Critical Issues of Global Media

Apr 21, 2016
04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
360 Willard

Dr. Toby Miller

The prevailing media credo, in domains that matter both a lot (popular, capitalist, and state discourse and action) and a little (communication, cultural, and media studies), is upheaval. The litany goes something like this: Corporate power is challenged. State authority is compromised. Avant-garde art and politics are centered. The young are masters, not victims. Technologies represent freedom, not domination. Revolutions are fomented by Twitter, not theory; by memes, not memos; by Facebook, not Foucault; by phone, not protest.

Political participation is just a click away. Tweets are the new streets and online friends the new vanguard, as 140ism displaces Maoism. Cadres are created and destroyed via BlackBerry. Teens tease technocrats. Hackers undermine hierarchy. Leakers dowse the fire of spies and illuminate the shady world of diplomats.

The endless iterations offered by digital reproduction and the immediate exchanges promised by the Internet have turned the world on its head. We are advised that the media in particular are being transformed. Tradition is rent asunder. Newspapers are metaphorically tossed aside. What was once their fate in a literal sense (when we dispensed with print in poubelles) is now a figure of speech that refers to their financial decline. Journalists are recycled as public relations people, and readers become the new journalists. Cinema is irrelevant, TV is on the way out, gaming is the future, telephony is timeless, and the entire panoply of scholarship on the political economy of ownership and control is of archaeological interest at best.

Is this really the case, and what are the conditions of possibility for claiming that it is or is not? Only global media studies knows...

Dr. Toby Miller is a British-Australian-U.S. interdisciplinary social scientist. He is the author and editor of over 30 books, has published essays in more than 100 journals and edited collections, and is a frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs. His research covers the media, sports, labor, gender, race, citizenship, politics, and cultural policy, as well as the  success of Hollywood overseas and the adverse effects of electronic waste.

Toby Miller is Emeritus Distinguished Professor, University of California, Riverside; Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, Murdoch University; Profesor Invitado, Escuela de Comunicación Social, Universidad del Norte; Professor of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd; and Director of the Institute of Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University London.

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