Category: Creative Industries

Crowdfunding for culture: Origins of a new system or no alternative at all?

Crowdfunding for culture: Origins of a new system or no alternative at all?

What follows from decisions to outsource modes of creation and funding to consumers? This is the question posed by a new open access book –CULTURAL CROWDFUNDING: Platform Capitalism, Labour and Globalization that considers how platforms are used to organize cultural labour following a logic of suggestion rather than overt injunction.

Four key areas are considered: the history of crowdfunding as a system; whose interests crowdfunding may serve; the implications for digital labour and lastly crowdfunding’s interface with globalization and contemporary capitalism. The book concludes with an assessment of claims that crowdfunding can democratize culture.

CONTENTS
1. Introduction Vincent Rouzé 2. Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: The Origins of a New System? Vincent Rouzé 3. Far from an Alternative: New Cultural Intermediaries Vincent Rouzé 4. Participatory Cultural Platforms and Labour Jacob Matthews and Vincent Rouzé 5. Globalization and the Logics of Capitalism Jacob Matthews, Stéphane Costantini and Alix Bénistant 6. General Conclusion  Vincent Rouzé   Index

EDITOR
Vincent Rouzé is Associate Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at the University of Paris 8 and a member of the Centre for Media, Technology and Internationalization Studies (Cemti). Contributors: Jacob Matthews, Stéphane Costantini, Alix Bénistant.

Published open access by the University of Westminster Press. Published 29 November 2019

This book is published in the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies Series

FORMAT
128 pages paperback 229 x 152mm
978-1-912656-38-7    £19.99

OPEN ACCESS 
PDF, EPub and kindle versions available Free From uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site books: PDF 978-1-912656-39-4; ePub 978-1-912656-40-0 Kindle 978-1-912656-41-7: DOI:10.16997/book34

Media and Communications Study Skills – new title

Media and Communications Study Skills – new title

The University of Westminster Press launched its first title for MA students on study skills in media and communications courses. Author Doug Specht, Director of Teaching and Learning School of Media and Communications at the University of Westminster explained the origins of The Media and Communications Study Skills Guide at a-well attended event at Westminster’s Harrow Campus. The book highlights all sorts of study advice from listening to referencing, seminars to writing essays and to conjuring up a research question for the dreaded MA dissertation.

It includes numerous hacks and tips, graphics, tasks, planners, tasks and guides to such matters as notetaking.

Here – to get a sense of a sense of the flavour of the book – is the author’s advice on where to work:

Think about where you are working; try not to work in bed, so you have a separate space to rest. Consider whether you prefer working in the library, the kitchen table, your desk or in a café. Once you know your best working space (this might be different for different types of work), stick to this – I like to do emails and admin work in public spaces, but I need music to write and silence to edit, so I ensure I move around when working on different parts of a project. Also, think about the light and temperature in the room you are working in. Consider spending a little money on a good lamp – Michel Foucault, the French philosopher and social theorist, used to take his own to libraries and lectures. You should also break tasks down into smaller chunks or sub-tasks – there are some pages to help you do this at the end of this book. You can also use technology to help you with this, there are loads of task management apps available, although trying them all out can become a form of productive procrastination, so be careful!” 

Read the book, purchase in print or download from the University of Westminster Press.

The rallying cry of ‘We should all be feminists’ (C. N. Adichie) is turning into ‘We should all be activists …’

The rallying cry of ‘We should all be feminists’ (C. N. Adichie) is turning into ‘We should all be activists …’

as new reports emerge concerning male bias in AI … etc’
(from WPCC editorial).

As a new WPCC issue on Media Activism is published editors, Anastasia Denisova and Michaela O’Brien highlight the key issues for the issue in their editorial ‘From High Visibility to High Vulnerability: Feminist, Postcolonial and Anti-Gentrification Activism at Risk‘. What follows is an extract.

In times when hijacking of terms and stories happens on a daily basis, activism also means constant narrative recreation and damage control. Some scholars call the internet a patriarchal structure (Megarry, 2018) and there are voices that demand gender equality of the online space. The rallying cry of ‘We should all be feminists’ (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) is turning into ‘We should all be activists’ as new reports emerge concerning male bias in AI (Crawford, 2016; Adam, 2006; Leavy, 2018), sexist coding of digital voice assistants (West, Kraut and Ei Chew, 2019), the inherent inequality of AI-assisted recruitment processes (Dastin, 2018), and inequality of activism too. Female protesters and activists of colour face more challenges than others – due to the outbursts of toxic masculinity, racial abuse, cow­ardly anonymous online attacks and imbalance of visibility when it comes to hierarchy of influence. These issues are as virtual as they are real – and they need to be addressed to maintain liveable societies.  As editors, we wanted to explore the possibilities for progressive activists around the world to use the media to resist the current rise of the extreme right along with disturbing and growing evidence of the techniques of fascism: populism, propaganda and fake news, hate speech and rise of hate crimes. We define ‘activism’ as ‘the widest range of attempts to effect [progressive] social or cultural change’ (Meikle, 2018: iii), while ‘the media’ includes a broad range of communication platforms, from traditional journalism to digital networks.

[The University of Westminster runs an MA Programme in MEDIA, CAMPAIGNING AND SOCIAL CHANGE].

Adam, A. (2006). Artificial Knowing: Gender and the Thinking Machine. London: Routledge.

Crawford, K. (2016). Artificial intelligence’s white guy problem. The New York Times, 25 June.

Dastin, J. (2018). Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women. Reuters.com, 10 October. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-jobs-automation-insight/amazon-scraps-secret-ai-recruiting-tool-that-showed-bias-against-women-idUSKCN1MK08G (last accessed July 2019).

Megarry, J. (2018). Under the watchful eyes of men: Theorising the implications of male surveillance practices for feminist activism on social media. Feminist Media Studies, 18(6), 1070–1085. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2017.1387584

Meikle, G. (Ed.) (2018). The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism. Abingdon: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315475059

Leavy, S. (2018, May). Gender bias in artificial intelligence: The need for diversity and gender theory in machine learning. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Gender Equality in Software Engineering (pp. 14–16). New York: Association for Computing Machinery. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3195570.3195580.

West, M., Kraut, R., & Ei Chew, H. (2019). I’d blush if I could: Closing gender divides in digital skills through education. Paris: Equals Global Partnership/UNESCO.

WPPC release special collections on Journalism and Digital Challenge & …

WPPC release special collections on Journalism and Digital Challenge & …

Special collections on ‘Journalism and the Digital Challenge’, ‘Censorship and Propaganda’ and ’Television Studies’ have been released by WPCC. Freshly compiled the special collections bring together previously published material on these related general themes from all our previous issues that included relevant content.

Over a longer period many more additional collections will be added to improve access to our extensive list of articles and aid research searches for particular topics over time, enabling at ‘at-a-glance’ views of WPPC coverage of particular areas. Further special collections are due to appear in September 2019. 

Most of WPCC’s journal publications appear in thematic special issues. Recent issues include Geography and Communications, Re-Evaluating China’s Global Media Expansion and Redesigning or Redefining Privacy.

Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture is an open access journal.

Digital and Social Media Studies Series reaches 10 titles with Bubbles and Machines.

Digital and Social Media Studies Series reaches 10 titles with Bubbles and Machines.

UWP’s Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series edited by Christian Fuchs is proud to record the publication of its tenth title since its first in October 2016 with Bubbles and Machines: Gender, Information and Financial Crises by Micky Lee.

The author asks ‘Are financial crises embedded in IT? Can gender studies offer insights into financial reporting? Working with case histories of tulipmania, microcredit, Wall Street reporting and the role of ‘screens’, Bubbles and Machines argues that rather than calling financial crises human-made or inevitable they should be recognized as technological. The author asks ‘Are financial crises embedded in IT? Can gender studies offer insights into financial reporting? 

All titles in the CDSMS series are published open access and are free to read in digital form, available to purchase in print online.

Tourism in London: Ever more ‘pivotal and pervasive’.

Tourism in London: Ever more ‘pivotal and pervasive’.

In this extract from the introduction to our latest title editor Andrew Smith outlines the increasing presence and significance of London’s tourism.

Available to read or download open access Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy was published on the 21st May and is an initiative of the Tourism and Events Research Group of the University of Westminster. (The complete referenced version of the introduction is available on its own here).

‘London hosts a very significant visitor economy and overnight visitors contribute approximately £14.9 billion of expenditure to the city every year. When the city hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 the UK’s capital was already a leading global destination, but staging this mega-event instigated a new period of growth. In the period 2011-2016 tourism numbers increased by 25% and over the past few years the city has experienced a series of record years for arrivals. Despite already being one of the three most visited cities in the world – hosting 31.2 million overnight visitors in 2016 – city officials expect visitor arrivals to increase further: to over 40 million overnight visitors by 2025. Put simply, tourism is already a very significant economic and social phenomenon in London, but over the next few decades it will become even more pivotal and pervasive. 

London’s status as one of the world’s most visited destinations is not universally welcomed. At the moment there is considerable media and academic attention dedicated to the problem of rapid tourism growth and what has become known as over-tourism. This coverage has focused on various European capitals: from Berlin to Barcelona, Ljubljana to Lisbon. Even though the UK’s capital city seems like the ideal case through which to explore the ways that destinations evolve and expand, there has been surprisingly little attention devoted to London in these debates. This book explores how and why tourism is growing in Europe’s most popular city destination; and what benefits and problems accrue from expanding the tourism sector in a city already hosting 19 million overseas tourists and 12 million overnight domestic visitors every year. These additional people mean London’s population grows considerably every day, especially when one considers the 300,000 people that commute daily to the capital from outside Greater London and the daily influx of 750,000 non staying visitors. London hosts a residential population of around 8.8 million people, but its ‘daytime’ population – i.e. that which includes workers, visitors and tourists is estimated to be over well over 10 million. Tourists and day visitors now make up over 10% of London’s daytime population.

The book analyses how and why the expansion of the visitor economy is happening; and what effect this is having on the city. Contributions from various authors demonstrate how Destination London is developing through the extension of tourism into new spaces and new spheres. The book outlines how parts of London not previously regarded as tourism territories – e.g. residential suburbs, peripheral parks and private homes – are now subject to the tourist gaze. Tourists are being encouraged to visit places outside the centre and stay in accommodation owned by residents. In a similar manner, London is constantly creating new eventscapes to capitalise on the experience economy and providing reasons to visit at different times – in winter and at night. These types of initiatives feature prominently in London’s new ‘Tourism Vision’, which explicitly outlines the city’s aim to grow tourism ‘by encouraging visitors to explore the city’s outer districts, both in and out of season and around the clock’ .

Contemporary expansion is being facilitated by extending the capacity of existing services (e.g. by running the Underground 24 hrs a day), and by building new infrastructure (e.g. the new Crossrail network and a new runway at Heathrow Airport) and accommodation provision (plans for 23,000 new hotel rooms by 2025). However, growth in the visitor economy is driven more by market and cultural trends than any deliberate planning and policy; and this unfettered growth is likely to outrun formal provision. The rise of social media and the sharing economy, and the desire for new, distinctive and personalised experiences, are pushing tourists into peripheral locations, but also advancing tourism into spheres not normally considered tourism territory.  Growth is likely to be enabled and absorbed by unofficial tourism providers including London’s residents who now provide a range of services: most obviously accommodation, but also food, travel, and guiding. This book explores these trends and, in doing so, highlights the mechanisms and processes that are driving the expansion of the visitor economy. The discussion enhances understanding of London, but it also helps us to better appreciate the ways that tourism in cities is expanding into new spaces, times and spheres’.