Stopping Social Media-Is This Evidence Of Its Impact?

March 20, 2014

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media, editor of the International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society, and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

Speaking at Dublin City University in February 2014, my presentation was titled: “Uprising: What happens next?”I addressed the political chaos in Egypt where reports of the influence of Social Media and the impact of the Internet have been strong. In my view Social Media has been generating hyper-fragmentation among interest groups in society, giving rise to “ideological grooming” which continues apace.Researchers are notoriously brave or reckless in theorizing technological determinism in the quest for democracy. Count me in that lot.Now there is evidence of real impacts as opposed to marketing claims from techo-boosters parading as researchers – I know the terrain is complex, but the point is worth making less researchers become corporate shills. (definition of shill: a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty).Turkey Prime Minister quote:”We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook,” Erdoğan said in an interview late on Thursday with the Turkish broadcaster ATV. “We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way.”

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Ukraine Readers On The Public Interest

February 27, 2014

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media, editor of the International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society, and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

This week has been momentous for the Ukraine. In Europe – or at its doorstep – live ammunition has been used against protesters, killing perhaps hundreds.And this week, more people than ever in Ukraine read my blog. It was the blog about public broadcasting and the public interest. It is 16 people so far, a tiny number. However the “surge” in readership suggests an interest in the relationship between the state and public broadcasters, between private interests and government.This is the political economy of media.

There are differing sets of questions and concerns:

  • how government media institutions respond to vested interests;
  • how public broadcasters respond to governments;
  • and a third set of interests is what private media companies do.

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Turn Down The Heat:

February 19, 2014

Dr Damien Lockie, Director of Clean Energy Research, Institute for Law, Government and Policy, reports on the observed changes in the climate system and impacts on atmosphere, ocean and sea levels, the cryosphere and projections for the future.  Click the link below to view the PowerPoint slides.

Turn Down the Heat – The State of the Climate and Australia


ABC Radio Interview: Fitness Industry Research Shows Surprising Results

February 17, 2014

Recent hospitalisation of 25-year old, Gold Coast resident Shanteece Smith, following a personal training session, sparked in interest in research on legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.

Following her training session, Ms Smith suffered rhabdomyolysis, a condition which causes the body’s muscles to break down and release muscle fibre into the body’s bloodstream.

ABC Gold Coast’s Nicole Dyer recently interviewed Professor Patrick Keyzer, Director of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy and Lead Investigator of the team’s national research study.  Nicole asked what concerns Professor Keyzer has about the way the fitness industry operates.

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Is The Public Interest Served By Public Broadcasting?

February 7, 2014

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media, editor of the International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society, and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

In the past couple of  months several news articles and print media discussion pieces have assessed moves against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) the national public broadcaster. Late in January, the ABC’s journalism was called into question by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, for its coverage of refugees seeking to escape into Australian territorial waters from Indonesia. Abbott statementsIt was a nationalist-centric set of comments that is notable for the way it coinstructs the ABC role as one that offers preferential reportage of Australian interests:”Prime Minister Tony Abbott has berated ABC News, arguing that it is taking ”everyone’s side but Australia’s” and that journalists should give the navy the ”benefit of the doubt” when it comes to claims of wrongdoing.”

Following this outburst, and a somewhat less subtle one last year from Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who asked if teh ABC was promoting the national interest. Bishop the role of public broadcasters has become a hot target for conservatives. The ideals of a public broadcaster like the ABC are independence and criticism, hallmarks of the modernist model of society.
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The Fragility Of Liberty In Australia

January 21, 2014

By PATRICK KEYZER, Professor of Constitutional Law.

Last week the Queensland Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie MP, decided not to appeal two decisions of the Queensland Court of Appeal, handed down on 6 December last year, striking down the Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declarations) Act.

The Public Interest Declarations Act, enacted on 17 October 2013, was the latest in a decade of reforms to the law governing the preventive detention of serious sex offenders.

The Act authorized the Attorney-General to “request” the Governor of Queensland “in Council” to make a “public interest declaration” that a sex offender released from detention by the Queensland Supreme Court or the Queensland Court of Appeal should be returned to prison if it was in the public interest to do so.

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The Attorney-General Learns About The Separation Of Powers

January 16, 2014

By PATRICK KEYZER, Professor of Constitutional Law.

On 18 October last year I tweeted that the Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declarations) Act was unconstitutional.

For those of you who haven’t been following this debate, or haven’t been following it closely, on 17 October 2013 the Newman Government enacted legislation that authorised the Queensland Attorney-General (at present, Jarrod Bleijie), to ask the Governor to make a “public interest declaration” that a sex offender released from detention by the Queensland Supreme Court or the Queensland Court of Appeal should be returned to prison if it was in the public interest to do so.

Just repeating that for emphasis: a politician could have the Governor (who in our tradition of responsible government must act on the advice of that politician) to send a person back to prison when they have been released by a court.

In short: this law would allow a politician to send a person to prison.

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