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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Dynamics Of Virtual Work – European Cooperation In Science And Technology (COST)

April 29, 2013

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.

April 8-10, Darmstadt, Germany, first COST Action. Invited as a non-EU COST member, funded by the Australian Academy of Science.

23 years after Arjun Appadurai’s essay Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy appeared this COST Action offers a concerted way forward for the discussion of work and labour. Article link

While Appadurai’s five dimensions of global cultural flows are still relevant – ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, ideoscapes – the context has changed. The European Union and the US are counterbalanced by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Multipolar economies operate at a ridiculously rapid speed, offering less rather than more space for comprehending how the systems fit together. That has produced rather less comfort for regulators and the public interest, as private interests sometimes with the active support of national governments have aggressively encouraged wage / labour arbitrage. Massive profits have become typical of this new context, while government oversight has been minimal.

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Australian Cultural Digital Facilitation: National Questions Of Culture-Commerce-Convergence

November 30, 2012

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

The Australian Federal Government’s Convergence Review together with the Cultural Policy Review have provoked questions about funding and continued public support for the cultural sector. Australian national interest is reflected in cross-party funding over many years for cultural institutions – Australian Film and Television / Screen Australia, Triple J, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and more recently support for new media and creative industries. (See for example It is a growing and complex set of demands that combines culture with commerce and convergence.

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What Is Governance & What Makes It Good?

September 25, 2012

The concept of ‘governance’ is steeped in the origins of human civilization and in its simplest form is about the decision-making process and the process by which decisions are, or are not implemented.  It can be noted that the concept of governance is often discussed in various contexts including corporate, international, national and local governance.

UNESCAP outlines the eight, major characteristics of good governance as: participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.  Good governance aims to minimise corruption and take into account the views of society’s minorities and vulnerable, in order to ensure it responds to society’s current and future needs.

While may be challenging to achieve good governance in its totality, striving to achieve the ideal of good governance will help ensure sustainable human development for the future.