Talking digital detox on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoDo you think you need a “digital detox”? You know, something to break your “addiction” to digital devices? That’s what I just spoke about on ABC 891 Adelaide.

Drive presenter Michael Smyth and his team had heard about the Digital Detox and Camp Grounded holiday camps in the US, based on the summer camp concept…

Trade in your computer, cell phone, email, Instagrams, clocks, schedules, work-jargon, networking events and conferences for an off-the-grid weekend of pure unadulterated fun in the redwoods.

… so I was invited to give my opinion. Before I spoke, though, they played CNet’s report of a visit to Camp Grounded, as well as a vox pop of people recorded earlier today in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.

Here’s the full 11-minute extravaganza.

Play

The book I mentioned was Robin Dunbar’s Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. And something I meant to refer to, but didn’t manage to fit in, was We don’t need digital detox, but there is a need to rethink our relationship with technology by Natasha Mauthner, Personal Chair at the University of Aberdeen.

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Media140: What do journos do better, exactly?

[This is my presentation for the Media140 Sydney panel “Do Journos Do it Better? Journalists in SocMedia Communities”. This is being posted here automatically, at 5pm, just as the panel is scheduled to start. Given that sessions earlier in the day may cover similar ground, I may well re-word things as I go.]

Media140 logo: click for more info

“Do journos do it better?” Do journos do what better? I think this is actually the more interesting question: What is it that journalists actually do in our society?

Or, to stick with the question, what do they do in “social media communities” — although as I’ll explain, all communities are “social media communities”?

Now if I were presenting an Oscar I’d start by quoting the dictionary. “The Macquarie Dictionary defines ‘journalist’ as ‘someone engaged in journalism’.”

Very helpful.

However “journalism” in turn is glossed as “the occupation of writing for, editing, and producing newspapers and other periodicals, and television and radio shows”.

So the question as stated is meaningless. Of course journalists are better at “It” — journalism — because they’re the ones doing it. If you’re not a journalist you’re not doing journalism, therefore you’re not merely bad at it, you’re not even doing it at all!

This is why I think the whole bloggers versus journalists debate was and still is so incredibly stupid. Both sets of people are doing much the same thing — creating words and pictures, probably about current events, maybe for money, maybe for the love of it or for professional status. Maybe they’re doing it well, maybe they’re doing it badly.

But during the Industrial Age, journalism with a capital “J” ended up meaning, specifically, the employees of industrial mass-media factories — especially newspapers. Employees whose jobs were to create the specific widgets of news needed by a production line — a five-paragraph story, a 30-second radio news item or whatever.

Or, with respect to my friends at the MEAA, “journalist” meant membership of a certain trade union.

Now, coming back to that word “social” in “social media”…

Continue reading “Media140: What do journos do better, exactly?”

Links for 11 September 2008

Here are the web links I’ve found for 11 September 2008, posted with melons and a sprig of parsley.

  • What “Battle for Australia”? | Unleashed: Remembering the sacrifices of our WWII servicemen and women is a Good Thing, but do we have to invent a spurious “Battle for Australia” to do so?
  • I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You | NYTimes.com: A fine overview of the impact which (especially) Twitter has upon how our social lives work. The term “ambient awareness” is put into context nicely. Robin Dunbar gets a mention, as he should. [This article may now be behind a registration-wall, but registration is free.]