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Just how democratic is the me me me media?

  • 04 April, 2007 15:10

<p>From blogs to community radio, MySpace to activist zines, media making
is becoming an everyday activity for a growing number of people around
the globe.</p>
<p>An international conference next week (9 to 13 April) at the University
of Technology, Sydney will explore the possibilities and the challenges
for the democratic potential of media.</p>
<p>One of the organisers of OURMedia VI, Dr Tanja Dreher from UTS, said
that until recently, media participation was largely restricted to
community and alternative media.</p>
<p>"Now it is a widespread phenomenon," she said. "Online mainstream news
sites encourage readers to participate through blogs while others, like
OhmyNews in South Korea, are substantially written by readers.</p>
<p>"Rupert Murdoch purchased MySpace with the intention of turning a free
social network into a colossal marketing machine. What is the future of
community and alternative media within this landscape?"</p>
<p>The conference brings together international and national media
scholars, researchers and journalists, activist and community
development practitioners to discuss ways to ensure a sustainable future
for community and alternative media.</p>
<p>OURMedia VI will be addressed by several internationally renowned
speakers including John D.H. Downing, Professor of International
Communication at Southern Illinois University, USA; and Stuart Allan,
Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England, UK.</p>
<p>In addition to speakers from around the globe, the conference will focus
on community and participatory media in Australia and the Pacific with a
highlight on Western Sydney.</p>
<p>There will be video screenings and scholarly presentations, engagements
by media activists and community cultural development officers, policy
workshops, community roundtable debates, media labs, research-led forums
and field trips to local media initiatives during the five-day conference</p>
<p>OURMedia is an international network and forum founded in 2001 by a
group of academics interested in advancing the democratic potential of
community, alternative and "citizens" media. OURMedia is now a network
of over 500 people from 50 countries and has generated an extensive body
of media and journalism practical and theoretical knowledge.</p>
<p>OURMedia VI will be hosted by the School of Communication Arts at the
University of Western Sydney in association with the UWS Centre for
Cultural Research and UTS.</p>
<p>It will held from Monday 9 April to Friday 13 April in the Peter Johnson
building, UTS City campus, 702-730 Harris Street, Ultimo.</p>
<p>For more on the program and speakers, visit the conference website:</p>
<p>Further Information:
Dr Juan Salazar, 0433 848 291</p>
<p>Dr Tanja Dreher, 0417 464 030</p>
<p>Alejandra Canales, 0430 392 435</p>

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