new media workers are either creative and autonomous producer of culture for the
digital economy, or they are victims enslaved to the mundane and low-paid
elements of knowledge work or the grueling rhythms of insecure portfolio work.
(Kennedy, 2009, p.180)
Many of the media freelancers involved with this project, having worked for decades, may
have moments when they occasionally appear as either “enslaved victims or autonomous
producers of culture” (Kennedy, 2009, p. 180) but they also are skilled career improvisers
with the capacity to switch gears and adopt a variety of work styles. The media worker has
been extensively examined but I wanted to move from academic anonymity to more
personal stories of real people on the frontline of change and interweave with practices that
inspire and remind us that change is possible at every juncture.
A Life Lived In Media
Indiana University professor Mark Deuze accurately presents a life lived in media as a
significant and regular feature of the contemporary landscape and describes “The Truman
Show” as a metaphor for the inescapable media life. Yet at the end of the film, Truman
walks off the fictitious stage of his so-called life in reality, Deuze recognizes there is no
escape. In the book, Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World the
authors recognize a similar inescapable scenario of media immersion that is more
positively, intimately connected to community-building:
We no longer ‘enter’ the web; we carry it with us. We access it via mobile,
mapping, and location-aware technologies. It is embedded in all sorts of sensors
and networked devices. . .Our physical location determines the types of
information we retrieve online, and the people and things we find around us. It is
true that technologies have become location aware; but it is also true that we have
become more aware of locations. (Gordon & de Souza e Silva, 2011, p. 172)
This location-enhancing media technology has the capability to link us in ways to foster
connections that enhance personal and professional relationships.
A New Vision of Work and Leadership
We are on the frontline of tumultuous economic and geopolitical changes and many of us
are in transition. This requires a radical shift in thinking from a “go it alone” attitude to a
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