This is not a how-to book but an analysis of how our society and economy are being affected by the new technologies of communication. As such, it is a serious treatment that draws on worldwide resources but remains ever relevant to Australia.
Trevor Barr is Professor of Media and Communications at Swinburne University of Technology and, unlike many who have pontificated about the Internet, he knows his stuff. Drawing on sources as diverse as the speeches of Rupert Murdoch and the polemics of Jon Katz, he relates the many radical communications changes of the last decade to the Australian situation in a thoughtful, systematic way. Avoiding both techno-hype and techno-hysteria, Barr analyses how these new ways of talking to each other will affect society at all levels, from personal relationships through to the economic plans of mega-corporations.
The author's overall focus and concern is what all this means for Australia, and how best to deal with the emerging new world with its potentially vast changes to existing political and economic orders. At the end, he offers 10 specific suggestions for policy and action, which, he hopes, will preserve Australia's economic viability as well as the coherence of its community. This is a carefully researched, well considered and persuasively argued volume, which should be of interest to anyone concerned with the future direction of Australian society.