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Broadcasts in cyberspace

Video clip synopsis – Trevor Barr contrasts the privileged access to public television broadcasts with the free information exchange on the Internet. Stephen Mayne celebrates the value of ABC Online as a national resource and describes how activists have used the Internet to successfully broadcast their alternative views.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 3min 4sec
Tags - culture, globalisation, Internet, technology, technology and society, see all tags


Broadcasts in cyberspace

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 cyberspace_pr.mp4 (22.6MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 cyberspace_bb.mp4 (10.7MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


These interviews with Trevor Barr and Stephen Mayne were recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Trevor Barr is an author, professor and the Director of Creative Industries Research & Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. Stephen Mayne was the founder and editor of independent news service You can view their full biographies at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Area of study 3. New media

This area of study focuses on the social consequences of the emergence of new media technologies. The creative implications of new media technologies are considered in the context of the capabilities of the technologies, their relationship with existing media, how they provide alternative means of representation and distribution of media products. Their cultural significance is investigated in terms of how they challenge and alter our perception of the world through the media products that can be produced and consumed, and the changes, possibilities and concerns that may arise in society.

Technological advancements in the media occur within the context of the society in which they are created, developed and used. Such developments, therefore, not only affect media products themselves but also change the processes involved in production, distribution and consumption. In many instances they may also influence the nature of the reality (the event) being depicted by the media; for example, digital imaging techniques have allowed the manipulation (that is altering, distorting, mutating and reshaping) of photographic representations. The convergence of new media technologies, digitisation, computerisation and high-speed data transfer create new pathways for the transmission, exchange and storage of both existing and new forms of information and entertainment. Issues such as ownership, copyright, privacy and access gain new significance in terms of the relationship between media technology and the circulation of representation.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Anyone with access to the Internet can become an author and 'broadcast’ ideas and opinions in a way that was never possible with the traditional media, especially the established broadcast media.

Traditional broadcast media audiences – radio listeners and television viewers – experience 'the message’ as something delivered to them in finished form – in effect, a message 'done to them’. Now, by accessing the Internet, users can interact with 'messages’ by commenting, submitting feedback, engaging in a meaningful way with 'the message’. Most significantly, internet users can create their own 'messages’ for 'broadcast’. This radically changes the established order of things, the 'top-down’ model of communication that has dominated traditional broadcasting for more than 80 years.

This new form of broadcast is a powerful tool that can be transmitted from a computer, mobile phone or PDA (personal device application) like a Palm Pilot or iPod. A message could include text (email, SMS or text file), images or moving pictures (video or animation), and audio. Messages in cyberspace can be accessed a number of ways, including via the Web (at a website), or by video stream, webcast or podcast.

Classroom Activities


Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip itself:

  1. What sort of model is the traditional broadcast model? What are its characteristics? How have digital technologies changed this?
  2. What sort of broadcast from cyberspace do you use? Have you or someone you know created content?
  3. What do you think the implications for global democracy might there be in the new technologies. Who may be left out of this ‘global’ system?

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.