Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

Life of SYN

A Story of the Digital Generation

By Ellie Rennie

Book launch
Thursday 8th December, 6pm
Loop Bar, 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne
Launched by Andrew Crook of Crikey.com in Melbourne.

SYN (Student Youth Network) is a media organisation run by people between the ages of 12 and 26. In this ‘coming of age story’, Ellie Rennie follows the SYNners as they build Australia’s most unusual media empire against enormous odds. Over the course of the book, social networking becomes the most popular use of the internet and traditional media institutions are forced to acknowledge the rise of amateur content. In response, SYN rethinks its approach to the online environment, kills its print publication, deals with the introduction of digital broadcasting and teaches schoolteachers about a new kind of literacy. In just two years dozens of careers are launched, the SYN radio audience doubles and they get told off for swearing.

Life of SYN takes on the big issues of the media through the story of a small media organisation. This humorous and insightful book describes a media environment in flux, where audiences and producers express their freedom in unruly and contradictory ways. Life of SYN gives structure to the new media world without curtailing its inventiveness and possibility.

Life of SYN combines story with media theory, encompassing: digital literacy and media participation; the future of community media; youth media and media industries.

Associate Professor Ellie Rennie is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology and a Senior Research Associate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. Life of SYN is her second book.

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