Tuesday, 08 June 2010
ECU’s Professor Lelia Green is contributing to the national debate around the internet, its uses, and its future, through the release today of her new book, The Internet: An Introduction to New Media.
The book, launched today by Chief Executive Officer of iiNet, Mr Michael Malone, takes the reader from the origins of the Internet to its emerging future, addressing its contribution to society, government and individuals and exploring the different technological, political, economic and global contexts that frame everyday use.
According to Professor Green, the Internet has demonstrated that people are huge collaborators, not just the competitors we sometimes like to see ourselves as.
But people are also logging on to understand more about each other’s cultures, to defuse international tensions, and to join hands globally in tackling problems like climate change, disease, poverty and resource scarcity.
Today the Internet is bridging cultures, language barriers, continents, belief systems and individual interests in a way that no other activity, trade, travel or media environment can approach, Professor Green says.
“People are using the Internet to build society and social capital – but I am very concerned that governments are starting to view it as a new form of power, and are seeking ways to control it.”
iiNet’s Michael Malone says that in the West, the Internet is near ubiquitous, and each of us has our own distinct view of its impact on our own corner of the world.
“Lelia asks us to step back and see the impact on the world as a whole, both historically and into the future. It's an important look at how this technology has affected our society, as well as the reverse: how our changing society is shaping the technology itself."
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Arshad Omari, agreed with Mr Malone, adding that the mobile phone, connected via the internet, is now a player in just about every major political and social event in the world, and is often the source of first footage for news media.
“It is in this sphere that Leliaʼs book works, as it examines the internet through the “new” media in a range of contexts and for a range of applications that have implications for the our social and political environment”.