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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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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Jury Research Paper Into Witness Credibility Available Now

August 5, 2013

Professor Ian Coyle has produced a witness credibility report for the jury research project. His report was submitted to The Criminal Lawyers Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Based on the notion that witness credibility is integral for a fair trial, the report extrapolates on juror assessment of reliability and witness behaviours to deliver recommendations for the Association. In the first research of its type into determining a juror’s assessment of witness credibility, participants completed a questionnaire on behavioural indicia of deception, before being divided into further experimental conditions.

Interestingly, the results showed support for the proposition that information provided to jurors produced either by judicial directions or by way of expert evidence can correct juror misconceptions of behaviour indicative of deception. This was unexpected and allowed for an in-depth discussion of the results.

To learn more, click the link to the full report below:

Coyle, I – Witness Credibility Report 2013

© Institute for Law, Government and Policy

DisabilityCare Australia ‘Discover’ Guide Now Available

August 1, 2013

Earlier this year, the Institute’s ‘Discover’ Guide was singled out and praised for its utility and value within the framework of the Practical Design Fund. Produced in conjunction with the Endeavour Foundation, the Guide is the primary resource for people with disability, their families and carers, and the disability sector in preparing for the transition to DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Extensive information is provided in the resource, as well as Easy-Read sections to facilitate support through all stages of planning.

Copies can be downloaded through the links below, or ordered through the Endeavour Foundation:

Discover Book

Fact Sheets Easy Read

Fact Sheets Parents

© Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

Project to Reduce Risk in Fitness Facilities Unveiled

May 23, 2013

Researchers from the University of Ballarat’s Centre for Healthy and Safe Sport (CHASS) are collaborating on a project led by Professor Patrick Keyzer into improving risk management in fitness facilities.

The study is funded by an ARC Linkage project with industry partners Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia.

Professor Patrick Keyzer, from the Bond University’s Law Faculty, who is heading the research project, said the project would have major implications for the future of the fitness industry and its risk management practices nationally.

Professor Finch of CHASS said: “We want to give the fitness industry the best advice about how to reduce both legal risks for its businesses and injury risks for those who use fitness facilities for their physical activity.

“Before we can do this we need to know what the current views and practices are of people employed in the fitness industry,” Professor Finch said.

“For this reason, we are conducting a nationwide survey to hear from as many fitness industry employees as possible about the issues they face.”

The survey is available on line at until  21 June.

“It is particularly important that the survey includes the views of people from regional cities, not just the capital cities,” Professor Finch said.

“The Ballarat region is a hub of fitness activities and we want to ensure that we can continue to achieve public health goals of ensuing more people are more active, more often through remaining injury free.

“For this reason, we would like to encourage as many people as possible from our region to complete the survey and have their say.”

[* Note: This entry was first posted to the University of Ballarat’s News page, ]

Juries and Social Media – Report Out Now!

April 17, 2013

The Institute’s team members were recently engaged by the Victorian Department of Justice on behalf of the Standing Council on Law and Justice to:

1. Conduct a literature review of existing research and studies that discuss the use of social media by empanelled jurors and in particular the purpose and effect of such use and describe this research and these studies.

2. Review any policy implemented in interstate or overseas (Commonwealth) jurisdictions that aims to address potential prejudice caused by a juror’s access to and use of social media, and provide details regarding whether any policy has been successful.

The report is out now and has already received attention in the Sydney Morning Herald today: Trial via social media a problem for courts

To view the report, click here:

Juries and Social Media Report