Dr. Darin Barney is an assistant professor of communications at the University of Ottawa and the author of Prometheus Wired: The Hope for Democracy in the Age of Network Technology, a look at some of the philosophical and political problems with the hyper-optimism surrounding digital communications technologies.
Dr. Barney recently lectured at Mount Allison as a part of the Democratic Audit series, which is coming out in book form one of these days. Of the lectures in the series that I attended, Barney was the only speaker to explicitly and rigourously question the influence of corporate interests on democratic processes (something that, one would think, would be necessarily central to any "democratic audit" taking place in the last 200 years). Specifically, Barney elaborated on the corporate stranglehold of development of communications infrastructure policy and regulation in Canada.
Dr. Barney answered my questions via email. What follows is an unedited transcript; an edited version with an extended introduction is forthcoming.
Junk Science, Corporate Ideology, and Genetically Modified Food: An Interview with Ann Clark
Argosy: The Irving Media Monopoly in New Brunswick: An Interview with Dr. Erin Steuter
The following is an unedited transcript of an interview I conducted with Stephen Henighan on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2002.
Stephen Henighan is the author of When Words Deny the World: The reshaping of Canadian writing, a book of essays about Canadian literature, in addition to two other books of criticism and several novels and short stories. He currently teaches Spanish at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.
Edited portions of this interview will appear in the Argosy, the independent student journal of Mount Allison University, as well as on Monkeyfist.com. I'll add links when they are available. Though I was careful to record the words as they were spoken, this text may contain errors or erroneous quotations.
I interviewed Dr. Erin Steuter, a professor of Sociology at Mount Allison University, and the author of The Irvings Cover Themselves: Media Representations of the Irving Oil Refinery Strike, 1994-1996. I asked her about the effect of having every english daily paper in New Brunswick owned by the Irving Group, a multi-billion dollar corporate empire spanning oil, timber, paper, and restaraunts that employs approximately one eighth of the New Brunswick workforce.
Wherein Kendall helps me shed some idiotic (yet altogether widespread) assumptions, and we discuss the public attitudes that allow the government to continue to mow down civilians (and kill them indirectly) in Afghanistan.
I was on the CBC this morning! Khalil Akhtar interviewed me about the state of activism in general, and now everyone who listened to the CBC in New Brunswick at 8:20 this morning knows just how articulate I am when I try to answer Big Questions about "anti-globalization" protests.
The Interview [4 minutes, 1.8MB, MP3]
Evan is an activist working with Mobile ((i)). He has spent several months in Argentina and Bolivia, helping local indymedia activists set up computers, web sites, and get things started.
I asked him about the democratic activity that is emerging in Argentina--its origins, short term goals, and long term viability.