New Media in SMH

An article in the SMH’s (Sydney Morning Herald) technology feature – Next – New media hands power to the people – talks about the use of new media – specifically podcasting, blogs, RSS, & wikis – with a focus on their application in community contexts.

A good example from Phil Cleary (a former federal politician in Melbourne) using podcasting as the Electrical Trades Union communication through their site The Spark (pity I couldn’t find the URL and the article didn’t provide it!)

The article discusses a few more mainstream examples and then…starts with the scare tactics…

"Not all new media applications have such noble amibitions…the ease with which video is distributed over broadband also has a dark side. Extremist militant groups worldwide use it to disseminate propaganda. Bloody videos of attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and hostage beheadings are regularly distributed over the global public network.
Terroism expert Clive Willimas, from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University, says new media has been vital to fundamentalist propaganda’s advancement. "

And then…

"…Paul Svilans, a defamation lawyer with Gilbert & Tobin, says companies open themselves up to risks when they put content online, even if it’s edited by anonymous members of the public, as is the case with wikis and forums.
Once content goes online, it’s published. The internet isn’t "some big defamation-free zone," he says. "You’re as liable as any other publisher."
Worker blogs, wikis and other open forums are big headaches for organisations if defamatory content is posted – even if it’s been put there by an anonymous user.
"But if you don’t know what’s on there, you’ve got a defence,"Mr Svilans says. "On one view, you’re better off not monitoring your content because if you monitor it you’ve taken to have read it…and you don’t have a defence."

hmmmm – that’s an interesting thought, isn’t it – don’t read it….!

I’m actually rather disappointed that there’s no mention of the learning or educational uses – but then it is mainstream media…