Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
“It is an irony that media executives who are so quick to invoke media freedom for themselves can be equally zealous about suppressing academic freedom or alternative media freedom.”
### scoop.co.nz 22:54 October 16, 2012
Media blind spots overcome by ‘critical’ journalism, says first Pacific j-professor
By Alex Perrottet – Pacific Media Watch
Restoring public trust, engaging in critical journalism, and opening the media’s eyes to common blind spots were all on the agenda for the inaugural address of the first professor in journalism studies in NZ and the Pacific. Professor David Robie spoke to a crowded conference room of almost 200 people at AUT University tonight after receiving his professorship last year.
“Not only is he an academic, a journalist, he is a committed person whose questions will always be: What is the truth and what will we do about it?”
Beginning with the current so-called Hackgate media crisis and visiting plenty of other “hot spots” throughout the presentation, Professor Robie charted the course of his life’s journey throughout New Zealand, Africa, Europe and back to Oceania. He warned that the current media crisis seemed to be facing a growing “soft” reporting of the Leveson Inquiry in Britain – with a report due next month – and the Finkelstein and Convergence Reviews in Australia. “Already there are concerns by critics that the media has started soft-peddling the issue,” he said. He said the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review examined the issue of rebuilding public trust in the media.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
### thetyee.ca 25 June 2010
Vancouver’s Architectural Revival
Behind the shiny surfaces there is a public logic guided by City Hall policies.
By Adele Weder, TheTyee.ca
[Editor’s note: This is excerpted from A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Vancouver, just published by Douglas and McIntyre. A second excerpt on Vancouver as ‘supermodel,’ by Matthew Soules, runs next week.]
On Aug. 7, 1971, officers on horseback charged into a crowd in Gastown, the original downtown core of Vancouver, and swung their batons at the thousand people who had gathered or wandered there to protest marijuana laws and the nefarious police tactics used to enforce them. At the intersection of Abbott and Cordova, marchers and onlookers were beaten or hauled into paddywagons and the public gathering soon transformed into what became known as the Gastown Riot, one of the most notorious brawls in the city’s history. In the years that followed, the neighbourhood withered, its zoning geared towards the tawdry tourist outlets that would long dominate it, its days as a gathering site all but over.
Making architecture is, at its core, a political action. Implicit in the design approach is the decision to encourage or thwart public gatherings, nurture or displace the poor, ignite or asphyxiate street life, rabble-rouse or calm the streets for paying visitors. At first glance, the shiny newness of central Vancouver suggests a manifesto of clarity and order, a divergence from the fiery social consciousness of decades past. (To sample that sensation, comb through the photo essay of buildings accompanying this essay.)
Underlying these images of finesse and resolve, however, are backstories of complex negotiations between public and private interests whose endgame is the greater public good. With increased density allowance as the currency, the resulting deals have spawned an unprecedented array of community centres, daycares, parks, public art and social housing.
Gastown’s current robust and widely inclusive revival owes much to City Hall — the very institution that had sanctioned the police bullying and subsequent neighbourhood stagnation in the first place.
Read more + Images + Blog Comments
–Adele Weder is a Vancouver-based architectural writer and curator, and co-author of the Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Vancouver.
Post by Elizabeth Kerr
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