CCI Highlights - the Director's newsletter, May 2011

It’s been an exciting first few months of the year!

TERRY FLEW Centre Chief Investigator Terry Flew has been appointed as chair of a comprehensive review for the Federal Government into the classification of television, film, music, online content, video games and advertising. The Review of the National Classification Standards is the first review of its kind since 1991. Terry’s appointment was announced just before Easter by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, and the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor.

ERA The results of the first round of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), the government’s research quality rating initiative, announced in February 2011, were particularly welcome for the Centre’s hub in the cluster of language, communication and culture at QUT, which received a ranking of 5 (‘well above world standard’), a ranking of 5 in the discipline of communication and media studies, and a ranking of 4 (‘above world standard’) in cultural studies. UNSW’s communication and media studies, grouped around CCI partner the Journalism and Media Research Centre, also received a ranking of 4.

APPOINTMENTS AND MOVEMENTS John Hartley began in earnest his three year term on the ARC College of Experts and Brian Fitzgerald began an appointment as a part time Commissioner of the Queensland Law Reform Commission alongside his existing responsibilities as a member of the federal government’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property.

Further significant investigator and staff appointments and movements were Centre Fellow, Jo Tacchi, taking up her position as Professor and Deputy Dean Research and Innovation in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, and Chief Investigator Denise Meredyth announcing her move also to RMIT University as Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, in the College of Design and Social Context. Christoph Antons has moved to Deakin University. We are hoping to conclude contractual processes which will see formal admission as Centre partners of RMIT, Deakin and UNSW very soon.

Centre Manager Rebekah McClure, has taken maternity leave and been replaced by Todd Bennet, for the next 12 months. Todd comes to us from managing the Globalism Research Centre at RMIT University.

RECENT EVENTS AND RESEARCH OUTCOMES

‘Arts and creative industries: An Australian conversation’, by Justin O’Connor, with Stuart Cunningham and Luke Jaaniste, was released in January by the Australia Council (http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/98431/Art...). It was called in Crikey ‘a long, detailed and rigorous examination of the context, shape and setting of arts and cultural policy in Australia’ that’s ‘as good a summary of the current state of play as you’re likely to find anywhere, including in the international academic literature’. See also the Australia Council media release: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/research/arts_sector/reports_and_publ...

MEDIA COVERAGE Our most sustained amount of media coverage for one centre project (Media Ecologies and Methodological Innovation) occurred as a result of the natural disasters visited on the country in the first months of the year. Axel Bruns and Jean Burgess were in constant demand for their insights into managing natural disasters through the use of social media (http://cci.edu.au/post/social-media-and-disasters-a-cci-media-blitz). With Terry Flew, Axel and Jean organised a joint Eidos-CCI symposium on “Social media in times of crisis” which featured emergency services, media managers, producers, journalists and researchers tabling their knowledge and experience of social media’s role in crisis communication and how public, including emergency, services can achieve better integration and coordination of communication strategies.

PIRACY AND INFORMAL MEDIA Julian Thomas and Ramon Lobato organised and hosted the ‘Piracy and Informal Media Economies’ Workshop at Swinburne on 25 March, which was preceded by public lectures at the State Library of Victoria by international thought leaders on the topic, Joe Karaganis and Ravi Sundaram. This was an event for which Julian and Ramon secured Academy of the Humanities-International Science Linkage support, and will result in a special journal issue and/or book.

The Centre helped coordinate east coast talks and masterclasses in April in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by Ted Nelson around his theme of ‘The Computing World is not what you think: a dissenting view’. Known for coining the term ‘hypertext’, Nelson has been called ‘one of the most influential contrarians in the history of the information age’.

Lelia Green, Catharine Lumby and John Hartley’s Risk and Representation project completed the surveying of 400 representative Australian children, 9-16, matched with the parent most involved with their internet activities, to provide comparable research alongside a 25-nation, 25,000 family study in the European Union. Through CCI support, Australia is effectively ‘country 26’ in this research into the skills, competencies, opportunities and risks attendant to children’s and young people’s internet use. Data analysis is underway and results will be published later this year.

RESEARCH STUDENTS We congratulate CCI Research Higher Degree students Thomas Petzold and Henry Siling Li, who have just published their co-edited special issue of the Cultural Science Journal (http://cultural-science.org/journal/index.php/culturalscience). On the theme of "Internet Research Methods as Moments of Evolution", the issue arose from discussions held during the ECR workshop held during the mid-2010 CCI Symposium, and includes work from The Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan, Bulgaria and the USA. Thomas and Henry completed this substantial achievement while both were in the throes of final write-up and submission of their own PhD theses. Beyond the fascinating articles themselves, the publication of this special issue of Cultural Science Journal is another example of the CCI strategy of nurturing next-generation research leaders through practical experience in the difficult arts of editing and publishing globally networked research.

CENTRE SYMPOSIUM The next Centre Symposium will take place in Brisbane from 27-29 July and feature several international keynote contributors, including TL Taylor, Associate Professor in the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen, Yudhishthir (Raj) Isar, Jean Monnet Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, The American University of Paris, Daniel Calarco, Director of International Programs, One Economy Corp. and Arthur Grau IV, Community Manager, Social Innovation Lab (http://applicationsforgood.com/). The symposium is open to all who are interested to attend.

ANNUAL REPORT The Centre’s latest (2010) annual report was released in March and provides a comprehensive look at the Centre’s research projects, outputs, performance measures and highlights for 2010 It is available for download or requested in print form athttp://cci.edu.au/post/2010-cci-annual-report-now-available-download-or-...). For regular updates on Centre activities please visit www.cci.edu.au/subscribe to sign up for the RSS feeds or/and the Creative Economy weekly newsletter.

Stuart Cunningham
Director