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.”

Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Stalemate: Chen and Assange, Diplomatic Asylum and International Law

August 7, 2012

By DARREN O’DONOVAN, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of The Open Society Justice Initiative Partnership, Institute for Law, Government and Policy

The story of diplomatic asylum is a long and chequered one. Its legal status is controversial, but its political reality long established.

  • For example, there is the story of Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty who sought asylum in the US embassy as Soviet Tanks arrived in November 1956. He did not leave for 15 years, until a Vatican, Soviet bloc and US agreement allowed for his departure from the country. Read the rest of this entry »

High Court Challenge Over Mental Health Laws

July 31, 2012

Two intellectually disabled men who’ve spent several years in an Alice Springs jail without conviction are about to be freed, following Lateline’s report on 30 July 2012. Their lawyers say there are over 100 people in custody because governments don’t want to pay for mental health facilities. Professor Patrick Keyzer, Bond University, is part of the legal team undertaking the High Court challenge to the Northern Territory laws. In his interview with Lateline, Professor Keyzer says it’s outrageous that a country as wealthy as Australia is engaging in the practice of indefinitely detaining people in jail who have not been convicted of a crime. A constitutional challenge will be lodged in the coming weeks and could affect all states and territories.


Look Before Leaping Into A Human Rights Quagmire

July 17, 2012

By JODIE O’LEARY, Assistant Professor of Law, Bond University and ROBYN LINCOLN, Assistant Professor Criminology, Bond University

Over the weekend reports emerged of comments made by the Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleije that the Queensland government was considering ‘naming and shaming’ repeat juvenile offenders.[1] Our local paper took up this issue on Monday 16 July with an article based around the opinion of a father whose son was a victim of a child offender who was named under the current provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld). [2]

Read the rest of this entry »