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Politics & Alternative Media on the Net


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M/C Reviews - An ongoing series of reviews of events in culture and the media. <>

Call for Contributors

M/C Reviews, the companion publication to the University of Queensland's M/C -- A Journal of Media and Culture, would like to invite contributions of review articles for its upcoming feature on the millennium.

M/C Reviews aims to provide an ongoing culture and media review forum for those interested in media and cultural studies.  We hope that by publishing critically engaging reviews (and ethnographies) of every conceivable cultural form, M/C Reviews will provide a useful barometer of culture-in-process and also, thereby, opportunities to share the kinds of pertinent insights that are not usually available in academic publications. We accept short and medium-length pieces, favouring ones that are accessible and thought provoking.

In 1999 we have initiated a series of themed feature sections designed to collect and juxtapose various angles on particular issues.  Each feature consists of five to fifteen review articles.  Previous features (which are still available online) have focussed on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the Stage X Youth Festival, the E-Journal genre, the National Young Writers' Festival, and Food.

M/C Reviews invites contributions to the upcoming M/C Reviews feature:

         Freedom Dreams: Politics and Alternative Media on the Net

                           Edited by Guy Redden

M/C Reviews would like to invite contributions of review articles for its upcoming feature issue about politics and alternative media online. M/C R accepts short and medium-length pieces (500 - 1500 words), favouring ones that are accessible and thought-provoking. We seek contributions from all interested and involved parties including activists, journalists, NGOs, politicians, academics and independent 'netizens'. Critiques, ethnographies and reports (first and third person), reviews of sites, interviews and any other original pieces that shed light on this multifaceted theme will all be relevant.

There seems little doubt that the mobilisation and information-sharing of concerned groups and individuals over the Internet played a decisive role in last year's protests against the World Trade Organisation in Seattle. Daily, massive amounts of political information - from action alerts, political propaganda, exposs and alternative media reports to independent research, petitions and press-releases - are circulated through Websites, Usenet, and email discussion lists. Alternative video sites show hours of political and protest footage edited from TV; issue-based coalitions are created nearly overnight and local groups post information relevant to their communities.

Martin Luther started a social revolution by posting a public message on a door. Yet it was because that message and others were propagated by the then-radical new print media that the Reformation took hold. Are we then, as some suggest, on the brink of a digital political revolution? Are new forms of alliance/participation-based civil society emerging to counter the status quo held in place by representative democracy, corporate plutocracy and the conventional mainstream media? Or are online activists and alternative journalists largely irresponsible purveyors of conspiracy theories? How is mainstream politics adapting to the Net? Will 'e- government' become a reality?

Some suggested topics for 'Freedom Dreams' include:

Cybercampaigns - the roles of computer networks, especially the WWW, email and Usenet, in high-profile activist campaigns such as those against landmines, militarism, biotechnology and genetically-modified foods, trade liberalisation, environmental degradation and economic globalisation (WTO, MAI), third world debt.

Alternative media - resource and portal sites, alternative news services, email newsletters, NGO sites, activist sites, challenges to mainstream media, 'reliability'.

Party politics - political campaigns online (especially the US presidential), official and unofficial sites, 'Web-slander' and sabotage.  Groups, netizens and alliances - the role of the Net in the running of organisations, one-to-many communication, creating links, critical mass, the perils and payoffs of making the online transition, information overload, exclusion of the netless and the 'globalisation' of activism, the libertarian impulse.

Government and business - reactions of governments and businesses to online information flow, their use of the Net, censorship, surveillance, PR, government and business engagement with online NGO research and lobbies, attempts at incorporation.

                                         Submission deadline: 3 April 2000.

<> - M/C Reviews Website <> - M/C R contributors'    guidelines (please read before submitting)  -  enquiries and submissions

Examples of previous feature sections and how to contribute can also be found on our Website.

                                                          Axel Bruns


M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture        

The University of Queensland            

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Last updated: March 28, 2000