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Presentation on theme: " Anyone Can Edit: Understanding the Produser The Mojtaba Saminejad Lecture Dr Axel Bruns Creative Industries Faculty Queensland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anyone Can Edit: Understanding the Produser The Mojtaba Saminejad Lecture Dr Axel Bruns Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology

2 The Produser No, its not a typo… Produsers are involved in: user-led content production – produsage In a variety of environments

3 Who Is Mojtaba Saminejad? 25-year-old Iranian blogger: accused of insulting the prophets, and insulting the Supreme Guide avoided the death penalty, but sentenced to two years in prison his offence: reporting the arrests of two other bloggers by Iranian authorities

4 Produsing the News? Traditional news process: (from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005)

5 Against Gatekeeping Gatekeeping is outdated: media scarcity no longer exists too many gates to keep journalists judgment can fail all the news thats fit to print is patronising Fordist production model citizens want to be active and involved

6 Towards Gatewatching New form of collaborative news produsage: observing what news passes through the gates of news and other organisations highlighting those news items which are of relevance to the community publicising rather than publishing the news adding commentary, analysis, and discussion to the news post-Fordist production model, involving users as produsers

7 Produsing the News Gatewatcher news process: (adapted from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005) Variations on the process are possible

8 Gatewatching and the News Rise of alternative online news: in news-related blogs and collaborative online news sites e.g. Indymedia, Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Plastic, OhmyNewsIndymediaSlashdotKuro5hinPlastic OhmyNews often in response to perceived shortcomings in the mainstream news media creating a kind of open news but not replacing the mainstream news media

9 Gatewatching Effects Suggestion of a new role for open news: bottom-up rather than top-down news coverage multiperspectival news coverage (Herbert Gans) democratic, dialogic, deliberative journalism (Dan Gillmor: move from lecture to conversation) Effects on mainstream journalism: bypassing journalists and editors offering corrective to, watchdog for mainstream news (Herbert Gans: a second tier of news organisations) breaking down producer/consumer dichotomies

10 Open News and Open Source Open source approach to news: The basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the Software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing. We in the open source community have learned that this rapid evolutionary process produces better software than the traditional closed model, in which only a very few programmers can see the source and everybody else must blindly use an opaque block of bits. (

11 Produsage Examples of produser-led content creation and collaboration: open news open source open content repositories – e.g. Wikipedia, ccMixter, FlickrWikipediaccMixterFlickr collaborative knowledge communities – e.g. Google EarthGoogle Earth produser communities around commercial products – e.g. The Sims, TrainzThe SimsTrainz

12 Harnessing the Hive Implications of produsage: emergent community structures? creative potential – grassroots, vernacular creativity? (e-)democratic potential? sustainability of voluntary labour? commercial approaches (JC Herz: harnessing the hive) and exploitation (i.e. hijacking the hive)?commercial approaches intellectual property issues? trust, authority, responsibility, liability?

13 Produser Economics Economic potential: cheap workforce for commercial producers but also post-Fordist production/produsage models possible opposition to traditional business, and opportunity for new businesses increasing focus on creativity and innovation in international business development – e.g. move from made in China to created in China

14 Intellectual Property Ambiguous relation of produsage to IP: innovative use of new IP licences (e.g. Creative Commons)Creative Commons complex IP relationships in massively multi-produser environments (e.g. Wikipedia) conflicted response from established industries (Rip. Mix. Burn. vs. p2p persecution) potential stifling of produser innovation by heavy- handed IP legislation, with potential economic impact – Chinas growth helped by lax IP enforcement

15 Political Implications Towards post-Fordist politics? growing effect of produser news on political process towards more dialogue and deliberation, or more argument and conflict? rear-guard battles by governments and news organisations against citizen journalists (e.g. Mojtaba Saminejad) – but not only in authoritarian regimes conflict between alternative and mainstream media coverage (e.g. Howard Dean campaign) digital divide opening between traditional audiences and new produser- citizens? Is it possible to harness produsage to support a move of citizens from being a passive audience for to being active produsers of democracy?

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