Julian Knowles: Changes in Digital Media

Fareah Islam
News Reporter

Julian Knowles, creator, performer and also a professor at Macquarie University in Australia, came to Humber Lakeshore campus on Thursday to discuss changes in digital media and their impact on the media industry.

The lecture was open to all Humber students because the college is, “committed to international strategy and cross-program collaborations,” explained Andrew Scott, associate dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

With a smartphone in his hand, Knowles explained, “We can’t teach music, journalism and media the same way. People are always reachable. Smartphones are impacting people in every level of society.”

His lecture focused on the changes that occurred across the media industry due to the digital disruption and he specifically used the music industry as an example.

“New social media models hit the music industry first and then all of the media industry,” said Knowles.

He pointed out that there was a rise of peer-to-peer relationships because of new technology and there were “more intensified relationships between the producers and the consumers of the product.”

Knowles was a member of an indie band named Even as We Speak and said he can now determine the type of people who are listening to his music with details such as age, gender, nationality. This builds a stronger relationship with the consumer.

“There are now creative responses that artists have come up with to engage audiences,” Knowles said. The artist, Beck, released his album as a book and encouraged his fans to record the music on YouTube as a way to recognize the talent of his fans and share their love for music.

“People liked to trade and make mix tapes. Part of it was sharing but also imbuing your own social capital. It was an exercise in social currency,” added Andrew Scott.

“You are a gatekeeper and you have the ability to have a rare record collection. Having records, books, vinyl records and CDs served as artifacts of your own cultural credibility and personal identity.”

Samiha Fariha, a post-grad student in the Public Relations certificate program audits a website for the Canadian Muslim Media Council. She attended the event to learn about new trends and strategies in social media platforms

“I learned that the power is in the hands of the consumer. When I am auditing the website for the Canadian Muslim Media Council, I need to make sure that users are feeling engaged and their needs are being met because people want to be a part of the process. This will make sure that we have a great end product,” said Fariha.

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