Communication for academic, media and community contexts
The “crisis of journalism” has been so consistent a rallying cry from journalism scholars it approaches cliche. Journalism is as Rodney Benson describes, a simultaneously ubiquitous and weak professional field. News media and the content industry confront us in every turn in our mediatized lives. Journalism is central to the click economy and Silicon Valley billionaires like […]
Central to the transformation of contemporary media production and consumption has been the logic of affect both economically and libidinally. The sharing of traditional media content, personal stories or viral videos is contingent upon affective resonances. Affective media is not simply shorthand for “social media”, a term which obscures the intersection of technology and capital in […]
My interest in populism began in observing the frenzied response to the Obama presidency. A moment of a political optimism, aspiration and sense of demographic invincibility was met with the conspiracy and the radical anti-communism of the Tea Party. While representing a thoroughly retrograde politics the Tea Party spoke to what Chantal Mouffe designates as […]
I recently appeared on New Zealand’s finest left-wing politics podcast “1/200” alongside Twitter’s @kyledchurch, @BMarchetich and @philipsophy to talk about where to from here for those invested in Russiagate narratives. The consensus was that sadly the grip of post-politics and fantasy of white knight bureaucrats is too strong to properly confront the failures of American […]
In the aftermath of the horrifying 15/3 attacks on New Zealand’s Muslim community the role of social media platforms in enabling white supremacy has come under scrutiny. Last week I spoke with Jamie Green from Radio One’s breakfast show to consider how tech companies have evaded responsibility for what happens on their platforms. I argue […]
In my latest chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Global Populism I attribute the rise and efficacy of the Trump campaign to the transformation of media values and political economy I term “Affective Media Production”. Trump, Fox News, Alex Jones and Breitbart do not simply represent a new political and media voice but embody the convergence of […]
In his important new book “Surveillance Valley”, the investigative journalist Yasha Levine retraces the counter-insurgency history of the internet and associated technologies. The advocates of the cognitivist and computational view of society where always DARPA technocrats and Cold War liberals. The cyber-utopians of the 1980s to today can only exist by repressing this past. I […]
I was on Radio One’s “Total Screen” with my old pal George Elliot to discuss the Democrat’s “woke-washing” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Malcolm Gladwell’s hip-hop podcast, Trump-Putin homophobia and the Dems’ prospects for 2020. I hope to put some of these ideas together for a midterm preview piece soon.
I recently presented a 50-minute seminar at the University of Otago political studies department entitled “Data-Fetishism, Surveillance and the Failure of Networks: Social Media After Trump”. Abstract The era of Trump represents a crisis of elite American opinion, leadership and competency in seemingly innumerable ways. It is my contention that the ideological and organizational failure […]
Last week I was on ABC’s Drive program to talk about intel culture and online far-right communities. My argument is that intel culture comes out of both online’s privileging of white male reaction but also the social media twin logics of data and affect. Incels, primed with intense misogynistic animus, are given both a realtime […]
Jordan Peterson has emerged from an obscure corner of academia to become the arch-philosopher of the alt-lite. With a massive online following Peterson has sought to speak to the anxieties of young men in the face of school transformation. His calling card is a style which purports scientific rigour while disparaging the academic humanities as […]
Earlier this month I took some of my ideas about populism, post-truth and affective media to the Centre for Science Communication at Otago. The challenge was how to think about this chaotic new media reality while preserving notions of truth, reason and science communication. This is my humble attempt to reconcile these contradictions.