In my Media Inquiry submission I attempt to isolate a problem that is emerging involving the fabrication of debate in the specific context of the complex media ecologiez of cross-platform media enterprises. One way to think about this is that journalists or media personalities operating as part of different platforms address each other in such a way as to produce a micro ‘echo chamber’. I describe this as an ‘apparatus of capture’ as it is a way to use niche or specialist media channels and correlative media platforms to assemble a ‘mass’ audience from the aggregated niche audiences.
This can happen ‘accidentally’ as a ‘real’ news story can emerge that is actual news and to some nonsense propaganda produced for the purposes of shifting, for example, political discourse. An example of this is the current furor over Kyle Sandilands’s comments about a News.com.au journalist. How is this an example?
Original story by Alison Stephenson published on News.com.au
Sandilands abusive on-air comments. Sandilands writes for News Ltd platforms.
Story broke by mUmbrella, a non-News Ltd online media enterprise servicing the advertising and media industries.
There were a number of tweets about the mUmbrella story last night. If I have time when I am not at a conference, then I’ll add links to these.
David Penberthy (@penbo) at the News Ltd publication, The Punch, launches a resolutely vitriolic attack at Sandilands and his on-air behaviour.
News.com.au editor Paul Cogan publishes a ‘breaking’ story at roughly 10am the day after that addresses Sandilands’s comments.
As more is published I shall return to this post and add more detail. It will be interesting to see which media outlets publish stories on this.
I’ve briefly discussed the prospect of running a virtual reading group for Brian Massumi’s Semblance and Event with various people on Twitter. So far there is interest from Andrew Murphie, Matt Wall-Smith and Troy Rhoades. Any other takers?
Edit: Hollman Lozano is in.
I am imagining an event not unlike the kinds of ‘blog festivals’ that used to be hosted across a number of blogs 4 or 5 years ago. The basic structure of these events was organized around a series of relatively long engagements with a set text posted to the ‘host’ blog for that week. The schedule is circulated ahead of time to encourage readers to also prepare for that week’s ‘host post’. This mode of blog-based discussion also provides everyone the opportunity to lead discussion for a given week, which is a more organized (productive) and democratic/collaborative.
Now we need to agree on a schedule and a timeline. I suggest a basic fortnightly schedule with a post followed by a predetermined respondent a week later, with other participants (or whoever) posting/responding as they liked. I volunteer to go first if there are no other takers.
In terms of content, there is a spectrum from writing up notes on the text with limited commentary to reflecting on the arguments/themes/concepts of the text in the context of one’s own project. I am happy to read any engagements. I try to write somewhere in the middle, but more on the note-writing end. What do others think?
Also, there are a number ways to engage with the text and segment it in a suitable fashion. Following the structure of the book is the simplest method. Rather more complex is to read Massumi in a ‘Deleuzian’ way, isolating the problematics that he is engaging and for which he is developing concepts (‘semblance’, ‘fusion’, etc) to address (not ‘solve’ as much as reproblematise). Again, I think any engagement, appropriately contextualised, should be welcomed. Lastly, diversity of mode should also be welcome (text, image, video, audio, etc.).
I am presenting next Thursday to the research cluster I am part of at the University of Canberra. It is actually the day after I get back from Melbourne for the Media Traditions conference. I’ve been thinking strategically about what I need to do as part of developing a ‘track record’. Developing a track record is part of my job as an ECR. I have a much longer version of this that basicaly outlines my strategy, and after I present to my cluster and get some feedback I shall post it here.
Enough ROPE? Reflection on ECR Strategy for Building a Track Record
Demonstrating ‘track record’ is one of the necessities for ARC grant applications. The ARC research grant funding application assessment process replaced ‘track record’ with a measure of research performance relative to research opportunity (a.k.a. Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE)) in 2009. As an ECR, I shall reflect on the industry-agreed characteristics of this requirement and present a strategy for developing a track record as an extension of my PhD research. The strategy straddles three primary areas that are suitable for my current institutional context: publishing record, developing ‘research opportunities’ and leveraging professorial connections. I shall present my 2-3 year strategy to the cluster and welcome feedback, critique, libelous slander, etc. It will also be an opportunity to present a broad overview of my past, present and future research ambitions to the cluster.