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Volume 5, Number 1, 2005


Abstracts

Educating journalists in a Globalised world: Reaching and Teaching Globalised Media

By Prof. Alan Knight and Ali Abusalem

Journalists and Journalism students often work full time, operate from geographically disparate locations and travel frequently. They leave conventional education far behind them. More than half of Central Queensland University's students study at over a dozen different campuses which are thousands of kilometres apart. To meet their needs, Central Queensland University (CQU) developed unique, online journalism programs which can be accessed anywhere there is internet, allowing interactive discussion among widely disparate students, relying on data base and websites rather than text books. Courses include Radio Journalism which is taught using streaming. CQU is further engaged in research which would allow industry professionals to act as mentors for online students.

Separatist politics of a tsunami: A Sri Lankan case study

By Kasun Ubayasiri

The political machinations of post-tsunami Sri Lanka continue to divide the nation, and any hope of reconciliation between the Government and the Tamil Tigers has long been lost. Reconstruction efforts littered with allegations and counter allegations of racial discrimination continue to dominate post-tsunami politics, with both the Government and the Tigers continuing to gain a political edge through the rehabilitation program.

However a closer look at the pro-Eelamist media, in the wake of the tsunami devastation, reveal the political optimism and a hope for reconciliation may have been ill-founded form the onset. Thus an analysis of pro-Eelamist media which flooded the internet, suggest a Tiger media strategy, albeit in the form of a preliminary politico-media tactic had emerged within the first few hours of the Tsunami. This strategy of accusing the Sri Lankan government of preferential treatment to Sinhala Tsunami victims of the South and neglect of North-Eastern Tamils, was in line with the wider claims of the Eelamis media machine.

This paper attempts to outline the pro-Eelamist media strategy, and decipher the numerous narratives and sub-narratives that were carefully orchestrated by the Eelamist lobby to secure an political advantage in the international arena.

The Mirror-ball Effect: investigating channels, messages and participation levels.

By John Cokley

Journalists have always used equipment which has been generally available in the communities in which they worked. This has been a result both of economy and necessity, since they found they had to connect with their audiences using means that were available to the audience, not just to the sender. Newspapers sold on street corners in the very early media days; SMS and email have become the rule for the early 21st century. This development also admits the possibility of the roles of the communication professional and the community merging during the “public journalism” process, and has become most recently evident in the areas around the Bay of Bengal, struck by the tsunami on December 26, 2004, especially in the Indonesian province of Banda Aceh, and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where tiny portable radios, featuring solar panels and hand-cranked dynamos, have suddenly become part of a vital news media channel. In this article participant-observation and personal interview techniques are used to record and compare many of the digital channels used by news and information senders up to 2005. It also investigates the level of genuine participation which these new technologies have brought to the communications process.

Television as a Catalyst of Democratization in the Arab World

By Ali Abusalem

The advent of Arab satellite television, especially Aljazeera, in the 1990s, has become the subject of study, both in media and political circles, in the West. Interest of researchers and analysts in academia and strategic studies centres across the English speaking world, Europe and other parts of the world has focused on various aspects of this new phenomenon, primarily using the western model of media as the yardstick to measure the performance of the various Arab satellite television stations, drawing comparisons between the Western media and the fledgling Arab television and arriving at different conclusions about the role, professional standards and objectivity of Arab media.


Review

Language, Translation and Identity in the Age of the Internet, Satellite Television and Directed Media - Ali Darwish

Reviewed by Ali Abusalem

In Reporting the Orient, Alan Knight (2000) asserts: “Journalists inhabit a culture of ideas which shape the way they report, select, edit and prioritise news. These ideas reproduce and reinforce themselves in the news making process, re-creating apparently flexible ways for imagining the world outside the newsroom.” (21).

For Arabic media today, these flexible ways are reshaping and re-creating the world in the minds of the Arabs in the Arab region and beyond, not only in news making but also in current affairs programs, political debates and pop culture (Darwish, 2005). According to the author of the present book, "as Arabic satellite television gains ever-increasing prominence in the Arab region and internationally, its role as a controversial catalyst in the process of democratization and influential agent of social, cultural and political change in the region becomes all the more important in a rapidly changing world of democracy, globalization and shifting allegiances. Relying primarily on translation of news and other program contents from English and conducting program production in English and or French, Arabic satellite television stations are causing a cataclysmic change in Arabic language patterns and cultural representation" (442).

Editor

Professor Alan Knight, Central Queensland University

Advisory Panel

Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Hong Kong University

Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA

Dr Philip Robertson, Central Queensland University

Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University

Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Dr Steve Quinn, Deakin University

     

Ejournalist is published by Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia