Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

The New Front Page

The New Front Page
by Tim Dunlop

I’ve long been an admirer of Dunlop’s writings on the changing media environment. It’s an area i’m fascinated by, but have no firm views, so I very much respect those who are willing to commit quill to paper (or at lest abandon their delete key) and write about this subject.

Dunlop makes the excellent point that the way the audience engages the media is central to how media worked then and now, and that only by recognising this can a more sustainable and praise worthy media develop. Not that he has any time for the fools fantasy of ‘citizen journalists’.

I should point out my dislike of bloggers as a general class. For all that I have been a blogger, and all their talk of equality, the model of blog communication is one of a ‘leader’ who blogs and ‘followers’ who comment. The hierarchy is substantial and works to the advantage of those who initiate, with the only real fight over readership (that is, control of the followers).

I was always more of a forum man, perhaps this is why I prefer twitter. Blogs if anything offer far less equality than their old media counter parts, and it may be some time until all people feel the capacity to contribute and challenge the story line that the first generation of bloggers felt.

Still, they were trend setters, and Tim rightly deserves a significant status in that era in Australia. He was one who crossed genres, crossed partisan lines and wrote good accessible content without believing the bullshit.

This book is highly recommended for those who want to understand what’s going on with the new media space. This is a book that will only take you one rung up the ladder, but that’s all the author promises, and all that any author could promise in these uncertain times.

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