Prof. Lizzie Jackson will be opening this very first season of IAPMR@Dialogues with a webinar on “Bricolage & Fluidity: Towards ‘Post Channel’ PSM?“, with responses by Madiana Asseraf-Jacob (Head of Business Development & Young Audiences, EBU Media) and Vilde Schanke Sundet (University of Oslo). Young people think in terms of media universes (rather than television and radio channels) composed of linked ‘bricolage’ blending professional and publicly-generated content. Evidence from Glowaki and Jackson’s (2019) suggests a more fluid, entrepreneurial, PSM structure and culture is required. However, is it possible to power such media landscapes without radically changing the internal structure of PSM?
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We often think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a thing of the immediate future. We are constantly bombarded by slogans of AI coming to change our life, whether we like it or not. We are reassured it will be a better life. A better capitalism. A better environment. From smart devices, to home voice assistants, image recognition and translation, AI is offered as the solution to the greatest challenges of this age. This portrayal of AI as a benevolent deity has a crucial effect: it obfuscates the materiality of the infrastructures and devices that are central to its functioning. In her new book Is AI good for the planet? (Polity, 2021). Benedetta Brevini asks us to think about AI in a different, and more material way than most of us have in the past.
In all its variety of forms, AI relies on large swathes of land and sea, vast arrays of technology, and greenhouse gas emitting machines and infrastructures that deplete scarce resources in their production, consumption and disposal. AI also relies on data centres that demand excessive amounts of energy, water and finite resources to compute, analyse and categorize. Firmly situated in the critical tradition of political economy of communication, Brevini’s work forces us to reconsider the way we look at AI. For the first time, Is AI good for the planet? brings the climate crisis to the centre of debates around AI developments.
Clearly, there are other important concerns about AI: from moral and ethical appeals for caution concerning use of AI in military operations, to loss of human expertise in safeguarding human rights (public health and the judiciary), from algorithmic racial and gender biases to fears that AI will make human labour redundant. However, Brevini argues, if we lose our environment, we lose our planet. So, we must understand and debate the environmental costs of AI.
Benedetta Brevini is a journalist, media activist and Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Sydney. Before joining the academy she worked as journalist in Milan, New York and London for CNBC and RAI. She writes on The Guardian’s Comment is Free and contributes to a number of print and web publications including Index of Censorship, OpenDemocracy and the Conversation. She is the author of Public Service Broadcasting Online (2013) and editor of Beyond Wikileaks (2013). Her latest volumes are Carbon Capitalism and Communication: Confronting Climate Crisis (PalgraveMacmillan, 2017), Climate Change and the Media (Peter Lang, 2018), and Amazon: Understanding a Global Communication Giant (Routledge, 2020). Is AI good for the planet? (Polity,2021) is her newest work.
Karen Donders (VRT) and the commentators Anette Alen-Savikko (University of Helsinki), Hilde Van Den Bulck (Drexel University), and Klaus Unterberger (ORF) will be in charge of the second IAPMR@Dialogue, Building Bridges: PSM law, theory and practice. In this webinar they will discuss the practices of #PSM across Europe, including the rules that govern Public Service Media at both the EU and the National Member State level. They will also explore challenges to the theories of #PublicServiceBroadcasting which have developed an ideal-type public broadcaster based on the well-funded BBC in an atypical media market. Seeking to further explore the actual practices of Public Service Media and make recommendations for the development of more sustainable policies, this webinar will highlight case studies of rules and practices from across a variety of EU Member States to consider the extent to which public broadcasters are making the transition to public media.
The event is based on Donders’ award-winning new book: https://www.routledge.com/…/Donders/p/book/9781138477056
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Facebook has fundamentally changed how the world connects. No other company has played a greater role in the history of social networking online. Yet Facebook is no longer simply a social networking site or social media platform. Facebook is Facebook.
Taina Bucher shows how Facebook has become an idea of its own: something that cannot be fully described using broader categories. Facebook has become so commonplace that most people have a conception of what it is, yet it increasingly defies categorization. If we want to understand Facebook’s power in contemporary society and culture, Bucher argues, we need to start by challenging our widespread conception of what Facebook is. Tracing the development and evolution of Facebook as a social networking site, platform, infrastructure and advertising company, she invites readers to consider Facebook anew. Contrary to the belief that nobody uses Facebook anymore, Facebook has never been more powerful.
Taina Bucher is an Associate Professor in screen cultures in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo. She studies the relationships and entanglements between algorithms, social and political concerns – examining how users experience and make sense of algorithmic power and politics. She is also the author of the book IF … THEN: Algorithmic Power and Politics (published in 2018 by Oxford University Press). Taina teaches and supervises digital media-related topics. From 2013-2019, Taina worked as an Associate Professor in Communication and IT, University of Copenhagen.
For the third of this season’s IAPMR@Dialogues, prof. Christian Fuchs will be speaking about “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and Public Service Media in the Age of Digital Capitalism and COVID-19”, a webinar that will be joined by prof. Slavko Splichal (University of Ljubljana) as a respondent.
Christian Fuchs takes the 60th anniversary of Jürgen Habermas’ book The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere as an occasion to outline some foundations of an empirically grounded critical theory of the #PublicSphere in 21st-century society. He will discuss theoretical foundations and present the results of empirical research on the digital public sphere. He will give special attention to digital capitalism, COVID-19, public service media, and the Internet as aspects of the 21st-century transformation of the public sphere.
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Much has been written about the more deleterious dimensions of social media websites, platforms, and apps, from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to Instagram and Snapchat, dating apps like Tinder, and more recent apps like TikTok. We are all more than familiar with critiques of social media corporate and government surveillance, the commodification, expropriation and exploitation of user-provided data, the tailoring and curation of content, and of course recent dilemmas focused on fake news tying our use of social media to international cyberwarfare. Given all of these potential problems, why don’t we just give up and abandon our attachment to social media? How might we grapple with the exploitative and anti-democratic aspects of social media set against the kinds of enjoyment that it procures?Despite some of these problems, Matthew Flisfeder argues that social media helps us to grasp the co-ordinates, not merely of our trouble with machines and new media, but with the larger totality of twenty-first century capitalism. Conceiving social media as a central metaphor for our historical present, Flisfeder proposes extending the concept to its fullest potentials. Instead of abandoning the concept, Flisfeder argues that the term social media helps us to render what is problematic about contemporary neoliberal capitalism, proposing that it is only by pursuing and failing to achieve a truly authentic social media as our goal that we are best positioned to understand the real contradictions of our time, as well as dominant forms of subjectivity, consciousness, and enjoyment.
Matthew Flisfeder is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communications at The University of Winnipeg (Canada). He is the author of Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (Northwestern UP 2021), Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner (Bloomsbury 2017), The Symbolic, The Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and co-editor of Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).
Ethics is becoming an increasingly important area of consideration when working with geographic data.
In industry, concerns over privacy, ownership of data and how data is used form part of project planning. For students, geography research ethics has often focused on notions of consent related to traditional research methods such as surveys or interviews.
However, new sources of geographic data, such as that collected through social media or open-source satellite imagery, present new ethical issues. So do the applications of these data, with old issues of data presentation still present, but joined by questions such as who is liable if the data cause a death, such as with self-driving cars.
In this workshop we will:
- Explore questions of ethics in geography and in using geographic data
- Share key resources and texts that help to integrate these questions into the curriculum and NEA
- Look at examples of problem-based learning that encourage critical thinking in relation to geographic ethics
Doug Specht is a Chartered Geographer, Chartered Teacher, and the Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Westminster. His research examines how knowledge is constructed and codified through digital and cartographic artefacts, focusing on development issues in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has written extensively on geographic data ethics and among other publications is co-editor of the forthcoming The Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technology and Society.
This event will be run online via Microsoft Teams. Details of how to access the event will be sent out via email approximately a week before the event date. If this email does not reach you, please contact us (preferably before the day of the event) at firstname.lastname@example.org
We anticipate that this event will be very popular. Please only reserve yourself a space if you are sure you are attending, otherwise you may prevent another teacher from accessing the event.