December 2009 Archives

Burns, Alex & Eltham, Ben (2009). 'Twitter Free Iran: An Evaluation of Twitter's Role in Public Diplomacy and Information Operations in Iran's 2009 Election Crisis'. In Papandrea, Franco & Armstrong, Mark (Eds.). Record of the Communications Policy & Research Forum 2009. Sydney: Network Insight Institute, pp. 298-310 [PDF pp. 322-334]. Presentation slides here.

Social media platforms such as Twitter pose new challenges for decision-makers in an international crisis. We examine Twitter's role during Iran's 2009 election crisis using a comparative analysis of Twitter investors, US State Department diplomats, citizen activists and Iranian protesters and paramilitary forces. We code for key events during the election's aftermath from 12 June to 5 August 2009, and evaluate Twitter. Foreign policy, international political economy and historical sociology frameworks provide a deeper context of how Twitter was used by different users for defensive information operations and public diplomacy. Those who believe Twitter and other social network technologies will enable ordinary people to seize power from repressive regimes should consider the fate of Iran's protesters, some of whom paid for their enthusiastic adoption of Twitter with their lives.

Burns, Alex & Saunders, Barry (2009). 'Journalists as Investigators and 'Quality Media' Reputation'. In Papandrea, Franco & Armstrong, Mark (Eds.). Record of the Communications Policy & Research Forum 2009. Sydney: Network Insight Institute, pp. 281-297 [PDF pp. 305-321]. Presentation slides here.

The current 'future of journalism' debates focus on the crossover (or lack thereof) of mainstream journalism practices and citizen journalism, the 'democratisation' of journalism, and the 'crisis in innovation' around the 'death of newspapers'. This paper analyses a cohort of 20 investigative journalists to understand their skills sets, training and practices, notably where higher order research skills are adapted from intelligence, forensic accounting, computer programming, and law enforcement. We identify areas where different levels of infrastructure and support are necessary within media institutions, and suggest how investigative journalism enhances the reputation of 'quality media' outlets.

A 2008 academic publication that made the Top 25 downloaded papers of the past year on Victoria University's institutional repository:

Floyd, Josh
, Burns, Alex and Ramos, Jose (2008). A Challenging Conversation on Integral Futures: Embodied Foresight & Trialogues. Journal of Futures Studies, 13(2), 69-86.

Practitioner reflection is vital for knowledge frameworks such as Ken Wilber's Integral perspective. Richard Slaughter, Joseph Voros and others have combined Wilber's perspective and Futures Studies to create Integral Futures as a new stance. This paper develops Embodied Foresight as a new approach about the development of new Integral Futures methodologies (or meta-methodologies) and practitioners, with a heightened sensitivity to ethics and specific, local contexts. Three practitioners conduct a 'trialogue' - a three-way deep dialogue - to discuss issues of theory generation, practitioner development, meta-methodologies, institutional limits, knowledge systems, and archetypal pathologies. Personal experiences within the Futures Studies and Integral communities, and in other initiatory and wisdom traditions are explored.

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