Communities of Broadcasting and Communities of Interactivity
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Communications and Creative Industries Deans Office
This paper critiques Holmes’ (1997, pp. 26—45) chapter in Virtual politics: identity and community in cyberspace, which addresses differences between ‘communities of broadcast and communities of interactivity’. The perspective adopted is informed by my extensive (140-interview) ethnographic survey of remote Western Australia following the (1987) introduction of broadcast television. Holmes’ (1997, pp. 33—34) argument is that “what has been largely ignored is an appreciation of the property of broadcast’s power of individuation (or metro-nucleation) of the population ... the ascendancy of the Internet can be explained precisely by a new kind of commodification – the sale of lost levels of community back to the consumer.” This is a seductive argument – and Holmes makes many other exciting and insightful comments – but it is not borne out by the experience of those in remote Western Australia, one of the last populations in the globe to receive television broadcasts.