed media regulation remain relevant. These issues are discussed in an interview with Professor Steven Wildman, who was from 2012-14. Wildman was at this time the Chief Economist of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Professor Wildman was interviewed by Terry Flew at the FCC offices in Washington, DC in September 2013.
This paper tracks the development of critical communications research in Australia over a 30- year period. It assesses the relative significance of critical theory, Marxist political economy and cultural studies to the development of such a tradition, linking this to distinctive elements of Australian politics and culture, particularly the weakness of the institutional left and the significance of populism as a mode of political engagement. The paper also evaluates the rise of “creative industries” discourse as an emergent development, and a distinctive contribution of Australian media and communications research to the field internationally.
- Jul 2014
This article takes as its starting point the observation that neoliberalism is a concept that is ‘oft-invoked but ill-defined’. It provides a taxonomy of uses of the term neoliberalism to include: (1) an all-purpose denunciatory category; (2) ‘the way things are’; (3) an institutional framework characterizing particular forms of national capitalism, most notably the Anglo-American ones; (4) a dominant ideology of global capitalism; (5) a form of governmentality and hegemony; and (6) a variant within the broad framework of liberalism as both theory and policy discourse. It is argued that this sprawling set of definitions are not mutually compatible, and that uses of the term need to be dramatically narrowed from its current association with anything and everything that a particular author may find objectionable. In particular, it is argued that the uses of the term by Michel Foucault in his 1978–9 lectures, found in The Birth of Biopolitics, are not particularly compatible with its more recent status as a variant of dominant ideology or hegemony theories. It instead proposes understanding neoliberalism in terms of historical institutionalism, with Foucault’s account of historical change complementing Max Weber’s work identifying the distinctive economic sociology of national capitalisms.
The concept of media influence has a long history in media and communication studies, and has also had significant influence on public policy. This article revisits questions of media influence through three short case studies. First, it critically analyses the strongly partisan position of News Corporation’s newspapers against the Labor government during the 2013 Australian Federal election to consider whether the potential for media influence equated to the effective use of media power. Second, it discusses the assumption in broadcasting legislation, in both the United Kingdom and Australia, that terrestrial broadcasting should be subject to more content regulation than subscription services, and notes the new challenges arising from digital television and over-the-top video streaming services. Finally, it discusses the rise of multi-platform global content aggregators such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and others, and how their rise necessitates changes in ways of thinking about concentration of media ownership, and regulations that may ensue from it.
This paper will consider questions around the reform of copyright law, and how they are increasingly being framed by the challenges of the digital economy. It discusses the review of copyright and the digital economy being undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission, with particular reference to the costs and benefits of copyright law to consumers and creative producers. We argue that there is a pressing need to develop fair copyright rules that encourage investment in the digital economy, allow widespread dissemination of knowledge through society, and support the innovative reuse of copyright works. To better align copyright law with these goals, we recommend that Australia introduce an open ended ‘fair use’ style copyright exception, and encourage the development of a digital copyright exchange of the sort discussed in the UK by the Hargreaves and Hooper Reports.
- May 2013
This article identifies two major forces driving change in media policy worldwide: media convergence and renewed concerns about media ethics, with the latter seen in the UK Leveson Inquiry. It focuses on two major public inquiries in Australia during 2011–2012 – the Independent Media Inquiry (Finkelstein Review) and the Convergence Review – and the issues raised about future regulation of journalism and news standards. Drawing upon perspectives from media theory, it observes the strong influence of social responsibility theories of the media in the Finkelstein Review and the adverse reaction these received from those arguing from Fourth Estate/free press perspectives, which were also consistent with the long-standing opposition of Australian newspaper proprietors to government regulation. It also discusses the approaches taken in the Convergence Review to regulating for news standards, in the light of the complexities arising from media convergence. The article concludes with consideration of the fast-changing environment in which such proposals to transform media regulation are being considered, including the crisis of news media organization business models, as seen in Australia with major layoffs of journalists from the leading print media publications.
This article considers the question of whether creative workers demonstrate a preference for inner cities or suburbs, drawing upon research findings from the ‘Creative Suburbia’ project undertaken by a team of Australian researchers over 2008–2010 in selected suburban areas of Brisbane and Melbourne. Locating this question in wider debates about the relationship of the suburbs to the city, as well as the development of new suburban forms such as master-planned communities, the article finds that the number of creative industries workers located in the suburbs is significant, and those creative workforce members living and working in suburban areas are generally happy with this experience, locating in the suburbs out of personal choice rather than economic necessity. This runs counter to the received wisdom on creative cities, which emphasize cultural amenity in inner city areas as a primary driver of location decisions for the ‘creative class’. The article draws out some implications of the findings for urban cultural policy, arguing that the focus on developing inner urban cultural amenity has been overplayed, and that more attention should be given to how to better enable distributed knowledge systems through high-speed broadband infrastructure.
Computational journalism involves the application of software and technologies to the activities of journalism, and it draws from the fields of computer science, the social sciences, and media and communications. New technologies may enhance the traditional aims of journalism, or may initiate greater interaction between journalists and information and communication technology (ICT) specialists. The enhanced use of computing in news production is related in particular to three factors: larger government datasets becoming more widely available; the increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous nature of software; and the developing digital economy. Drawing upon international examples, this paper argues that computational journalism techniques may provide new foundations for original investigative journalism and increase the scope for new forms of interaction with readers. Computational journalism provides a major opportunity to enhance the production of original investigative journalism, and to attract and retain readers online.
- Feb 2012
Neo-liberalism has become one of the boom concepts of our time. From its original reference point as a descriptor of the economics of the 'Chicago School' or authors such as Friedrich von Hayek, neo-liberalism has become an all-purpose concept, explanatory device and basis for social critique. This presentation evaluates Michel Foucault's 1978-79 lectures, published as The Birth of Biopolitics, to consider how he used the term neo-liberalism, and how this equates with its current uses in critical social and cultural theory. It will be argued that Foucault did not understand neo-liberalism as a dominant ideology in these lectures, but rather as marking a point of inflection in the historical evolution of liberal political philosophies of government. It will also be argued that his interpretation of neo-liberalism was more nuanced and more comparative than more recent contributions. The article points towards an attempt to theorize comparative historical models of liberal capitalism.
- Jan 2012
The rise of creative industries requires new thinking in communication, media and cultural studies, media and cultural policy, and the arts and information sectors. The Creative Industries sets the agenda for these debates, providing a richer understanding of the dynamics of cultural markets, creative labor, finance and risk, and how culture is distributed, marketed and creatively reused through new media technologies. This book develops a global perspective on the creative industries and creative economy; draws insights from media and cultural studies, innovation economics, cultural policy studies, and economic and cultural geography; explores what it means for policy-makers when culture and creativity move from the margins to the center of economic dynamics; makes extensive use of case studies in ways that are relevant not only to researchers and policy-makers, but also to the generation of students who will increasingly be establishing a ‘portfolio career’ in the creative industriesInternational in coverage, The Creative Industries traces the historical and contemporary ideas that make the cultural economy more relevant that it has ever been. It is essential reading for students and academics in media, communication and cultural studies.
- Dec 2011
This paper draws upon quantitative and qualitative research into Australian cities to question the assumption that creative industries workers inherently seek to cluster in inner-urban areas. It challenges this foundational assumption by combining a critical application of the location quotient analysis of major Australian cities with qualitative research drawn from interviews with creative workers based in suburban Melbourne and Brisbane. The findings provide analyses as to why many creative industries workers prefer to locate themselves in outer suburban places. There is also discussion of the implications of these findings for future work on the cultural geography and policies of creative industries.
This article considers the concept of media citizenship in relation to the digital strategies of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). At SBS, Australia's multicultural public broadcaster, there is a critical appraisal of its strategies to harness user-created content (UCC) and social media to promote greater audience participation through its news and current affairs Web sites. The article looks at the opportunities and challenges that user-created content presents for public service media organizations as they consolidate multiplatform service delivery. Also analyzed are the implications of radio and television broadcasters' moves to develop online services. It is proposed that case study methodologies enable an understanding of media citizenship to be developed that maintains a focus on the interaction between delivery technologies, organizational structures and cultures, and program content that is essential for understanding the changing focus of 21st-century public service media.
This article raises the question of whether comparative national models of communications research can be developed along the lines of Hallin and Mancini's (2004) analysis of comparative media policy, or the work of Perraton and Clift (2004) on comparative national capitalisms. Taking communications research in Australia and New Zealand as its starting point, the article considers what might be the relevant variables in shaping an 'intellectual milieu' for communications research in these countries, compared with those of Europe, North America and Asia. Some possibly relevant variables include: type of media system (e.g. how significant is public service media?); political culture (e.g. are there significant left-of-centre political parties?); dominant intellectual traditions; level and types of research funding; the overall structure of the higher education system; and where communications sits within it. In considering whether such an exercise can or should be undertaken, we can also evaluate, as Hallin and Mancini do, the significance of potentially homogenising forces. These would include globalisation, new media technologies, and the rise of a global 'audit culture'. The article raises these issues as questions that emerge when we consider, as Curran and Park (2000) and Thussu (2009) have proposed, what a 'de-Westernized' media and communications research paradigm may look like.
The relationship between culture and the economy is of growing interest to researchers, writers and policy makers. Advanced economies have become increasingly ‘culturalised’, pushing culture from the periphery to the centre of policy concerns and action. The economic downturn commencing in late 2008 generated predictions that ranged from the apocalyptic to the sanguine, across all sectors. This article offers an insight into the relationship between the economy, the creative industries and their geographic localities. It investigates creative industries situated away from the urban core, and located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and Brisbane. We suggest that for creative industries situated in outer suburbs, there are characteristics that may contribute to their economic resilience.
The increasing prevalence of new media technologies and the rise of citizen journalism has coincided with a crisis in industrial journalism –as the figure of the "journalist as hero" is fading, new media forms have facilitated the production of news content "from below" by citizens and "pro-am" journalists. Participation in an action-research project run during the 2007 Australian Federal Election, youdecide 2007, allowed the authors to gain first-hand insights into the progress of citizen-led news media in Australia, but also allowed us to develop an account of what the work of facilitating citizen journalism involves. These insights are important to understanding the future of professional journalism and journalism education, as more mainstream media organizations move to accommodate and harness user-created content. The paper considers the relevance of citizen journalism projects as forms of R&D for understanding news production and distribution in participatory media cultures, and the importance of grounded case studies for moving beyond normative debates about new media and the future of journalism.
The connections between the development of creative industries and the growth of cities was noted by several sources over the 2000s, but explanations relating to the nature of the link have thus far provide to be insufficient. The two dominant ‘scripts’ were those of ‘creative clusters’ and ‘creative/cities/creative class’ theories, but both have proved to be insufficient, not least because they privilege amenities-led, supply-drive accounts of urban development that fail to adequately situate cities in wider global circuits of culture and economic production. It is proposed that the emergent field of cultural economic geography provides some insights into redressing these lacunae, particularly in the possibilities for an original synthesis of cultural and economic geography, cultural studies and new strands of economic theory.
It has now been over a decade since the concept of creative industries was first put into the public domain through the Creative Industries Mapping Documents developed by the Blair Labour government in Britain. The concept has developed traction globally, but it has also been understood and developed in different ways in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America, as well as through international bodies such as UNCTAD and UNESCO. A review of the policy literature reveals that while questions and issues remain around definitional coherence, there is some degree of consensus emerging about the size, scope and significance of the sectors in question in both advanced and developing economies. At the same time, debate about the concept remains highly animated in media, communication and cultural studies, with its critics dismissing the concept outright as a harbinger of neo-liberal ideology in the cultural sphere. This paper couches such critiques in light of recent debates surrounding the intellectual coherence of the concept of neo-liberalism, arguing that this term itself possesses problems when taken outside of the Anglo-American context in which it originated. It is argued that issues surrounding the nature of participatory media culture, the relationship between cultural production and economic innovation, and the future role of public cultural institutions can be developed from within a creative industries framework, and that writing off such arguments as a priori ideological and flawed does little to advance debates about 21st century information and media culture.
- Jan 2010
This chapter explores the influence of economic ideas on media policies, particularly the work of John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter and Karl Marx. It critically appraises the development of new media policies, and arguments that neo-liberal principles have been the primary driver of such policies.
This paper analyses Albert Hirschman's Exit, Voice and Loyalty (Hirschman 1970) as a basis for understanding the relationship between media and citizenship. It considers the significance of Hirschman's concept of voice in relation to media policy, media participation through user-created content, and the rise of 'citizen media' and 'citizen journalism'. It associates these developments with a 'de-centering' of both media practice and media studies, as considered by Couldry (2006a, 2006b). It concludes by suggesting that voice and participation, rather than citizenship, may constitute a more suitable foundation for understanding new digital media initiatives.
- Nov 2009
This paper explores the rise of cultural economy as a key organising concept over the 2000s. While it has intellectual precursors in political economy, sociology and postmodernism, it has been work undertaken in the fields of cultural economic geography, creative industries, the culture of service industries and cultural policy where it has come to the forefront, particularly around whether we are now in a ‘creative economy’. While work undertaken in cultural studies has contributed to these developments, the development of neo-liberalism as a meta-concept in critical theory constitutes a substantive barrier to more sustained engagement between cultural studies and economics, as it rests upon a caricature of economic discourse. The paper draws upon Michel Foucault’s lectures on neo-liberalism to indicate that there are significant problems with the neo-Marxist account hat became hegemonic over the 2000s. The paper concludes by identifying areas such as the value of information, the value of networks, motivations for participation in online social networks, and the impact of business cycles on cultural sectors as areas of potentially fruitful inter-disciplinary engagement around the nature of cultural economy.
This article considers the distinctive ways in which the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has evolved over its history since 1980, and how it has managed competing claims to being a multicultural yet broad-appeal broadcaster, and a comprehensive yet low-cost media service. It draws attention to the challenges presented by a global rethinking of the nature of citizenship and its relationship to media, for which SBS is well placed as a leader, and the challenges of online media for traditional public service media models, where SBS has arguably been a laggard, particularly when compared with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). It notes recent work that has been undertaken by the author with others into user-created content strategies at SBS and how its online news and current affairs services have been evolving in recent years.
This paper reports findings from a study of user behaviours and intentions towards online news and information in Australia, undertaken by the Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Faculty and the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre. It has used a literature review, online survey, focus groups and interviews to explore attitudes and behaviours towards online news and information. The literature review on consumer user of online media highlighted emerging technical opportunities, and flagged existing barriers to access experienced by consumers in the Australian digital media sector. The literature review highlighted multiple disconnects between consumer interests in online news and their ability to fulfil them. This presents an opportunity for news entities to appraise and resolve. Doing so may enhance their service offering, attract consumers and improve loyalty. These themes were further explored by the survey. The survey results revealed three typologies of user, described as ‘convenience’, ‘loyal’ and ‘customising’. Convenience users tend to access news by default, for example when they log out of email. Loyal users seek out a trusted brand such as mainstream news mastheads. Customising users tend to tailor news to their preferences, and be the first to use leading edge media. Respondents to the survey were then invited to participate in focus groups, which aimed to test the survey results. Consumer perceptions and attitudes are important factors in progression towards an information economy, because ultimately consumers are customers. By segmenting the online news market according to customer typology, media providers may identify new opportunities to attract and retain customers.
We all know that the future of news is digital. But mainstream news providers are still grappling with how to entice more customers to their online sites. This paper provides context for a survey currently underway on user intentions towards online news and entertainment, by exploring: 1. Consumer behaviours and intentions with regards to accessing online news and information; 2. Current trends in the Australian online news and information sector; and 3. Key issues and emerging opportunities in the Australian (and global) environment. Key influences on use of online news and information are pricing and access. The paper highlights emerging technical opportunities and flags service gaps. These gaps include multiple disconnects between: 1. Changing user intentions towards online and location based news (news based on a specific locality as chosen by the user) and information; 2. The ability by consumers to act on these intentions via the availability and cost of technologies; 3. Younger users may prefer entertainment to news, or ‘infotainment’; and 4. Current online offerings of traditional news providers and opportunities. These disconnects present an opportunity for online news suppliers to appraise and resolve. Doing so may enhance their online news and information offering, attract consumers and improve loyalty. Outcomes from this paper will be used to identify knowledge gaps and contribute to the development of further analysis on Australian consumers and their behaviours and intentions towards online news and information. This will be undertaken via focus groups as part of a broader study.
This submission to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s public inquiry into the future of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) responds to the Discussion Paper circulated by the Department and the Minster, Senator Stephen Conroy. It draws upon the research experience of a team of academic researchers based in the Creative Industries faculty at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and the School of Social Sciences and Media at the University of Wollongong.
This paper undertakes an overview of two developments in online media that coincided with the 'year-long campaign' that was the 2007 Australian Federal election. It discusses the relatively successful use of the Internet and social media in the 'Kevin07' Australian Labor Party campaign, and contrasts this to the Liberal-National Party's faltering use of You Tube for policy announcements. It also notes the struggle for authority in interpreting polling data between the mainstream media and various online commentators, and the 'July 12 incident' at The Australian, where it engaged in strong denunciation of alleged biases and prejudices among bloggers and on political Web sites. It concludes with consideration of some wider implication for political communication and the politics-media relationship, and whether we are seeing trends towards dispersal and diversification characterising the 'third age' of political communication.
- Jan 2007
Understanding Global Media offers a timely and comprehensive overview of global media production and circulation. Grounded in extensive case study material in order to illustrate key debates, the book analyzes media industries, production, content, audiences and policies on an international scale. Written by a leading author, it is both a thorough synthesis of existing academic work and an ambitious statement of new research directions. Drawing insight from a range of perspectives, including politics, political economy, media and cultural studies, and economic and cultural geography, this book is an essential guide to understanding media in a global era.
Citizen journalism is a hot topic at present, but there remains a degree of conceptual wooliness about its definition and meaning, with everything from lifestyle blogs to live footage of freak weather events being included in this category. This paper will identify factors underpinning the emergence of citizen journalism, including the rise of Web 2.0, rethinking journalism as a professional ideology, the decline of ‘high modernist’ journalism, divergence between elite and popular opinion, changing revenue bases for news production, and the decline of deference in democratic societies. It will consider case studies such as the Korean OhMyNews web site, and connect these issues to wider debates about the implications of journalism and news production increasingly going into the Internet environment.
- Sep 2006
‘MBA fever’ in China needs to be understood in the wider context of forces driving structural change in China’s relation to the global knowledge economy. The rise of a ‘new middle class’ in China is connected to the new claims for cultural leadership of an emergent ‘creative class’, which generates new issues about the relevance of the MBA in China, in terms of its relevance to Chinese economic circumstances, and its flexibility and capacity to respond to accumulation strategies that emphasise innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
- Aug 2006
This article undertakes an institutionalist analysis of broadcast media policy, analyzing sources of both stability and change over time. It draws attention to the distinctive features of broadcast licenses as a form of soft property and the significance of policy settlements as ways in which regulators in different countries have managed the relationship between private ownership and public interest. It traces the development of broadcast media policy in Australia from the 1950s to the present in this light, arguing that continuities in policy over time that have favored incumbent commercial interests have been the prevailing pattern of policy outcomes. The article concludes by raising issues about whether a social democratic approach to media policy should support the introduction of greater market competition in a multiplatform environment rather than seek to maintain the existing broadcasting order and draws on so-called new public interest literature to make this argument.
This article will critically appraise two approaches to cultural policy. The first focuses upon the need for a national cultural policy in order to establish a national “common culture” among its citizens, through measures to promote the arts and popular media sectors, and set limits to the flow of imported materials into the nation. This is what has been termed the “sovereignty” model, and has historically been the driver of cultural policy debates. The second approach, which is called the “software” approach, aims to create cultural infrastructure and other environmental factors to promote a creative economy, whether at local, regional, national or supra‐national levels. It questions the historical divides between “culture” and “industry”, and between “creativity” and “innovation”, and is focused upon the development of future ideas and creative concepts. It draws upon the very different conditions associated with the development of software to those of established arts and media sectors, and aims to extend the “software” model more widely into cultural and creative industries policy.
This paper investigates the current turbulent state of copyright in the digital age, and explores the viability of alternative compensation systems that aim to achieve the same goals with fewer negative consequences for consumers and artists. To sustain existing business models associated with creative content, increased recourse to DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies, designed to restrict access to and usage of digital content, is well underway. Considerable technical challenges associated with DRM systems necessitate increasingly aggressive recourse to the law. A number of controversial aspects of copyright enforcement are discussed and contrasted with those inherent in levy based compensation systems. Lateral exploration of the copyright dilemma may help prevent some undesirable societal impacts, but with powerful coalitions of creative, consumer electronics and information technology industries having enormous vested interest in current models, alternative schemes are frequently treated dismissively. This paper focuses on consideration of alternative models that better suit the digital era whilst achieving a more even balance in the copyright bargain.
This paper discusses the development of new models of business education in contemporary China. It describes the rise of the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in the context of the growth of a new professional-managerial class in China, as a corollary of modernisation and economic reform. While the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) has its origins in the United States, it has grown into a globally recognized qualification for business status, particularly when acquired from ‘elite’ institutions in a highly competitive and extensively ranked global system. Its growth in Asia is reflective of the significant shortages of managerial expertise as economic success throws traditional family-based or state capitalist models of business organization into question. In China, the rise of the MBA has been more recent, although the original idea was introduced in the late 1970s, not long after the directive of Deng Xiaoping to modernise the economy. We consider the role played by new MBA programs, such as the Executive MBA (EMBA) and the International MBA (IMBA) as new educational products designed, not so much for the re-engineering of management practices in SOEs along more effective commercial lines, but rather upon developing an internationally networked business elite better able to engage with the new challenges of the global knowledge economy.
- Jan 2005
At the core of Sean Nixon’s very engaging Advertising Cultures lies a straightforward proposition. Nixon proposes that, in order to understand advertising in particular, and commercial applications of creativity in what are increasingly termed the ‘creative industries’, there is a need to understand the workplace cultures of people engaged in creative advertising. Nixon does this through a tightly argued ethnographic study of creative workers in London advertising agencies, and the workplace cultures of these agencies. From this, he draws out a unique and very valuable series of observations about creativity, its relationship to gendered identities (particularly to masculinity), and the relationship between competitiveness and collaboration in highly competitive commercial workplaces.
While both the growth of services industries and the nature of creativity as a productive input are widely recognized, they are poorly understood. This paper considers the relationship between services industry growth and creativity inputs as part of a "cultural turn" in contemporary capitalist economies, with particular reference to the recent work of Scott Lash and John Urry, Jeremy Rifkin, and Richard Florida. It proposes ways of rethinking the relationship between services and creativity, particularly in understanding the role played by "creativity brokering" in the creative industries, and draws attention to growing tensions surrounding the concept of intellectual property.
The 'cultural exception' debate raised around the mega-policy issue of WTO-sponsored trade liberalisation imperatives and incentives should not be locked into a Europe-USA or an English versus non-English-language opposition. Cultural diversity across the audiovisual world is much richer – and more interesting – than that. This article focuses on cultural diversity in the ‘English world’ – more specifically, on cultural diversity in the Australian audiovisual system. If a country that seemingly shares so much with the US and other English-language countries of the old British regime, is actually quite different in the way it mixes its cultural coordinates, the complexity and richness of the world’s audiovisual systems are brought into sharper focus.
This paper tracks the relationship between developments in media conference, changing expectations of education and learner demographics, and the impact of technological chances on the uses of media in education. There is the capacity for networked learning environments to be developed through convergent media, which enable new forms of technology-mediated learning that reach new learning demographics and are learner-centered.
This thesis looks at broadcast media policy in Australia towards the commercial free-to-air television sector, with a focus upon those policies that impact upon media content, during the period from 1972 to 2000. It analyses the relationship between cultural institutions, citizenship discourses, and practices of media policy formation in Australia. It focuses upon both forms of institutional continuity in the relations established between broadcasters, regulatory agencies and others active in media policy in Australia, and upon sources of change in broadcast media policy, such as those arising from media reform activism, changing public policy discourses, and pressures arising from globalisation and new media technologies. The thesis is in two parts. Part One of the thesis uses debates about cultural policy in Australia in order to clarify the relationship between institutional forms and cultural practices in a sector such as broadcasting, characterised by distinctive forms of commercial property, a highly concentrated production and distribution structure, and the capacity for content to be distributed across space, both nationally and internationally. The institutional approach that is developed focuses on underlying structures and ongoing ‘policy settlements’ in national broadcasting systems, and the forms of political contestation that arise from the ‘soft property’ nature of commercial broadcast licences, and the resulting ‘public trust’ obligations to the public as citizens as well as media consumers. The concept of citizenship provides an important link in this regard, and this thesis analyses the relationship between citizenship and governance, the political and national dimensions of citizenship, and the complex policy discourses through which citizenship principles are translated into policy practice. Part two of the thesis applies this framework through four case studies in Australian broadcast media policy: • The period in the 1970s leading up to and including proposals to institutionalise public participation in broadcast media policy, on the basis of the public nature of the airwaves used by commercial broadcasters, through the licence renewal hearings process developed by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal (ABT); • The Australian Content Inquiry conducted by the ABT between 1983-1989 that established new Australian content quotas for commercial television, and the forms of institutionalised participation and engagement between commercial broadcasters and media advocacy and public interest groups that developed through this process; • The development and implementation of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, that utilised emergent neo-liberal policy discourses to argue for ‘light touch’ regulation, as well as greater industry self-regulation, and which significantly foreclosed opportunities for public participation in broadcast media policy formation; • The growing significance of media globalisation and international trade agreements upon Australian media policy, and concerns about the ability to influence media policy in light of multilateral trade agreements such as the GATS, as well as the impact of bilateral trade agreements such as the Closer Economic Relation (CER) with New Zealand. The thesis finds that there has been an important connection between the ‘public trust’ nature of broadcast licences, the ways in which citizenship discourses impact upon media policy around questions of public participation and content regulations, and forms of activism in the policy process that emerge form the early 1970s on. At the same time, there are clear limits to the capacity of state regulatory agencies to shape the conduct of commercial broadcasters, arising from the political and economic power of the broadcasters, the limits to ‘publicness’ of licences arising from private ownership, and wider policy discourses that are increasingly concerned with promoting the operation of markets, national competition policy, and trade liberalisation. The policy settlement that emerges in Australia in the 1970s, and dominates for the period covered by this thesis, is described as a social contract, whereby regulatory agencies as the representatives of government accept that concentration of ownership of broadcast television licences, and restrictions on the entry of new players, constitute a necessary quid pro quo for the provision of ‘pro-social’ forms of programming, such as Australian content and children’s programming. In the early 2000s, this policy settlement was under profound challenge for new technologies and services associated with digitisation, national competition policy, and the potential impact of international trade agreements, and it is likely that this decade will see the development of new institutional structures and forms of policy settlement.
The new generation of digitised and converged communications and information technologies are fast making ‘virtual’ universities a reality. But what is the likely involvement of media, ente rta in ment and communications giants such as Murdoch’s News Corporation and Disney? What happens to the traditional university? While higher education is radically changing the world over, TERRY FLEW cautions that the changes are incremental rather than epochal and we shouldn’t blindly acccept claims they are fundamental.
- Apr 1997
No‐one doubts the significance of Raymond Williams’ contribution to the field of research and practice which we today call cultural studies. What has been in doubt, however, is the extent to which an interest in Williams’ work is a largely antiquarian one, or whether his formulations can continue to provide a framework for analysing cultural institutions, formations and practices. The former reading has been the most common one in cultural studies, with Williams typically located within a left‐humanist or ‘culturalist’ tradition superseded by structuralist and poststructuralist approaches. This paper argues strongly that Williams’ work, and particularly his less‐analysed later work in what he termed the ‘sociology of culture’, provide valuable resources for analysis of cultural institutions, policies and practices. I consider some problems with dominant current interpretations of Williams, and point out how Williams’ arguments in texts such as Culture and Television: Technology and Cultural Form, provide foundations for an institutionally‐grounded approach to cultural studies and to a progressive approach to questions of cultural policy. In doing so, I read Williams somewhat ‘against the grain’ of his own Marxist‐oriented framework of cultural materialism, arguing that it retains a deep chasm between its institutional and political specificities and its grounding in a Romantic conception of culture, as argued by Ian Hunter, Tony Bennett and others. At the same time, I wish to note that his approach is a more nuanced approach to relations between institutions, power and policy than has tended to be observed from within the ‘cultural policy debates’ which have been so intensive recently in Australia, for example.
- Jan 1997
A major debate in Australian cultural studies in the 1990s has been the "cultural policy debate." Drawing upon theories of governmentality developed by Michel Foucault and others, there has been a move to understand cultural institutions in terms upon their relationship to the formation of citizens in modern liberal democracies. While such work can provide considerable insight into contemporary media and cultural policy processes, there are significant gaps in the Foucaultian approach, most notably its difficulties in incorporating the significance of citizenship rights to policy processes. The article explores general issues about the relationship between citizenship, participation and policy formation, and discuss their significance in light of Australian media policy debates about content regulation for commercial broadcasters, local content regulations and, more recently, censorship and the future of public broadcasting. It questions attempts to automatically equate citizenship with participation in policy processes, as well as attempts to present such participatory processes as an innately progressive alternative to bureaucratic or governmental decision-making. Instead it proposes that the relationship between expertise and participation constitutes one of the central animating dynamics of policy formation in advanced liberal political formations.
- Jan 1994
Review of John Hartley, Tele‐ology: Studies in Television. London: Routledge, 1992. 245pp. ISBN 0 415 06817 7. $22.95. Distributed by the Law Book Company Limited. Tom O'Regan, Australian Television Culture, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1993. 219pp. ISBN 186373 527 5. $22.95.
The 'cultural exception' debate raised around the mega-policy issue of WTO-sponsored trade liberalisation imperatives and incentives should not be locked into a Europe-USA or an English versus non-English-language opposition. Cultural diversity across the audiovisual world is much richer - and more interesting - than that. This article focuses on cultural diversity in the 'English world' - more specifically, on cultural diversity in the Australian audiovisual system. If a country that seemingly shares so much with the US and other English-language countries of the old British regime, is actually quite different in the way it mixes its cultural coordinates, the complexity and richness of the world's audiovisual systems are brought into sharper focus.
The launch of the Apple iPad in January 2010 was one of the most anticipated and publicised launched of a new technological device in recent history. Positioning itself as between a smart phone and a PC, but with the attributes of both, Apple have sought to develop a new market niche with the iPad for tablet PC devices, and early signs are that market expectations are being met.. The iPad's launch was potentially fortuitous for the newspaper industry worldwide, as it offered the potential to address its two recurring problems: the slow but inexorable decline of print media circulation, and the inability to satisfactorily monetise online readerships. As a result, the Apple iPad has benefited from an enormous amount of free publicity in newspapers, as they develop their own applications (apps) for the device. This paper reports on findings from work undertaken through Smart Services CRC into potential take-up and likely uses of the iPad, and their implications for the news media industry. It reports on focus group analysis undertaken in the mid-2010 using "customer job mapping" methodologies, that draw attention to current gaps in user behaviour in terms of available devices, in order to anticipate possibilities beyond the current "three screens" of PC, mobile phone and television.
This paper undertakes an institutional analysis of the recent strategies for corporate expansion undertaken by News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner. It outlines the central elements of an institutional approach to media analysis, noting its relationship to critical political economy. Observing that the core proposition of such an approach is that corporations seek control over their external environment, but questioning the proposition that enterprise size is itself a guarantee of such control, it contrasts the recent strategies of News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner, in relation to globalisation, cross-media platform development and synergistic expansion. It argues that News Corporation is a global media enterprise in ways that AOL-Time Warner is not, and that the key to this expansion has been a willingness to let go of control through strategic partnerships and joint ventures. By contrast, AOL-Time Warner’s search for synergistic expansion through merger has largely proved illusory, whereas a ‘network enterprise’ strategy, that eschewed expansion and control in favour of strategic partnership, may have proved more successful.
There is a strong focus in recent Internet theory upon the empirical studies of Internet use and user communities. The application of empirical techniques such as ethnographic studies draws the attention to the ongoing significance of place, culture and institutional conditions of exisitence to practices of Internet use and online media consumption. The paper also looks at the comparative legal frameworks in which the Internet is accessed as this does impact upon Internet content.
This paper explores the rise of the creative industries, whose development marks an increasingly central element of contemporary economies, whose form is informational, global and networked. It begins with a discussion of the various ways in which the creative industries have been defined, in both policy statements and in the academic literature. It relates the development of the creative industries to three trends. First, it is connected to has the development of cultural industries as an object of public policy, as well as a critical rethinking of the best means by which cultural development can be supported through cultural policy. Second, the rise of the knowledge- ased economy, and debates about the relationship between information, knowledge and creativity, have provided a stimulus to creative industries development. Third, the shift from manufacturing to services as the dominant employment sector has raised important issues about the nature of services sector employment and the services industry model. Finally, there is a discussion of the significance of creative industries development to the concept of cluster development and policies to promote the development of creative cities and regions, as part of the ‘night time economy’.
The possibilities for using online media to promote deliberative democracy and enhance civic participation have been identified by many. At the same time, the ‘e-democracy score card’ is decidedly mixed, with the tendency of established institutions in both government and the mainstream media to promote a ‘push’ model of communication and information provision, which fails to adapt to the decentralized, networked, interactive and many-to-many forms of communication enabled by the Internet. This paper will discuss the experience of the National Forum, which is building an Australian e-Democracy site of which is the first stage. It aims to be a combination of town-square, shopping centre of ideas, and producers’ co-operative which will allow citizens, talkers, agitators, researchers and legislators to interact with each other individually and through their organisations. Its aim will be to facilitate conversations, and where required, action. This project can be understood from a myriad of angles. At one level it is an open source journalism project, at another it deals with knowledge management. It can also be approached as a forum, an archive, an internet arketing initiative and an eCommerce resource for civil society. Central to the project is the development of feedback mechanisms so that participants can better understand the debates and where they stand in them as well as gauging the mood, desires and interests of the nation on a continuous basis. This paper deals with the practice, theories and economic models underlying the project, and considers the contribution of such sites to community formation and the development of social capital.
The current interest of policy makers in contemporary popular music should be seen as connected to the growing worldwide interest in development of the creative industries and creative cities. In contrast to the move away from the inner cities that characterised the post-WWII ‘Fordist’ era of capitalism, and its separation of the city into zones of urban production and suburban consumption, the period since the 1980s has seen a growing worldwide interest in the development of cities as sites for creativity and consumption. This has reflected a growing realisation that, in a creative economy, the wealth of a city or region resides not only in its physical and human capital, but also in the less tangible networks of knowledge capital and social capital that lead to the clustering of creativity and innovation in particular geographical locations. Economic globalisation and the development of the knowledge-based economy has, perhaps paradoxically, placed a renewed focus upon why professionals in ‘new economy’ sectors choose to locate in some cities and regions in preference to others, and to remain in these locations if successful. It is apparent that access to unique forms of culture and experience has become the cake and not the icing, as culture, or more broadly, quality of life, has come to be recognised as the key element of the competitive advantage of cities. This paper traces the significance of popular music to the rise of creative cities, and the implications this has for both cultural policy and urban planning.
This paper considers debates about creativity and creatvie industries in light of three issues: (1) emergent knowledge production frameworks, and how cultural studies is positioned in relation to them; (2) the relationship of cultural studies academics to developments in creative industries fields, most notably the rise of cultural enterprise; and (3) the question of how conceptual frameworks are related to empirical developments in creative labour markets. It also critically explores the concepts of creative enterprise and cultural entrepreneurship.
This brief presentation considered the possibilities and limitations of strategies to promote electronic democracy pursued so far. In particular it indicated that the problems encountered have only been in part due to technological limitations or even a lack of political will. The stronger set of issues concerns the question of 'why participate?', and how to best facilitate this. The capacity to extent the principals of deliberative democracy through online media is briefly canvassed in the presentation.
This presentation outlines the creative cities literature and how it related to recent developments in cultural policy and urban planning, particularly in relation to 'creative cluster' development. It considered the role played by cultural policy in second-tier cities, and the role of events and festivals in the branding of cities.
This paper explores the growing significance of legal questions to innovation and creative practice in what are now being termed the creative industries. Noting that the case for strong copyright protection as the cornerstone of innovation is highly contested, it explores the significance of Creative Commons licences as an alternative to Digital Rights Management and copyright law. It also introduces the case studies of music, online computer games, and ‘remix culture’ that are covered in this special issue of Media and Arts Law Review.
This chapter evaluates the rise of the creative industries from four standpoints: the growing interest in creativity in the early 21st century; the culturalisation of economic life with the rise of service industries and the knowledge economy; the cultural geography of creative industries, including clustering and uneven development; and implications for arts and cultural policy.
Creative Industries is a daring collection of essays that charts the noisy revolution that is transforming the production, consumption, and understanding of culture in the all-wired era. It brings together seminal essays written across traditional and new media, industry sectors, and national contexts to demonstrate that content still drives a value-neutral, knowledge economy. Chronicles the way mass culture is produced, packaged and circulated in a technology-enabled and globalized world Draws together, in one accessible volume, seminal essays written across traditional and new media, industry sectors, and national contexts Explores the subjects that have come to define the creative industries - including learning services, knowledge clusters, dot.coms, creative cities, networked incubators, the new media, and the shift from the "culture industries" to the "industries of culture" Features 31 essays by leading international scholars - covering the creative industries of several fields, including book publishing, TV production, urban development, and games Includes substantial editorial introductions by the editor, making this a useful, engaging, and thought-provoking collection of the very best scholarship on modern creative culture.
This paper critically evaluates dominant ways of thinking about global media, and their adequacy for understanding the trends in global media development that we see in the early 21st century. In particular, it is argued that the intersection of new ways of thinking about communications media as creative industries, combined with the rise of the global knowledge economy, require a rethink of some key assumptions about the nature of global media in the 21st century. In particular, they point towards a more matrix-like structure of media production centres and emergent ‘media capitals’ than was the case with 20th century models of global media, which tended towards the centre-periphery model, with flows between a small number of metropolitan centres and the rest of the world dominating global media production and distribution, replicating on an international scale the unequal power relations between producers and consumers in models of mass communications.
This presentation deals with the challenges faced by communications professionals by the rise of Web 2.0 sites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Wikipedia. It is argued that we are moving from the 20th century one-to-many, top-down mass communications model towards a 21st century communications model that is more open, interactive, multidimensional and participatory, but presents new challenges for business, government and organisations more generally.
This presentation was given to staff and doctoral students at the Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, May 2, 2008. It uses recent studies on the creative industries workforce in Australia to consider how the debate over creative industries has evolved over a decade since it first emerged in Britain in 1998.
This chapter of my forthcoming book 'The Creative Industries, Culture and Policy' provides an overview of developments in British creative industries policy from its genesis in the mid 1990s to the late 2000s.
This paper traces how the concept of globalization has been understood in media and communications, and the ongoing tension as to whether we can claim to be in an era of ‘global media’. A problem with this discussion is that it continues to revolve around a scalar understanding of globalization, where the global has superceded the national and the local, leading to a series of empirically unsustainable and often misleading claims. Drawing upon recent work in economic and cultural geography, I will indicate that a relational understanding of globalization enables us to approach familiar questions in new ways, including the question of how global large media corporations are, global production networks and the question of ‘runaway production’, and the emergence of new ‘media capitals’ that can challenge the hegemony of ‘Global Hollywood’.