European communication conference in Lisbon is officially open. The three-day event was kicked off by Dr. Natalie Fenton of Goldsmith University of London. She spoke of the ill effects neoliberal economics have on media industry, and subsequently to journalism’s quality. Aside from Fenton’s message, her PowerPoint-free oration gathered noticeable laud over social media – not least due to her performing magic tricks on stage.
Fenton’s critique was carried on by the second plenary speaker, Dr. Tristan Mattelart of University of Paris-8. Despite the empowering potential of new communication technologies, much of their implications are bound to political, economic, societal and material realities, Mattelart argued. In short, yet another blow against technological utopianism.
More detailed accounts of the plenary session can be found on the blog of Axel Bruns, of Queensland University of Technology. Summary of Dr. Fenton’s speech, and of Dr. Mattelart’s.