Investigating Public Service Media as Hybrid Arrangements 

No 146, February 2013

Theme Editors: Maureen Burns and Gay Hawkins

Buy this issue

Subscription and order form

Abstracts

 

Contents

Editorial

Sue Turnbull

ANZCA News

Chika Anyanwu

Tribute to Anne Dunn ANZCA Executive

General Articles

Celebrating the undiscipline of cultural studies

Geert Lovink interview with Graeme Turner

The ABC and Australia’s media landscape

James Spigelman

You’ve been pranked: Reality TV, national identity and the privileged status of Australian children's drama 

Anna Potter

Revisiting the greening of prime-time television soap operas

Kitty van Vuuren, Susan Ward and Rebecca Coyle

Moulding them in the industry’s image: Journalism education’s impact on students’ professional views Folker Hanusch
Between ‘me-time’ and household duty: Male and female home internet use Julia Ahrens
‘Grounding the internet’: Categorising the geographies of locative media Tanya Nitins and Christy Collis

 

Investigating Public Service Media as Hybrid Arrangements

Investigating public service media as hybrid arrangements

Maureen Burns and Gay Hawkins

Enacting public value on the ABC’s Q&A: From normative to performative approaches

Gay Hawkins

Hybridisation of Slovene public broadcasting: From national community towards commercial nationalism

Zala Volčič and Melita Zajc

The business of multi-platform public service: Online and at a profit

James Bennett and Andrea Medrado

Public service broadcasting and social networking sites: The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on Facebook

Hallvard Moe

Public service media utilities: Rethinking search engines and social networking as public goods

Mark Andrejevic

Delicious market devices: ABC Magazines media kits

Maureen Burns

Global nature, global brand: BBC Earth and David Attenborough’s landmark
wildlife series 

Morgan Richards

Book Reviews

Edited by Susan Bye

 

Abstracts

 

Celebrating the undiscipline of cultural studies

Geert Lovink interview with Graeme Turner

This article is based on an email exchange between media theorist and critic Geert Lovink and former Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, Professor Graeme Turner. It explores the field of television studies internationally, focusing on the ‘nihilist turn’. In the Netherlands, right-wing populist websites and TV shows have been able to set the racist, anti-migration agenda, while in the United States and Australia, this agenda has been set by talkback radio. The issue of how we can distinguish between the popular and the populist is examined, and some more general cultural studies issues are discussed.

 

The ABC and Australia’s media landscape

James Spigelman 

This address from the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was presented at the RIPE@2012 conference in Sydney on 5 September 2012. It examines the challenges of digital technology currently facing the Australian media landscape.

  

You’ve been pranked: Reality TV, national identity and the privileged status of Australian children's drama

Anna Potter

Australian children have always been considered a special television audience. In November 2009, Australia’s public service broadcaster the ABC launched Australia’s first dedicated free-to-air children’s channel. Within a year of its launch, ABC3’s most popular program was a local version of the transnational reality format, Prank Patrol. The popularity of reality television with children challenges policy settings, including the Children’s Television Standards (CTS), that privilege drama in the expression of the goals of cultural nationalism. While public service broadcasting ideology is expressed and applied to Australian commercial free-to-air channels through the CTS, public service media compete with pay TV channels for the child audience using a range of genres. Thus contemporary Australian children’s television is characterised by an abundance of supply, pan-platform delivery and a policy regime that has remained largely unchanged since the late 1970s.

  

Revisiting the greening of prime-time television soap operas

Kitty van Vuuren, Susan Ward and Rebecca Coyle

In 1990, Christopher Rissel and William Douglas commenced a study of the depiction of environmental issues and behaviours on Australian prime-time television drama series. Their findings were discussed in an issue of Media International Australia in 1993. This article reports on a 2011–12 study that replicated key aspects of Rissel and Douglas’s research. A collaborative research team focused on two long-running and high-rating Australian soap operas – Neighbours and Home and Away – recorded from June to August 2011. Using content analysis, the researchers investigated the frequency, attitudes to and role models for the representation of environmental issues and behaviours. This article discusses the findings in terms of contemporary television practices and industry, as well as the study’s methodology.

 

Moulding them in the industry’s image: Journalism education’s impact on students’ professional views

Folker Hanusch 

Long-running debates over the value of university-based journalism education have suffered from a lack of empirical foundation, leading to a wide range of assertions from both those who see journalism education playing a crucial role in moulding future journalists and those who do not. Based on a survey of 320 Australian journalism students from six universities across the country, this study provides an account of the professional views held by these future journalists. Findings show that students hold broadly similar priorities in their role perceptions – albeit to different intensities from working journalists. The results point to a relationship between journalism education and the way in which students’ views of journalism’s watchdog role and its market orientation change over the course of their degree – to the extent that, once they are near completion, students have been moulded in the image of industry professionals.

 

Between ‘me-time’ and household duty: Male and female home internet use

Julia Ahrens

This study draws from principles of the domestication concept to assess the ways in which heterosexual couples (N=48) utilise internet technology in their homes in Australia and Germany. A qualitative research design was employed to examine the integration of the internet into the household. The results focus on the time and content integration of the internet. Differences were found between the genders regarding internet use in that the interviewed women – particularly mothers – tended to use the internet more for work, household and children’s activity organisation while men tended to use it to obtain solitude. In particular, German women were more interested in trying out new online activities. Also, some interviewed men use the internet to exhibit their technological prowess. It seems that a reproduction of traditional gender roles is still apparent in the context of household internet usage, especially for parents.

  

‘Grounding the internet’: Categorising the geographies of locative media

Tanya Nitins and Christy Collis

The advent of mobile internet and GPS led some to predict ‘the death of geography’. With information no longer anchored to specific locations, there were concerns that geography would simply dissolve into a placeless, global ‘space of flows’. However, locative media is now shifting the focus away from placeless flows and back to geography. By equipping many mobile phones with GPS, locative media are now ‘grounding the internet’. This article provides an overview of existing literature and research in this field in order to develop a synthetic overview of the various types of locative media, and the geographies arising from them.

  

Investigating public service media as hybrid arrangements

Maureen Burns and Gay Hawkins

This theme issue of Media International Australia explores public service mediaas increasingly organised via hybrid arrangements that function at any given time according to diverse technologies, politics, people and economies, with the aim of understanding how these hybrid arrangements work and their consequences for the organisation of public media. The articles offer particular examples of hybrid arrangements at work in public service media institutions, and explore a range of questions relating to such arrangements. They also examine diverse examples of hybridity that arise when public service media strive to retain their heritage brand values while responding to new regulatory and economic environments.

 

Enacting public value on the ABC’s Q&A: From normative to performative approaches

Gay Hawkins

Is there anything left to say about public value and public service broadcasting (PSB) without lapsing into boosterism, special pleading, or wildly unsubstantiated claims about the role of PSB in making citizens and democracy? This article develops an alternative approach, one that considers publicness not as a pre-given or static value, but as something that has to be continually enacted or performed. Using recent debates in political theory, it examines the processes and ontological effects of what Latour calls ‘making things public’. It makes two assumptions. The first is that there is no such thing as ‘the public’ out there waiting to be addressed; rather, publics have to be called into being. The second is that there are a multiplicity of ways in which publicness can be assembled, and the challenge for PSB is to establish why its strategies are better. The example used is the ABC’s current affairs discussion show Q&A, which is investigated to see how it generates an ontology of publicness. In what ways is the notion of public address and assembly mobilised? How does the experience of a public as a form of what Warner calls ‘stranger sociability’ extend from the live audience to the household viewer? In what ways are the notions of public reason and rational discussion enacted and disrupted? And how does this enactment of publicness generate a sometimes poetic, anarchic or ribald shadow reality tweeted in from anonymous participants competing for public attention? Finally, how does it both reproduce and reinvent existing institutional regimes of value within the ABC?

 

Hybridisation of Slovene public broadcasting: From national community towards commercial nationalism

Zala Volčič and Melita Zajc

Public broadcasting institutions have existed as central and publicly funded national institutions, providing services in the public interest. The coincidence of technological, political and economic circumstances in the last 20 years or so, however, has challenged their monopoly position. Technological developments – specifically digitalisation – have expanded spectrum availability. In some cases, public television has been commercialised, privatised or marginalised by the introduction of commercial channels. This article focuses on a specific case study of the Slovene public broadcaster. It addresses the fate of public service television in the digital and post-communist era, tracing the transformation from state broadcasters to the era of digital delivery, audience fragmentation and commercial nationalism. It explores, on the one hand, the way in which public service broadcasters have embraced and capitalised on new forms of digital distribution and, on the other, how they continue to embrace national(istic) and commercial imperatives.

  

The business of multi-platform public service: Online and at a profit

James Bennett and Andrea Medrado

In this article, we explore the notion of hybrid public service media (PSM) in relation to two interconnected issues: economic and platform hybridity. We examine the creation of PSM content by privately owned, commercially driven independent production companies in the United Kingdom as a hybrid economic arrangement. In so doing, we ask not only whether public service can act as a motivation beyond profit for production cultures and business models, but also whether PSM can be created at a profit without compromising the fulfilment of public service values. In relation to platform hybridity, we study examples of interlinking public service content created, delivered and distributed across multiple platforms (as opposed to merely video-on-demand services). In particular, we are interested in how such multi-platform texts might fulfil public service, but also the way in which multi-platform content creation brings together digital and television production cultures to produce hybrid PSM business models and cultures.

 

Public service broadcasting and social networking sites: The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on Facebook

Hallvard Moe

Social networking sites have become staples in everyday life in many parts of the world. Public service broadcasters have ventured on to such services, aiming to reach new users. This move triggers a line of question about the borders between the public and the commercial, the control of content and the shifting power in media policy. Focusing on the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s use of Facebook, this article offers insights into what exactly is new about the challenges posed by social networking sites, and explores how this instance of hybrid arrangements impacts on our understanding of public service media.

  

Public service media utilities: Rethinking search engines and social networking as public goods

Mark Andrejevic

Far from being relegated to history’s dustbin by technological developments, a public service rationale is as pertinent as ever in the digital era, the capabilities of which lend themselves to the development of public service media. This article explores calls to regulate digital media platforms like Facebook and Google as public utilities, but concludes that, with the exception of regulations to facilitate user mobility and platform/network neutrality, it makes more sense to focus on the development of a robust public service media sector for the digital era. Such a sector would broaden the scope of public service beyond content production and distribution to include social media, search and other information-sorting and communication utilities. The article considers the rationale and scope for such a program, arguing that an era of information glut poses challenges that are distinct from those associated with the broadcast era of relative content scarcity.

 

Delicious market devices: ABC Magazines media kits

Maureen Burns

In this article, I examine ABC Magazine media kits, to explore the commercial relationships of ‘old’ non-broadcast public service media. ABC Magazines are entangled in complex arrangements with commercial organisations – News Ltd and Myer among them – in which each component benefits from boundary work that reassures ABC audiences that, whatever the commercial arrangement, we remain untainted by private and commercial imperatives. This analysis of the media kits of delicious, Gardening Australia and triple j magazine challenges some accounts of the public service nature of the ABC. ABC listeners, viewers, readers and users are not addressed or constructed primarily as citizens in these examples – even when they are using ABC content, and even when they may understand their relation to the ABC as non-commercial.  As ABC users, we operate as components of the ABC’s complex and hybrid economy, and are often addressed as both citizens and consumers – members of a market(s) and public(s) simultaneously.

 

Global nature, global brand: BBC Earth and David Attenborough’s landmark
wildlife series

Morgan Richard

Landmark wildlife series like Life on Earth (1979), Planet Earth (2006) and Frozen Planet (2011) are synonymous with the BBC, and are largely seen as unquestioned embodiments of its public service values. Yet the landmark format for wildlife programming was designed from its outset to appeal to international television markets, particularly the US market. This article examines the history and evolution of David Attenborough’s landmark series, tracing the development of the landmark format from its roots in the BBC’s programming policy of the early 1960s through broader changes in national and international television markets to the development of the global brand BBC Earth. Combining close analysis of landmark wildlife series with ethnographic interviews with BBC Natural History Unit staff and detailed archival research, the article focuses on the role of BBC wildlife documentary in debates about how public service media should be defined and understood. It is concluded that landmark wildlife series have always evinced the tensions between the BBC’s public service values and the need for these series to appeal to global television markets.

 

Reviews in This Issue

Balnaves, Mark and Wilson, Michele, A New Theory of Information and the Internet: Public Sphere Meets Protocol

Berry, David, (ed.), Revisiting the Frankfurt School: Essays on Culture, Media and Theory

Bourdieu, Pierre, Picturing Algeria

Cheong, Pauline Hope, Martin, Judith N. and Macfadyen, Leah P. (eds), New Media and Intercultural Communication:
Identity, 
Community and Politics

De Burgh, Hugo and Zeng, Rong, China’s Environment & China’s Environment Journalists

Deuze, Mark, Media Life

Fisherkeller, JoEllen (ed.), International Perspectives on Youth Media: Cultures of Production and Education

Fuqua, Joy V., Prescription TV: Therapeutic Discourse in the Hospital and at Home

Hand, Martin, Ubiquitous Photography

Holmevik, Jan Rune, Inter/vention: Free Play in the Age of Electracy

Kamalipour, Yahya R. (ed.), Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age: The 2009 Presidential Election Uprising in Iran

Keeble, Richard, Tulloch, John and Zollmann, Florian (eds), Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution

Krøvel, Roy and Roksvold, Thore (eds), We Love to Hate Each Other: Mediated Football Fan Culture!

Leaver, Tama, Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

Magnet, Shoshana Amielle, When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity

Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby, Greening the Media

McLane, Betsy A., A New History of Documentary Film, 2nd edn

Moore, Kerry, Gross, Bernhard and Threadgold, Terry, Migration and the Media

Paterson, Chris, The International Television News Agencies: The World from London

Putnis, Peter, Kaul, Chandrika and Wilke, Jurgen (eds), International Communication and Global News Networks: Historical Perspectives

Rabinovitz, Lauren, Electric Dreamland: Amusement Parks, Movies, and American Modernity

Rheingold, Howard, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

Rice, Ronald E. and Atkin, Charles K. (eds), Public Communication Campaigns

Richardson, Megan and Thomas, Julian, Fashioning Intellectual Property: Exhibition, Advertising and the Press 1789–1918

Sandvoss, Cornel, Real, Michael and Bernstein, Alina (eds), Bodies of Discourse: Sports Stars, Media and the Global Public

Sinha, Amresh and McSweeney, Terence (eds), Millennial Cinema: Memory in Global Film

Thomas, Pradip Ninan, Digital India: Understanding Information, Communication and Social Change

Turner, Graeme, What’s become of Cultural Studies?

 

 

 Lifestyle Media and Social
 Transformation
 in Asia 

 No 147, May 2013

 Theme Editors: Fran Martin, Tania Lewis
 and John Sinclair

 Buy this issue

 Subscription and order form

 Abstracts

 

Contents

Editorial

Sue Turnbull

ANZCA News

Chika Anyanwu

General Articles

The predictive power of political pundits: Prescient or pitiful?

Phillip Metaxas and Andrew Leigh

Digital literacies and the National Broadband Network: Competency, legibility, context

Bjorn Nansen, Rowan Wilken, Michael Arnold and Martin Gibbs

Media miracles: The separation of conjoined twins, and TV news
health coverage in low- and middle-income countries

Michelle Imison and Simon Chapman

The construction of Karen Karnak: The multi-author function

Emit Snake-Beings

 

Lifestyle Media and Social Transformation in Asia

Lifestyle media and social transformation in Asia

Fran Martin, Tania Lewis and John Sinclair

Scaling lifestyle in China: The emergence of local television cultures and the
cultural economy of place-making

Wanning Sun

Changing genres and language styles in contemporary Chinese lifestyle magazines

Ariel Chen and David Machin

Saigon style: Middle-class culture and transformations of urban lifestyling in post-reform Vietnamese media

Catherine Earl

Writing Onê: Deviant orthography and heternormativity in contemporary Japanese lifestyle culture

Claire Maree

Gender mores on Indian TV: The ‘respectable’ middle class and NDTV’s
The Big Fight

Sukhmani Khorana

Negotiating paternalism and the enterprising self in Taiwanese talent shows

Miaoju Jian

A world of flavour: Taste and text in Taiwanese tea culture

Scott Writer

The cultural politics of metropolitan and vernacular lifestyles in India Ramaswami Harindranath

Book Reviews

Edited by Susan Bye

 

Abstracts

 

The predictive power of political pundits: Prescient or pitiful?

Phillip Metaxas and Andrew Leigh

Although Australian political pundits frequently make predictions about the future, little systematic evidence exists about the accuracy of these predictions. To assess the predictive power of experts, we survey the transcripts of two well-known political programs – Insiders and Meet the Press – and record all falsifiable forecasts. Looking at the three months prior to both the 2007 and 2010 federal elections, we are struck by the paucity of falsifiable predictions, with most pundits heavily qualifying their predictions (so that they can never be said to be wrong). In 32 hours of television, we identify 20 falsifiable forecasts in our sample, of which we judge thirteen to be correct. We conclude with some suggestions for political talk shows, and for political scientists seeking to better analyse expert predictions.

 

Digital literacies and the National Broadband Network: Competency, legibility, context

Bjorn Nansen, Rowan Wilken, Michael Arnold and Martin Gibbs

This article reports on findings from an ethnographic study of fifteen participant households in North Hobart and Midway Point, Tasmania. Key themes emerging from this research have been gathered and presented here through the metaphor ‘digital literacy’. The first half of the article is concerned with developing a critical understanding of what is at stake in the notion, or metaphor, of digital literacy. The second half tests these understandings against our research. In our conversations with the people of North Hobart and Midway Point, we found evidence of digital illiteracy, and also evidence of the weaknesses of digital literacy as an explanatory trope. We group these findings using three themes: (1) the presence of instrumental literacy; (2) the illegibility of the NBN and its HSB services; and (3) structural conditions limiting the acquisition of the NBN and its HSB services. These three draw upon the digital literacy metaphor, but make its shortcomings clear, and the latter two in particular extend the metaphor from a personal deficit model to one that embraces technologies and social structures.

  

Media miracles: The separation of conjoined twins, and TV news health coverage in low- and middle-income countries

Michelle Imison and Simon Chapman

In November 2009, the successful surgical separation in Australia of conjoined twins from Bangladesh generated enormous domestic media interest. This article presents a thematic analysis of local television news and current affairs coverage about the twins. In addition to the predictable newsworthiness of a rare medical condition and its inherent drama, the narrative centred on opportunities to praise Australian medical skill and national character. This focus on identified individuals requiring advanced surgical intervention abroad contrasts with the dearth of coverage for health problems experienced by millions of anonymous individuals, more long-term and mundane health considerations or broader socioeconomic contexts of health in low- and middle-income countries. Reportage of foreign health appears contingent on populist ‘rule of rescue’ frames and arresting footage that resonate with audiences’ expectations of such nations. This article illuminates potential implications of this kind of reporting for the wider news space available to similar health stories.

  

The construction of Karen Karnak: The multi-author function

Emit Snake-Beings

The context of this article is the changes in authorship that have occurred within the comparatively recent developments of Web 2.0 and the emergence of interactive WikiMedia. The mode of authorship within a Read/Write culture, compared with that of a Read/Only tradition, is that the role of the audience has become merged with the author, and as such represents new functions and attributes. Modes of multi-authorship, demonstrated in the use of the pseudonyms Karen Karnak and Karen Eliot, represent declarative authors whose names signify multiple origins, while concurrently indicating a distinct body of work. The function of these names forms an important tool of deconstruction involving an experimental mode of multi-authorship utilising WikiMedia technology in the creation of a collective multi-author pseudonym, Karen Karnak. The article ends with a discussion of the implications of multi-authorship on the concept of the body of work, ownership and copyright.

 

Lifestyle media and social transformation in Asia

Fran Martin, Tania Lewis and John Sinclair

Across Asia, the past three decades have been marked by shared experiences of hyper-accelerated social, cultural and economic transformation. Consumer culture plays an increasing role in countries once dominated by socialism, and neo-liberal economic and social policies increasingly are being adopted by authoritarian statist regimes. More and more, governments address their citizens as individualised, sovereign consumers with reflexive ‘choices’ about their lifestyles and identities. One of the correlates of these processes of (neo-)liberalisation has been the emergence of new formations of consumption-oriented middle classes with lifestyle aspirations that are shaped by national, regional and global influences. How are everyday conceptions and experiences of identity and citizenship being transformed by rearticulated cultures of modernity across the region? This article draws upon the insights of existing Euro-American research on lifestyle culture and consumption, but extends its focus by relocating such concerns within the context of Asia and within a trans-national comparative frame. Examining how the rise of lifestyle media and culture is involved in a series of complex, local-level ideological contestations around emergent forms of sociality and identity across a range of geo-cultural sites, including India, China, Singapore and Taiwan, the authors challenge reductive assumptions about the global translatability and mobility of ‘Euro-modernity’.

 

Scaling lifestyle in China: The emergence of local television cultures and the
cultural economy of place-making

Wanning Sun

Media in China consist less and less of national-scale media, and more and more of media at a range of sub-national scales, including the region, province, municipality, county and village. In the television sector, local and provincial television has become national in terms of access, and television at sub-national levels has had to become much more intensely local and provincial as a way to achieve difference, and therefore survive and thrive in the competitive media market. Against this background, this article is a comparative analysis of the production, consumption and actual programs of lifestyle television between local/semi-rural, metropolitan and national television. It argues that a growing recognition of the appreciable value of the ‘local’ and ‘regional’ in the cultural economy of place-making has given rise to a plethora of place-specific media forms, and that scale plays a pivotal role in shaping distinct locality-appropriate taste, outlook and sensibility.

  

Changing genres and language styles in contemporary Chinese lifestyle magazines

Ariel Chen and David Machin

The magazine market in China has been changing steadily as global media corporations have brought their international titles into China and as local Chinese titles have had to transform in order to meet the changing market and the arrival of advertising-driven content. This article analyses the changing visual styles, linguistic genres and language styles in the women’s lifestyle magazine Rayli over the past ten years, showing how these increasingly seek to foster identities, ideas and values appropriate to a global culture ideology of consumerism.

  

Saigon style: Middle-class culture and transformations of urban lifestyling in post-reform Vietnamese media

Catherine Earl

Twenty-first-century Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the centre of style for a growing urban middle class in post-reform Vietnam. Over the past generation, since macro-economic reform (đổi mới), and with increased opportunities for business, education and travel, urbanites have been able to climb the social ladder and wield new forms of social power stemming from emerging lifestyle and consumption practices. Middle-class lifestyles have become the most desired models for living, providing an opportunity for the government to rely on the urban lifestyle media to convey its point of view to a receptive public. Engaging with Vietnam’s urban lifestyle media, this article argues that the impact of reform in Vietnam has been overstated. Popular women’s magazines reveal that continuities remain in the mode and content of the delivery of the state’s values
in the socialist past and the market-oriented present, even with the evolution of a modern mass media system.

 

Writing Onê: Deviant orthography and heternormativity in contemporary Japanese lifestyle culture

Claire Maree

Since the turn of the millennium, Japanese variety television has witnessed a revival in onê-kyara (queen personalities). In contemporary lifestyle media, the trans-gendered onê-personality figure is demonstrative of how suitable consumption and personal effort can bring forth the transformational happiness of the individual. The transgressive, radical potential of the figure of transformative non-normative gender is muffled by the onê-personality’s positioning within variety television as a friendly expert of extraordinary and often comical proportions. Language is one of the key sites where the tensions of critical expertise and
queerness are negotiated via synthetic friendship and comic relief. In lifestyle media, onê-kyara-kotoba (queen-personality-talk) is juxtaposed with conventional Japanese and emerging practices of digital orthography. This social practice of writing effectively facilitates the contemporary fetish of the onê (queen), and the consumption of homosexual and trans-gendered lifestyle experts selling the promise of heteronormative romantic love.

 

Gender mores on Indian TV: The ‘respectable’ middle class and NDTV’s The Big Fight

Sukhmani Khorana

While India’s booming entertainment channels are often examined for their lifestyle content, the nation’s equally vibrant English-language news networks can also be read as offering lifestyle-oriented content and advice. Talk shows of both the controlled panel debate and the more interactive studio audience discussion variety often veer into social commentary, particularly on issues pertaining to the transitioning social values of the middle classes, including normative gender. In light of this, this article examines a recent love, sex and marriage-themed episode of leading news channel NDTV 24x7’s debate-style talk show, The Big Fight. Such discussions are often cast among ‘respectable’ middle-class Indian households as being ‘too forward’ to watch with the family. Do the panelists on these shows simply articulate ‘respectable’ middle-class sentiments, or are they drawn from a wider social pool? What is the role of the host in re-mediating the material under discussion? How do studio audience questions impact on form and content? Most importantly, what role does such programming play in the ongoing transformation of gendered social norms among the middle classes in India today? These questions are considered within the broader framework of the transnational talk show genre and its appropriation in a specific instance in the contemporary Indian context.

  

Negotiating paternalism and the enterprising self in Taiwanese talent shows

Miaoju Jian

Talent shows have rocketed to popularity in Taiwan in recent years, as demonstrated in the high rating programs, One Million Star (超級星光大道) and Super Idol (超級偶像). This article focuses on the Taiwan talent show phenomenon as an exemplar of today’s contradictory and exploitable reality TV ‘celebrity economy’. Through the oft-repeated assertion of ‘yes, teacher’ (謝謝老師), Taiwan’s talent shows manage to combine a globalising self-enterprising ethos of neoliberal labour conditions with a Confucian-patriarchal culture. Within this context, powerful judges become mentors, with obedient contestants positioned as their apprentices. This article scrutinises the interdependence between this power-laden relationship in the talent shows and the self-enterprising practices of Taiwan’s entertainment industry. It argues that, rather than democratising the TV empire, these shows have, paradoxically, contributed to the revival and consolidation of the previously presumed to be outmoded figure of the ‘star authority’.

 

A world of flavour: Taste and text in Taiwanese tea culture

Scott Writer

The accounts of tea growing, manufacture and connoisseurship encountered in Taiwanese lifestyle media offer not only an introduction to one of the island’s most iconic agricultural products but also instruction in particular ways of thinking about the world. As they recount tasteful encounters with tea in its various manifestations from field to factory to cup, these texts delineate a shared discursive space traversed by tea farmers, tea manufacturers, tea drinkers, writers and readers. In this article, I consider how, in tracing each tea’s path through this imagined space, these texts question the relationship between the human and the non-human, and evoke ways of living and feeling that are thought to reconnect humanity with its others. Here, cultivating a taste for tea is conceived as a way of inducting tea drinkers and readers into a way of living by which anxieties born of the industrial food system might be overcome. This way of living is one in which cultivating a form of felt engagement with the taste and materiality of each tea is believed to offer a means of directly apprehending the larger constellation of human and non-human agencies from which both taste and life are thought to emerge.

  

The cultural politics of metropolitan and vernacular lifestyles in India

Ramaswami Harindranath

Using English-language and Tamil cookery shows on Indian television as examples, this article examines the complex cultural terrain traversed by contemporary Indian lifestyle TV, and argues that the gastro-politics inherent in such programming is indicative of the ways in which such shows appeal to and develop diverse social imaginaries in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multicultural society such as India. The article argues that these shows both enact the creative tensions intrinsic to contemporary neo-liberal forms of cultural nationalism and demonstrate the constitutive co-presence of the global, the national and the vernacular in contemporary Indian culture.

 

Reviews in This Issue

Bolt, Neville, The Violent Image: Insurgent Propaganda and the New Revolutionaries
Boyle, Raymond and Kelly, Lisa W., The Television Entrepreneurs: Social Change and the Public Understanding of Business
Chong, Sylvia Shin Huey, The Oriental Obscene: Violence and Racial Fantasies in the Vietnam Era
Cunningham, Stuart and Iordanova, Dina (eds), Digital Disruption: Cinema Moves On-line
Curran, James, Fenton, Natalie and Freedman, Des, Misunderstanding the Internet
Driscoll, Catherine, Teen Film: A Critical Introduction
Flynn, Michael and Salek, Fabiola F. (eds), Screening Torture: Media Representations of State Torture and Political Domination
Forman, Murray, One Night on TV is Worth Weeks at the Paramount: Popular Music on Early Television
Formica, Serena, Peter Weir – A Creative Journey from Australia to Hollywood
Fuller, Matthew and Goffey, Andrew, Evil Media
Gajjala, Radhika and Oh, Yeon J. (eds), Cyberfeminism 2.0
Gardner, Jared, The Rise and Fall of Early American Magazine Culture
Hains, Rebecca C., Growing Up With Girlpower: Girlhood on Screen and in Everyday Life
Halberstam, Judith, The Queer Art of Failure

Harper, Richard H.R., Texture: Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload
Jones, Paul and Holmes, David, Key Concepts in Media and Communications
Kraus, Jerelle, All the Art That’s Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn’t): Inside ‘The New York Times’ Op-Ed Page
McAnany, Emile G., Saving the World: A Brief History of Communication for Development and Social Change
Myer, Clive (ed.), Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice
Navasky, Victor C. and Cornog, Evan (eds), The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry
Sbardellati, John, J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood’s Cold War
Sinclair, John, Advertising, the Media, and Globalisation: A World in Motion
Snickars, Pelle and Vonderau, Patrick, Moving Data: The iPhone and the Future of Media
Sterne, Jonathan, MP3: The Meaning of a Format
Taylor, T.D., Katz, M. and Grajeda, T., Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio
Van Dijk, Jan, The Network Society, 3rd edn
Wark, McKenzie, Telesthesia: Communication, Culture & Class

 
 

 

 Sound Media, Sound Cultures

 No 148, August 2013

 Theme Editors: Karina Aveyard and Albert Moran

 Buy this issue

 Subscription and order form

 Abstracts

 

Contents

Editorial

Sue Turnbull

ANZCA News

Chika Anyanwu

General Articles

Henry Mayer Lecture 2013: Quis Custodiet …? Reflections of a Media Watcher

Jonathan Holmes

Familiarity breeds contempt? What the Australian Defence Force thinks of its
coverage in the Australian media, and why

Kevin Foster and Jason Pallant

Still not there: The continued invisibility of female athletes and sports in the
New Zealand print media

Simone French

Citizen contributions to professional news circuits: The case of the photo agency
Citizenside

Jérémie Nicey

Connecting, informing and empowering our communities: Remote Indigenous
radio in the Northern Peninsula area
Ian Watson
Localised audiences and transnational media: Media use by Iranian-Australians John Budarick

 

Sound Media, Sound Cultures

Introduction: Sound media, sound cultures

Karina Aveyard and Albert Moran

The Punk-Rock King: Musical anachronism in period film

Christopher Hogg

Changing genres and language styles in contemporary Chinese lifestyle magazines

Ariel Chen and David Machin

Australian gothic soundscapes: The Proposition

Johnny Milner

Vocal hierarchies in early Australian quiz shows, 1948–71: Two case studies

Albert Moran and Karina Aveyard

Record collectors: Hollywood record labels in the 1950s and 1960s

Cory Messenger

Phil Spector and the new movie soundtrack

Anthony May

Can you hear me now? Musical values, education and ‘voice’

Mark Rimmer

Top of the Tots: The Wiggles as Australia’s most successful (under-acknowledged)
sound media export
Liz Giuffre

Book Reviews

Edited by Susan Bye

 

Abstracts

 

Henry Mayer Lecture 2013: Quis Custodiet …? Reflections of a Media Watcher

Jonathan Holmes

During hearings for the inquiry into press regulation, one newspaper proprietor suggested to Ray Finkelstein QC that his journalists were ‘more afraid of Media Watch than of the Press Council’. To counter what he saw as the Australian Press Council’s ineffectiveness, Mr Finkelstein recommended a statutory News Media Council to enforce ethical and editorial standards on the print and online media. Although – judging by online comments – such a move might well have proved popular with consumers of news, the mainstream media rancorously opposed it on the grounds that it would threaten freedom of speech. The more cogent objection, however, was that would be unnecessary, and ineffective. Cases of individuals badly maligned, bullied or otherwise damaged by the media are comparatively few in Australia: those cited by Ray Finkelstein, on closer examination, were neither clear-cut nor amenable to regulation. And, while regulating accuracy is possible, regulating ‘fairness’ (especially if that means attempting to root out political bias) is well-nigh impossible. The opportunity for the most desirable reform to media regulation – a self-regulatory regime that would cover all media on all platforms – has been lost. But this article argues that the digital revolution might well provide solutions. Over time, it will dilute the dominance of the major news outlets in Australia – especially News Ltd. And for the first time, it affords injured or affronted consumers a means to band together and hit back at Big Media in ways that are both swift and effective. We are all Media Watchers now.

Familiarity breeds contempt? What the Australian Defence Force thinks of its coverage in the Australian media, and why

Kevin Foster and Jason Pallant

This article offers the first empirical study of the origins, nature and effects of Australian Defence Force (ADF) opinions about the Australian media’s coverage of Defence issues and ADF operations. It summarises the history of fractious military–media relations in Australia, and looks at the principal contributors to the current antipathy between the parties. It argues that while the media routinely denounce the military’s motivations in its dealings with the fourth estate, they have no means of understanding its rationale, as until now there has been no empirical analysis of what the military thinks of the media’s treatment of it and how these opinions have been shaped. The article then presents and examines the results of its survey of the 2011 intake at the Australian Command and Staff College. From an analysis of these results, it proposes why the ADF has such a low opinion of Australian media coverage of the armed forces, and examines the consequences of these opinions for current and future military–media relations.

Still not there: The continued invisibility of female athletes and sports in the New Zealand print media

Simone French

This research examined parity for female athletes compared with male athletes in the level of coverage received in the New Zealand print media in a year that did not contain either the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. Using content analysis, 562 sport news articles from the New Zealand Herald and the Dominion Post were analysed. The findings revealed that female athletes received 6.1 per cent of coverage compared with male athletes, who received 73.6 per cent; articles related to female athletes/sports had an average length of 432 words compared with 461 words for articles related to male athletes/sports. These data are a stark illustration that, even in a country where women led the world in achieving suffrage, continuing cultural change is not guaranteed.

Citizen contributions to professional news circuits: The case of the photo agency Citizenside

Jérémie Nicey

Citizenside, a French participatory news photo agency, is analysed here to measure the changing production of news. How do traditional circuits respond to new flows of news provided by ‘amateurs’? Is the latter term still valid? The concept of citizen news content is examined: its image largely depends on established media, which may feel threatened in the digital era. Citizenside, as a news agency, conducts its operations with established media. This model is of interest because of the technical tools employed to ensure the checking of photos and videos (reliable profiles, metadata, geo-location, web tracking of photos) and because of its ‘community management’, which strengthens the performance of contributors. Until 2013, Agence France-Presse held a 34 per cent stake in the company, which was acquired by Matilda Media subsidiary Newzulu.com. Citizenside exemplifies the move from user-generated content (UGC) to user-certified content (UCC).

Connecting, informing and empowering our communities: Remote Indigenous radio in the Northern Peninsula area

Ian Watson

This study provides an insight into the role and functions of a remote Indigenous radio station that broadcasts to five communities in the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) of Cape York, Queensland. It evaluates the activities of NPA Radio in the context of previous research that investigates how community-based media forms empower and inform specific sectors of society. Using field research, the study
reveals five key themes relating to the role of NPA Radio in the communities of Seisia, New Mapoon, Bamaga, Umagico and Injinoo. These can briefly be described as providing information and community news; maintaining and sharing culture; connecting the communities of the NPA; connecting individuals and key services; and fostering a sense of belonging and ownership.

Localised audiences and transnational media: Media use by Iranian-Australians

John Budarick

This article investigates the ways in which Iranian-Australians engage with Iranian state and diasporic media. Through a series of in-depth interviews, the article analyses the social, geographical and political factors that influence the use of Iranian media. While media have an important role to play among Iranians in Australia, the diverse nature of the audience, as well as the continuing importance of the political, social and cultural space of media production and consumption, must be taken into account. Participants in this study have an ambivalent relationship with Iranian media, with media produced in Iran, Australia and by the diaspora approached in different ways.

Introduction: Sound media, sound cultures

Karina Aveyard and Albert Moran

Sound is an ever-present, ever-changing component of communication and media. It has been a central part of the dramatic developments that have occurred in recording, screen exhibition, radio and television broadcasting and telecommunications technologies since the 1800s. Yet, in relation to audio-visual media forms in particular, sound is often seen as a secondary element – something that is subordinate to the visual immediacy and the assigned textual primacy of the image. The aim of this issue of MIA is to help redress this imbalance and reassert the place of sound within wider conceptualisations of media and culture. The articles engage with the significance of the aural from a wide range of perspectives, taking in its experiential and immersive characteristics in relation to screen media as well as the commercial contexts of sound and music and its role in identity-making and social organisation.

The Punk-Rock King: Musical anachronism in period film

Christopher Hogg

Music has a powerful indexical ability to evoke particular times and places. Such an ability has been exploited at length by the often-elaborate soundscapes of period films, which regularly utilise incidental scores and featured period songs to help root their narrative action in past times, and to immerse their audiences in the sensibilities of a different age. However, this article will begin to examine the ways in which period film soundtracks can also be used to complicate a narrative sense of time and place through the use of ‘musical anachronism’: music conspicuously ‘out of time’ with the temporality depicted on screen. Through the analysis of a sequence from the film W.E. (Madonna, 2011) and the consideration of existing critical and conceptual contexts, this article will explore how anachronistic soundtracks can function beyond ‘postmodern novelty’ or ‘nuisance’ to historical verisimilitude, instead offering alternative modes of engagement with story and history

Australian gothic soundscapes: The Proposition

Johnny MIlner

While recent studies demonstrate a significant increase in the level of interest in the soundtracks of Australian cinema, very little attention has focused on the way soundtracks can convey the ‘gothic’ within an outback-cinematic context. This article attempts to begin to address this issue by providing a close reading of the Australian gothic Western The Proposition – looking specifically to its sonic dimensions, namely the amalgam of score, dialogue and sound effects. The article argues that the film’s soundtrack draws from a range of Australian literary and cinematic tropes, and draws specifically on the aural and epistemological gothic traits of Australia, the outback and its perception as unfamiliar space during the time of settlement. Following this discussion, the focus shifts to ways in which The Proposition’s soundtrack foregrounds significations that offer new, and complex, articulations of a specifically ‘Australian gothic’.

Vocal hierarchies in early Australian quiz shows, 1948–71: Two case studies

Albert Moran and Karina Aveyard

This article examines the complexities involved in transferring content and genre from one media platform to another by emphasising the shifting, fragile yet stabilising part that sound can play in such a transformation. Early television is often labelled as a period of ‘radio with pictures’, and this intriguing designation directs our attention to this ‘moment’ of changeover. This analysis explores the parameters of sound in television’s displacement of radio as the primary broadcasting medium in Australia in the 1950s. We focus in particular on the role of the human voice (host, audience and contestants) in two early quiz shows – Wheel of Fortune and Pick-a-Box – that began on radio and were both successfully remade as television programs.

Record collectors: Hollywood record labels in the 1950s and 1960s

Cory Messenger

The affiliation between film and music is the cornerstone of modern entertainment industry synergy. This article examines one of the key chapters in that relationship: the period in the 1950s during which the major studios entered the record business. Ostensibly designed to capitalise on the emerging film soundtrack market, the flurry of mergers, acquisitions and the establishment of new record labels coincided with the rise of rock’n’roll and the explosion of the market for recorded popular music. The studios quickly found that in order to keep their record labels afloat, they needed to establish a foothold in popular music. The processes by which they achieved this transformed the marketing of recorded music, sparking a period of unprecedented commercial success for the record industry in the late 1960s. Simultaneously, from these record subsidiaries Hollywood learned how to market cinema to a youth audience, heralding the arrival of ‘New Hollywood’. 

Phil Spector and the new movie soundtrack

Anthony May

This article looks at the changes that occurred in pop music during the 1960s, which established the foundation for the reconfiguration of its relationship with film. The focus is on the work of producer Phil Spector and the radical changes that he brought to the medium of pop music in the early part of that decade. While the article stops short of suggesting that Spector was directly responsible for the transformation in cinema soundtracks heard in New Hollywood films from 1968 onwards, it does contend that his influence rendered pop music more accessible for movie soundtracks. Spector’s innovative studio manipulations, which were designed to remove the sonic dominance of the vocal, were at the centre of these transformations.

Can you hear me now? Musical values, education and ‘voice’

Mark Rimmer

This article addresses a number of questions concerning the use of music by young people. In particular, the argument presented seeks to bring to the fore a set of concerns whose significance is often overlooked or downplayed in debates about young people’s engagements with music. These relate to music’s capacity to function, on the one hand, in a way that reflects and embodies ethical and ideological commitments of varying kinds and, on the other, as a vehicle of expression through which people might ‘give an account’ of themselves. The article first surveys some of the ways in which scholars have conceived of the relation between forms of musical activity and their broader social force before turning to recent research and policy developments concerned with school-based music education in Britain and considering the ways in which certain forms and dimensions of young people’s expressive musical activity are granted legitimacy and state support while others are ignored or marginalised. The final part of the article reflects upon the foregoing discussion and introduces the concepts of ‘voice’ (Couldry, 2010) and ‘recognition’ (Honneth, 1995), to consider how the promotion of some musical values to the detriment of others has important implications for the ways in which young people understand the extent to which their claims – and not just cultural ones – are taken seriously within society.

Top of the Tots: The Wiggles as Australia’s most successful (under-acknowledged)
sound media export

Liz Giuffre

The Wiggles produce hugely successful CDs, DVDs and interactive entertainment for pre-school children. They are Top of the Tots, as their 2004 album of the same name proclaims. However, the artists have been largely overlooked by the popular music and media academies. I argue that this omission can be attributed to problems of categorisation, particularly existing frameworks in television studies that limit how we gauge ‘quality entertainment’ and its audience; and in popular music and sound studies traditions that are yet to formally engage with listeners who are of pre-school age. The Wiggles are artists whose target audience historically has been overlooked by sophisticated, diverse and evolving academic traditions. As a result, their pioneering cross-media and international successes have largely been ignored. In this article, I seek to explore The Wiggles in terms that go beyond the narrow parameters of ‘children’s entertainment’, offering more ‘grown-up’ ways to understand the group’s success.

Book Reviews in This Issue

Albury, Kath, Crawford, Kate, Byron, Paul and Mathews, Ben, Young People and Sexting in Australia: Ethics, Representation and the Law
Baker, Andrea, Virtual Radio Ga-Ga, Youths and Net Radio
Balcerzak, S. and Sperb, J. (eds), Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, Pleasure, and Digital Culture, Volumes 1 and 2
Buonanno, Milly, Italian TV Drama and Beyond: Stories from the Soil, Stories from the Sea
Burns, Maureen and Brügger, Niels (eds), Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web
Butterick, Keith, Introducing Public Relations: Theory and Practice
Cushion, Stephen, Television Journalism
Darian-Smith, Kate and Turnbull, Sue (eds), Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories
Dawson, Andrew and Holmes, Sean P. (eds), Working in the Global Film and Television Industries: Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage
Duhé, Sandra (ed.), New Media and Public Relations, 2nd edn
Eubanks, Virginia, Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age
Galloway, Alexander R., The Interface Effect
Garde-Hansen, Joanne, Media and MemoryHjorth, Larissa, Burgess, Jean and Richardson, Ingrid (eds), Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone
Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna, Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process
Linfield, Susie, The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence
Ling, Rich, Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society
Manjikian, Mary, Threat Talk: The Comparative Politics of Internet Addiction
Mitchell, Neil (ed.), World Film Locations: Melbourne
Naficy, Hamid, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 3: The Islamicate Period, 1978–1984
O’Donnell, Victoria, Television Criticism
Patterson, Patrick Hyder, Bought & Sold: Living & Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia
Postigo, Hector, The Digital Rights Movement
Røssaak, Eivind (ed.), Between Stillness and Motion: Film, Photography, Algorithms
Taylor, Jodie, Playing it Queer: Popular Music and Queer World-Making
Zhu, Ying, Two Billion Eyes: The Story of China Central Television

  

 

 Indigenous Media Practice 

 No 149, November 2013

 Theme Editors: Kerry McCallum and Lisa Waller

 Buy this issue

 Subscription and order form

 Abstracts

 

Contents

Editorial

Sue Turnbull

ANZCA News

Terence Lee

General Articles

Globalisation from within? The de-nationalising of Australian film and television production

Tom O'Regan and Anna Potter

Facebook in the university workplace

Aurora Francois, Aparna Hebbani and Sean Rintel 

Social media use during Japan’s 2011 earthquake: How Twitter transforms the locus of crisis communication

Seong Eun Cho, Kyujin Jung and Han Woo Park

Raising the golden goose: A retrospective analysis of the state’s role in China’s online game industry

Chun Liu

‘I want to leave Slovenia for a sunny, relaxed and open Australia’: Imagining Australia in Slovenia Zala Volčič and Karmen Erjavec

 

Indigenous Media Practice

Indigenous media practice

Kerry McCallum and Lisa Waller

Contemporary dynamics of Sámi media in the Nordic states

Lia Markelin and Charles Husband

Charting a theoretical framework for examining Indigenous journalism culture

Folker Hanusch

Unintended consequences: Satellite policy and Indigenous television

Ellie Rennie

@IndigenousX: A case study of community-led innovation in digital media

Melissa Sweet, Luke Pearson and Pat Dudgeon
Beyond the Bars: Prisoners’ radio strengthening community

Heather Anderson

Media practices and painful pasts: The public testimonial in Canada’s Truth and
Reconciliation Commission

Miranda J. Brady

The intervention of media power in Indigenous policy-making

Kerry McCallum and Lisa Waller

Land, listening and voice: Investigating community and media representations
of the Queensland struggle for land rights and equality
Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, Susan Forde and Michael Meadows
Discourse, deficit and identity: Aboriginality, the race paradigm and the language
of representation in contemporary Australia
Cressida Fforde, Lawrence Bamblett,
Ray Lovett, Scott Gorringe and Bill Fogarty
Temporal discourse and the news media representation of Indigenous–non-
Indigenous relations: A case study from Aotearoa New Zealand
Tyron Love and Elspeth Tilley

Book reviews

Edited by Susan Bye

 

Abstracts

 

Globalisation from within? The de-nationalising of Australian film and television production

Tom O'Regan and Anna Potter

Saskia Sassen argues that globalisation is taking place deep inside countries and ‘institutional domains that have largely been constructed in national terms’. This type of globalisation is localised to ‘national’ and ‘subnational’ settings, but is reorienting them towards global agendas and systems. The result is an unremarked de-nationalising of national policy domains, processes, activities and instruments. In this article, we argue that these globalising and de-nationalising processes are radically reshaping contemporary Australian film and TV production, and the terms and policy settings under which it is developed and monetised.

Facebook in the university workplace

Aurora Francois, Aparna Hebbani and Sean Rintel

Access to social network sites (SNS) in the workplace has been much debated. While some consider SNS a distraction, others consider them a tool for professional socialisation and
that recreational access positively impacts satisfaction. This exploratory study reports results from an online survey of employees from one faculty of an Australian university, exploring how they used Facebook at work and how they would react to a hypothetical Facebook ban. Three-quarters of respondents used Facebook at work, primarily for personal socialisation during breaks. Many self-imposed a strict personal/professional separation, but opposed a hypothetical SNS ban, perceiving it as an infringement on their workplace autonomy. It is argued that university employees – academic and professional – can be trusted to self-regulate access.

Social media use during Japan’s 2011 earthquake: How Twitter transforms the locus of crisis communication

Seong Eun Cho, Kyujin Jung and Han Woo Park

This article explores social media use during Japan’s 2011 earthquake. In the era of social media, this earthquake provides an opportunity for analysing the role of communication during a crisis. To explain how social media use transforms the locus of crisis communication, we collected sufficient data on tweets in Japan from the Twitter public timeline during the earthquake and examined the Japanese government’s Twitter account and its URLs. The results indicate that crisis communication on Twitter was led by peer-to-peer communication and relied on peer-generated information. In addition, the government’s traditional leadership role in exercising tight control over crises and facilitating disaster communication was not clearly apparent on Twitter. By examining the shift in the locus of crisis communication through social media, this study provides new insights into the current use of social media.

Raising the golden goose: A retrospective analysis of the state’s role in China’s online game industry

Chun Liu

Through a retrospective account of the evolution of China’s online game industry, this article examines the political, economic and cultural factors that have shaped the industry, with an emphasis on formal policy-making. Drawing on the theory of fragmented authoritarianism, this study finds that Chinese online games are deeply shaped by the political environment of the autocratic Chinese system, which features inter-ministerial competition, and intertwined state control and commercial interests. The current Chinese online market is combined with a strong private sector presence and a considerable government role. The Chinese government seems to have achieved its policy goal of helping Chinese companies to dominate the domestic market. However, to some extent the extensive and ambiguous government policy and regulations have restrained innovation. To that end, whether China can accomplish its three-stepped importation–substitution–creation strategy in this highly creative industry remains to be seen and warrants future investigation.

‘I want to leave Slovenia for a sunny, relaxed and open Australia’: Imagining Australia in Slovenia

Zala Volčič and Karmen Erjavec

This article deals with the imagery of ‘Australia’ in contemporary Slovenia. In an analysis of both Slovene media texts and interviews with 32 Slovenes who want to immigrate to Australia, we explore a constructed image of Australia. We closely consider the symbolic imagery that shapes our informants’ discourses about Australia in order to focus on sociocultural elements of migration, where the imagination plays a key role. We suggest that a closer examination of Slovene informants’ narratives about Australia will reveal more important contemporary global migration factors and the power of media in affecting potential migrants’ migration decisions. The article assesses the image of Australia in Slovenia, with the overall objective of demonstrating the urgency of critically rethinking the sense of belonging to both motherland and host country. We suggest that images and stereotypes of Australia are not just invented, but are also actively encouraged and negotiated within Slovene society.

Indigenous media practice

Kerry McCallum and Lisa Waller

This article introduces the Indigenous Media Practice special issue through a discussion of the aims and scope of the edition. It identifies three major currents in contemporary international research on media and indigeneity, which are reflected in the suite of scholarship presented here. The first is the importance of continuing to critically analyse
media systems, institutions and policies that enable and constrain the production and dissemination of information for, by and about Indigenous populations. The second emphasises media-related practices in specific media production and social policy contexts, and the third underlines the importance of interrogating underlying and pervasive societal discourses in understanding Indigenous media practice. The contributions to this themed issue highlight that there is a vibrant body of research among a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, typically working in teams in the pursuit of better understanding the relationships between media and indigeneity in both global and local contexts.

Contemporary dynamics of Sámi media in the Nordic states

Lia Markelin and Charles Husband

Although one people, the Sámi live in four different countries with different laws and regulations. The Sámi media landscape is thus shaped by four different political and economic frameworks, creating unique nationally defined environments. Simultaneously, the Sámi people are internally diverse, both in terms of language and identity. The media professionals within Sámi media need to navigate in an environment where there are several indigenous and majority languages, which raises questions about the fragmentation of potential audiences, and also about the role of the Sámi media in sustaining or undermining particular Sámi languages. Drawing upon recent interviews (2012) with Sámi media professionals, this article seeks to provide insight into the development of an expanding indigenous media infrastructure within the Nordic states and the homelands of Sápmi. It points particularly to the centrality of the national public service broadcast system in providing the political and infrastructural context for this development. The different political settlements between national governments and their Sámi populations significantly shape the wider political will that has framed this process. At the same time, while seeking to shed some light on the diverse Sámi media environment, this article also provides some insight into the professional and personal identities of the individuals working within the Sámi media world. The synergy between the wider media environment and the personal and professional endeavours of Sámi media professionals is central to the future development of the Sámi media environment of Sápmi.

Charting a theoretical framework for examining Indigenous journalism culture

Folker Hanusch

Indigenous media around the globe have expanded considerably over recent years, a process that has also led to an increase in the number of Indigenous news organisations.
Yet research into Indigenous news and journalism is still rare, with mostly individual case studies having been undertaken in different parts of the globe. Drawing on existing research gathered from a variety of global contexts, this article theorises five main dimensions that can help us to think about and empirically examine indigenous journalism culture. They include the empowerment role of Indigenous journalism; the ability to offer a counter-narrative to mainstream media reporting; journalism’s role in language revitalisation; reporting through a culturally appropriate framework; and the watchdog function of indigenous journalism. These dimensions are discussed in some detail, in an attempt to guide future studies into the structures, roles, practices and products of indigenous journalism across the globe.

Unintended consequences: Satellite policy and Indigenous television

Ellie Rennie

This article examines two instances of media policy involving satellite transmission and Indigenous television: the introduction of the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) platform in 2010 and the introduction of AUSSAT in the mid-1980s. The government’s failure to provide community and Indigenous broadcasters with an access regime at the time of AUSSAT resulted in Australia’s first and only Indigenous commercial television licensee, Imparja. Over a quarter of a century later, Imparja now forms part of the joint-venture company that runs VAST, a key component of Australia’s digital switchover planning. During the passage of the legislative amendments required to establish VAST, the issue of access resurfaced – this time in relation to Australia’s national and community Indigenous television channels. The article recounts the events leading up to the 2010 Bill, and examines the intended and unintended consequences of satellite policy in relation to Indigenous media, including equalisation and transparency of government funding programs.

@IndigenousX: A case study of community-led innovation in digital media

Melissa Sweet, Luke Pearson and Pat Dudgeon

The ever-increasing uses for social media and mobile technologies are bringing new opportunities for innovation and participation across societies, while challenging and disrupting the status quo. Characteristics of the digital age include the proliferation of user-driven innovation and the blurring of boundaries and roles, whether between the producers and users of news and other products or services, or between sectors. The @IndigenousX Twitter account, which has a different Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person tweeting each week, is an example of user-driven innovation and of how Indigenous voices are emerging strongly in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Its founder, Luke Pearson, a teacher and Aboriginal education consultant, wanted to share the platform he had established on Twitter for storytelling to an engaged audience. The account can thus be seen as a form of citizen, participatory, community or alternative journalism. This article provides a preliminary analysis of @IndigenousX, and suggests that this account and the diversity of Indigenous voices in the digital environment offer opportunities for wide-ranging research endeavours. Initiatives like @IndigenousX are also a reminder that journalism has much to learn from innovation outside the conventional realm of journalistic practice.

Beyond the Bars: Prisoners’ radio strengthening community

Heather Anderson

This article examines the connections between prisoners’ radio and community, drawing on a case study of an annual Indigenous prisoners’ radio project from Melbourne, Australia called Beyond the Bars, coordinated by community radio station 3CR. It demonstrates that an important aspect of prisoners’ radio is its ability, as a media form, to sustain relationships between those inside and outside of incarceration, and as a result maintain community connections. The success of Beyond the Bars as a whole can be attributed in part to the special relationship forged between the local Indigenous community and the radio station itself, which has featured over 30 years of Indigenous broadcasting.. 

Media practices and painful pasts: The public testimonial in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Miranda J. Brady

From the 1870s through the 1990s, more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were enrolled in government-funded, church-run Indian Residential Schools (IRS) in Canada. The schools reflected policies aimed at assimilating Aboriginal peoples into majority culture. Many Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their homes and suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuses. As part of its Mandate, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) collects testimonials from residential school survivors in various mediated forms to create a historical record. This article explores the TRC’s public statement-gathering process and the ways in which media practices shape and guide testimonials. It argues that the TRC encourages particular survivor narratives as it signals to speakers that they should anticipate the norms and uses of media and narrative guidelines. However, there is a layer of meta-narrative common in TRC statements, suggesting resistance to and subversion of the process. This article considers the nuances of First Nations testimonials against the backdrop of storytelling traditions.

The intervention of media power in Indigenous policy-making

Kerry McCallum and Lisa Waller

This article explores how media power impacts on policy-making in Indigenous affairs in Australia through an examination of the 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). The article draws on interviews with a range of actors in the policy constellation to discuss three intersecting factors contributing to this media-driven announcement: the Howard government’s political and policy aims for Indigenous affairs; policy bureaucrats’ increasingly mediatised practices; and the rise of conservative Indigenous spokespeople as key players in debates about Indigenous affairs policy. The article concludes that these factors have made a significant contribution to the manifestation of media power in the Indigenous policy-making process.

Land, listening and voice: Investigating community and media representations of the Queensland struggle for land rights and equality

Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, Susan Forde and Michael Meadows

For the most part, the story of the Australian Indigenous land rights struggle has been told by the Australian media – media that have attracted consistent criticism for their portrayal of Indigenous Australians. On the other hand, Australia boasts a vibrant and accomplished Indigenous media sector that has also told the land rights story from a different perspective, albeit to a much smaller audience. The authors are currently a part of a research team seeking to provide a critical analysis of historical and contemporary representations of the land rights movement and the broader struggle for indigenous rights and equality in Queensland. The project seeks to challenge the prevailing dialogue by focusing on the perspectives of people who have been (and still are) involved in the land rights movement. Prioritising and exploring such alternative perspectives will not only present the opportunity to reconsider the role of media representations, but will also enable an Indigenous ‘take’ on them to emerge. This article presents our approach and rationale, discussing the methodological possibilities and challenges of research with Indigenous communities, which ultimately seeks to redress media imbalance and injustice by a retelling that elevates Indigenous voices, stories and pictures.

Discourse, deficit and identity: Aboriginality, the race paradigm and the language of representation in contemporary Australia

Cressida Fforde, Lawrence Bamblett, Ray Lovett, Scott Gorringe and Bill Fogarty

Deficit discourse is expressed in a mode of language that consistently frames Aboriginal identity in a narrative of deficiency. It is interwoven with notions of ‘authenticity’, which in turn adhere to models of identity still embedded within the race paradigm, suffering from all of its constraints but perniciously benefiting from all of its tenacity. Recent work
shows that deficit discourse surrounding Aboriginality is intricately entwined within and across different sites of representation, policy and expression, and is active both within and outside Indigenous Australia. It thus appears to exhibit all the characteristics of what Foucault has termed a discursive formation, and its analysis requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Developing research overseas on the prevalence and social impact of deficit discourse indicates a significant link between discourse surrounding indigeneity and outcomes for indigenous peoples. However, while there is emerging work in this field in Aboriginal education, as well as a growing understanding of the social impact of related behaviours such as lateral violence, the influence of deficit discourse is significantly under-theorised and little understood in the Indigenous Australian context. This article will problematise the issues and explore theory and methods for change.

Temporal discourse and the news media representation of Indigenous–non-Indigenous relations: A case study from Aotearoa New Zealand

Tyron Love and Elspeth Tilley

Time is a particularly powerful construct in postcolonial societies. Intermeshed with discourses of race, place and belonging, European ideas of time as linear, Cartesian and chronological function as enduring discursive categories that frame public debate within conceptual legacies from colonialism. There is substantial evidence internationally that modernist and mechanical temporal discourses of progress and efficiency have impeded Indigenous aspirations, including attempts to achieve sovereignty. In this article, we use a critical whiteness studies framework, and a critical discourse analysis methodology, to make visible the temporal assumptions in mainstream news articles from Aotearoa New Zealand. These articles, from influential, agenda-setting media, discuss crucial issues of indigenous rights, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi negotiations. Our analysis shows that they do so within a culturally specific, Western temporal framework, which limits their ability to provide balanced, informative coverage of the issues at stake.

Book Reviews in This Issue

Asultany, Evelyn, Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation After 9/11
Athique, Adrian, Digital Media and Society: An Introduction
Bowman, Paul, Culture & the Media
Cooper, L. Andrew, Dario Argento
Crisell, Andrew, Liveness & Recording in the Media
Faulkner, Sally, A History of Spanish Film: Cinema and Society 1910–2010
Hills, Matt, Blade Runner
Lewis, Jeff, Global Media Apocalypse: Pleasure, Violence and the Cultural Imaginings of Doom
Lowe, Gregory Ferrell and Steemers, Jeanette (eds), Regaining the Initiative for Public Service Media
Manyozo, Linje, Media, Communication and Development: Three Approaches
Moran, Albert, TV Format Mogul: Reg Grundy’s Transnational Career
Ortner, Sherry B., Not Hollywood: Independent Film at the Twilight of the American Dream
Pertierra, Anna Cristina and Turner, Graeme, Locating Television: Zones of Consumption
Peters, Chris and Broersma, Marcel (eds), Rethinking Journalism: Trust and Participation in a Transformed News Landscape
Reagle, Joseph Michael Jnr, Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia
Rich, B. Ruby, New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut
Thomas, Pradip Ninan and Lee, Philip (eds), Global and Local Televangelism
Tulloch, John and Blood, R. Warwick, Icons of War and Terror: Media Images in an Age of International Risk
Waisbord, Silvio, Reinventing Professionalism: Journalism and News in Global Perspective
Wharton, Chris (ed.), Advertising as Culture
Winn, Emmett J., The American Dream and Contemporary Hollywood

 

Go to top
((analytics))