An educational resource at the heart of public debate, criminological research and professional practice......
Above all, CrimeTalk is an online resource. This means it has the capacity for new and different forms of publishing involving audio, video, and photo as well as text, for interaction between contributors, for comments on articles, and for short as well as long contributions. The infinity of its memory means it can be a permanent archive, memoir, record and testimony containing its own history all in one place. Its Joomla open-source architecture means that new software can be added and new capacities developed.
The advent of the web means that an online resource like CrimeTalk can be linked easily to other publications and resources. It can become a node in a network of communications of enormous capacity and speed. Sharing in the information society, on a network basis, challenges existing institutional tendencies towards privatised communication, opens up the choice of more public options, and offers the possibility of creating much more democratic forms of information gathering, sharing and dissemination.
At the end of the day though, what really matters is content. Gizmos and gadgets are fun and can liberate us from previous limitations, but without substantive information of quality we have nothing but toys and a hobby. CrimeTalk is edited by a former professor of criminology, sociology and law with extensive editorial experience, of editing his own essays and books, others' articles and book reviews for journals, a book series, an international scientific journal, and a global handbook of criminology. Over a long period in academia, his own work in the UK has been extensively and intensively audited and reviewed and usually declared to be of world-class quality, something effectively endorsed by his being invited to a string of visiting professorships in various disciplines throughout the world. All of this means that he is not inclined to allow standards to drop too low, whilst appreciating that there are diverse ways of communicating and not all are deadly serious.
CrimeTalk will explore what can be. In many ways, the traditional world of publishing appears slow to change, unfair to authors in terms of royalties and limited by its need to earn a living. For now, like most major newspapers, CrimeTalk is a free online publication but has costs - a situation that cannot last for ever, because this is not so much a rich man's hobby as a poor man's invention. Other challenges belong to the readership: CrimeTalk explores the extent people want to write for a broad global public and their capacity to free themselves from the restrictions of their occupation.
In terms of the forms of content, our main features are as follows:
Feature articles and brief comments by criminologists, journalists, criminal justice professionals, and students;
Comments on articles, current news stories and a store of 'press cuttings';
An archive of weblinks to useful materials on a wide range of topics, including a store of video lectures, speeches and other presentations;
A state-of-the-art video search engine enabling you to find an incredible range of video news on your topic;
An enormous list of blogs, with a BlogRoll containing our current favourites on the front page;
Debates and research groups on bulletin boards;
Reviews of books and current media output on crime, morality and justice, including tv, film and magazines;
An education section with articles and weblinks on current educational issues, especially the relationship between education, new social media and the web;
An archive of out tweets on Twitter, reflecting our presence on Twitter with many followers - we also have a Facebook page;
Our own CrimSoc: a social network space or criminology society for all our registered members around the world, with its own internal private and secure e-mail, where profiles can be developed, where status messages can be posted either just to members or to the public, and where above all a list of all our recent publications is found;
A shop, in association with Amazon, selling books, e-books, and indeed anything that Amazon sells where you can support CrimeTalk by buying stuff there and giving us a small commission
Another shop will be developed to sell our own e-books, digitized articles and essays; with classifieds to sell your own stuff;
Ads for criminology books, and links to key events and groups in the world of criminology and criminal justice;
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