The University as a 'Giant Newsroom': The Uses of Academic Knowledge Revisited


  • David Rowe Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia



Academic Knowledge


Almost a decade ago I published an article (with Dr Kylie Brass) based on Australian Research Council-funded research1 about criticisms in the media and public sphere of ‘ivory tower’ academe, and how, under pressures of ‘relevance’, ‘accountability’, and ‘brand identity’, academic knowledge was being progressively and institutionally encouraged to engage with everyday media discourse. In this and other articles on universities and public communication policies, we explored the ways in which the products of university-based academic labour were being increasingly placed in the service of wider public discourse, with some perils both for that knowledge and those who generate it. In the ensuing years, these pressures have intensified in tandem with the marketization of higher education and the often-remarked hegemony of neoliberal managerialism. The decline of the mainstream press (certainly in paper form) and the rise of user-generated, social and mobile media have produced a more intimate and volatile relationship between universities and the media/public sphere. In addressing the subject of publishing and mediatization, it is timely to re-assess the uses and trajectories of academic knowledge, the technologies that convey it, and the implications for its producers.


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Mediatization, Mobility and Methods of Knowledge Production