LiNQ, Literature in North Queensland, [print] December no. 38 2011 Published by the Department of Humanities, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University ISSN 0817-458X Two Poems ~ Irukandji Sails | A Cacophony of Grey
As we go to press, generation 2.0 takes to the streets in protest against failing governments, economies, and systems. We are witnesses to graphic accounts of civil unrest in places like Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt. Once, news bulletins were controlled by mainstream media and overbearing governments. But nowadays, the bloodshed is immortalised by amateur journalists, albeit often unsteadily framed and out of focus, but graphically real on mobile phones. Streamed on 24-hour mainstream news services, these videos are prefaced by, ‘We can’t vouch for the validity of this footage…but here it is’. Fact morphs into fiction as we struggle to make sense of the world. Iconic news images, like the bloodied corpse of Muammar Gaddafi ’s capture hands holding half a dozen smartphones whose faceless owners are recording, with their professional colleagues, a rough draft of history. Everywhere, the custodians of knowledge are under threat. The mainstream media model is collapsing as well as the rarefied world of the book publisher, who helplessly watches readers fervently embrace the electronic world of books. In the last three years, there has been an explosion in ebook reading on smart phones. So much so write Lachlan Jobbins and Angelo Loukakis on the Australian Society of Authors guide to Digital Self-Publishing, that 2011 may well prove the transition point from print to digital publishing. No longer, they say, will digital publishing be ‘the exotic’ extra. And tellingly, they warn that elements of the future have arrived more quickly than the book industry might have anticipated or predicted.