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Attwack of the Celebritwits?

 

'Amidst the swirling maelstrom of technological progress so often heralded as the imminent salvation to all our ills, it can be necessary to remind ourselves that humanity sits at the centre, not technology... It's difficult to separate us from our creations but it's imperative that we examine this odd relationship' (Chris Arkenburg).

It's been called a fad with a disloyal fan base and a home for 'generic blathering', yet around the world people are signing up and logging into Twitter. With somewhere between 200 and 500 million users - numbers are debated - Twitter has the ultimate 'send to all' option. This is a place in which the technologically-savvy and journalists can engage in new patterns of communication - witnesses tweet from the scene, while journalists have the opportunity to uncover breaking news from their desks.

Democratic Consolidation in Timor-Leste

The results of the parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste on Saturday have resulted in two outcomes, the first of which is a major boost in the vote for CNRT, the party of prime minister Xanana Gusmao, from 24 per cent to 36 per cent of the total vote. The second and more important outcome has been the consolidation of the democratic process in Timor-Leste just ten years after achieving independence.
After changing government in 2007, the people of Timor-Leste have again voted strategically, to focus their vote on the major parties, with CNRT taking much of the vote away from the many smaller parties which tended to reflect personalities rather than policies or party positions.
CNRT will probably form government with one or possible two coalition partners. Of the 21 parties that contested the poll, 17 now appear to have missed the cut-off threshold of three per cent, leaving just four, possibly five, represented in the parliament.

Symposium calls for more research on the social cost of Temporary Migration

Our Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation held last week (6 July 2012) a national symposium on 'multiculturalism' which attempted to connect theory and academic research to policy making and community practice.

Indeed, and whilst the speakers from academe reflected on such concepts as feminism, cosmopolitanism, liberal demacratic theoy and social justice, a panel with  prominent policy and community representatives provided amlple pointers as to where the real gaps lie in this often polarised debate. 

Connecting theory to research in the ongoing debate about 'multiculturalism'

This blog reproduces an interesting article/interview with Deakin Media coordinator Sandra Kingston about our recent national symposium on multiculturalism (held on 6 July 2012). 

 

'Nice in Theory: conference asks is research playing a part in multicultural policy making?'

 

A national symposium to be held at Deakin University this Friday will examine whether there is a disconnect between government policy surrounding multiculturalism in Australia and academic thought and if so what needs to be done about it.

Pathways to News

The rise of social media and its impact on news media industries has been making headlines for a number of years. Social media is tipped to transform the newspaper industry. If searching for news was the most important development of the past decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next, says the Pew Research Centre. Today, debates about the impact of social media on the news industry rage on most recently provoked by proposed staff cuts and restucturing at both Fairfax and News Ltd in Australia.

Getting Lost Online

'People got tired of cities after the war, and they are getting tired of the Web, too. Don't get me wrong: I love the Web, but it's a wild and dangerous place. It's a teeming commercial city. It's haphazardly planned. Its public spaces are mobbed' (Virginia Heffernan, 2012).

HOW do you find your way around the city when you don't have a Google map? Where is the app to help you find your way around the web?

Sure, a number of directories and sites exist online -- some very thorough -- but for the most part the web is like a crowded, sometimes unsafe and scary, city.

With almost 11 million Australian users linked in some way to social media champion Facebook -- not to mention Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest and the list goes on -- is it any wonder the web seems infinite? The question is, how do we navigate the online world, with its back streets and alley ways, safely?

Social Pandemonium Online?

 

In 2008, John Maritotti, author of The Chinese Conspiracy and cyber-attack expert, claimed social media was an invitation to "at best, uncontrolled and permanent over-exposure and at worst, identity theft or misuse". We've come a long way since 2008. In fact, we've come a long way since the late 1990s when fears of identity theft, identity confusion and deception shaped our engagements with online communication technologies - or CMC, computer mediated communication, as it was known at the time.

Timor-Leste: Glass half full

In 2010, a senior Timorese political figure remarked in private conversation that Timor-Leste had never been better. This particular political figure was commenting on the general state of Timor-Leste since his return in 1999, after a forced 25 year absence from the country.
What is remarkable is not the political figure’s comment at that time, but that this same person now publically decries Timor-Leste’s lack of development. That is, I suppose, how politics is played.
This negative appraisal does come around a time when there has been much public negativity about Timor-Leste’s development process. Much of this negative comment is either anecdotal or reflects a snap-shot of Timor-Leste now, without reference to where it has come from.

West Papua: Tragedy as farce

The Indonesian government’s attempt to initiate dialogue with West Papuan independence activists has declined into farce, following the shooting on 14 June of key West Papuan leader Mako Tabuni. Tabuni’s killing follows seven other recent shootings of West Papuans by Indonesian police and soldiers.
Despite eye witnesses saying that Tabuni was unarmed and trying to flee Indonesian police, Indonesian police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Johnannes Nugroho claimed that Tabuni was armed with a police pistol.
Last Thursday, however, Indonesian police chief General Timur Pradopo said Tabuni had been shot while trying to seize a pistol from police officers. ‘Prior to the capture, a conversation took place,’ Pradopo said in an official statement. ‘Then the gun of a police officer was seized, so other police members protected [the officer].’

ASIO a pawn for Sri Lanka government?

A leading Australian human rights think-tank has expressed serious concern over the basis of investigations by Australia’s domestic intelligence organisation, ASIO, into Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. The Director of Deakin University’s Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights, Professor Damien Kingsbury, has cast doubt on ASIO’s investigations. Professor Kingsbury said ASIO’s investigation bore the hallmarks of an anti-Tamil campaign being directed by the Sri Lanka government.
ASIO’s blacklisting of a pregnant ethnic Tamil mother, Ranjini, who had been granted Australian residency and married an Australian citizen, has led to her being detained without charge or trial.
It is believed that a further three ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils who had been granted refugee status have also since been detained as a result of ASIO’s blacklisting.

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