Thinking Images v.5: Picturing a protest and illustrating ‘Africa’


Thinking Images – an occasional series on a small selection of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… The vast majority of news photographs are illustrative – designed to provide a visual punctuation point for the story they accompany. They can arise from an event the day before, as in Thursday’s Guardian front page image of … Continued

Thinking Images v.1: Chile, Africa and British students


Thinking Images – an occasional series on a small selection of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… You would have to a cold-hearted person not to have been moved in some way at some time by the rescue of the Chilean miners. But there are always other dimensions to such stories. During the … Continued

How the social media revolution challenges the university


Recent changes in media brought on by developments in the web, its impact on established news outlets, and the rise of social media have dramatically altered the ecology of information. Its time to starting thinking what this means for universities. Last year I wrote a series of posts on “revolutions in the media economy” (see … Continued

The future of academic publishing in the digital age


Over the past few months I have been part of an ad hoc working group with colleagues from Newcastle University that has been exploring the future of academic publishing. Two problematics framed our analysis: how are changes initiated by the digital economy affecting academic journals and how might the editorial team of a top flight … Continued

Revolutions in the media economy (4): disturbing the university


The social media revolution I have been exploring in this series of posts has disrupted journalism and challenged photojournalism. That is because – as Clay Shirkey makes clear in Here Comes Everybody – the web has not simply introduced a new competitor into the old media ecosystem; it has created a fundamentally different ecosystem. At … Continued

Google vs. University strategies


Universities increasingly like to think of themselves as businesses, demanding flexible and entrepreneurial approaches from their staff. This is usually a fancy way of saying ‘do more with less’, and it’s said in numerous meetings, working groups and review panels that produce endless audits, reviews and strategy plans. Often it seems like we plan more … Continued

Education values


I’ve just caught up with a remarkable speech by the Australian Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, who is responsible for higher education for the country’s still new Labor government. Addressing the National Press Club last September on the topic of innovation, he spoke not of technology or economics, but of the arts, humanities … Continued