Youth Internet Radio Network: Can we Innovate Democracy?

Tacchi, Jo A., Lewis, Damian, & Hartley, John (2004) Youth Internet Radio Network: Can we Innovate Democracy? In Roberts, Winsom & Chen, Peter (Eds.) Australian Electronic Governance Conference, 14th and 15th April, 2004., University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.


The Youth Internet Radio Network (YIRN) explores the connection between media technologies and citizenship, building on work by Hartley and Tacchi on 'radiocracy' (radio, democracy & development)4. YIRN combines: 1. Content creation: Establishing a network of young content providers across urban, regional, remote and Indigenous locations; 2. Ethnographic Action Research: Researching how young people interact as both producers and consumers of new media content and technology; 3. Technology Innovation: Identifying how different ‘communicative ecologies’ within the network influence and learn from each other; and, 4. Enterprise development: Understanding how culture and creativity combined with new technologies can be a seedbed for innovation and enterprise. Groups of young people across Queensland will be trained in how to produce content for a dedicated website - audio (music and speech), text (stories, reports, journals) and visuals (photographs, artworks). In addition, the network will allow groups of young people to interact with each other and with others (including Government) on topics and issues chosen by them - through forums, messaging services, message boards, blogs and emails. This research project investigates important questions about new media and participation. If the new economy is a network economy, if the new raw materials are information and knowledge, and if the new workforce needs content creation skills, how will these young people set about using and developing the YIRN network? How do creativity, access, networks and connectivity work together - what are the results of ensuring access and training at this level to a diverse and dispersed set of groups of young people? How does this network work as a communication space: how will the young people interact with each other? And how will they communicate with Government and other agencies? When they are participating in an interactive network are they simultaneously being citizens? Would enterprises built around creative content be civic institutions? This paper presents some of the challenges that face this research project as it seeks to discover how youth civic participation might be addressed through innovative Internet use by embracing practices that are often considered resistant and the domain of a 'subversive youth' (Hartley 1992, 21-42).

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ID Code: 4495
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Youth participation, internet, streaming, content creation, creativity, innovation, open architecture, networks
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified (200299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Political Science not elsewhere classified (160699)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (The authors)
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:10

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