media texthack

This text is beta v1 of the Media 101 Text – a collaboratively curated text for media and communication studies students in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.

Some Background

On the weekend of 16-17 November 2013, a group of academics and librarians across Australia and New Zealand got together at their respective campuses to collaboratively write – or ‘hack’ – an open textbook.

Led by Erika Pearson with assistance from Bernard Madill (both from the University of Otago) and featuring contributors from Massey University, University of Canterbury and University of South Australia – the open textbook project is an experiment in the production of open educational resources in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The team was inspired by a group of Finnish mathematicians who (successfully) attempted to write an open mathematics textbook in a weekend.

Open Texts and Curation of Content

An ‘open’ textbook is one which tries to break free of all technical and legal restrictions on access and reuse. That means a textbook that is free to read, free to adapt and free to distribute – all over the world.

This initial textbook project is intended for undergraduate students in Communication and Media Studies around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. In the future, though, we could see open textbook projects for subjects and levels across the New Zealand education system.

To this end, the organising team are producing an accompanying ‘cookbook” to provide a roadmap for other projects.


The project is by Creative Commons, who have been supporting open education projects around the world. Creative Commons affiliates, for their part, have been working to implement open education projects and policies — with a great deal of success. Additional recognition must go to Richard White, University Copyright Officer, and Simon Hart, Policy, Planning and Evaluation Librarian, both of the University of Otago. Their insight and enthusiasm on the steering committee set the initial seeds that grew into the book. A Pressbook version is available thanks to the kind support of Clint Lalonde and colleagues at BCcampus.

There are Open Textbook projects in just about every country on the planet. Open textbooks are clearly taking off — and for good reason. Open textbooks ensure that educational resources are accessible, affordable and reusable, helping organisations and governments to realise their basic goal of enabling universal access to education.

It’s exciting to see the global movement for open textbooks reach New Zealand. May this open textbook project be the first of many!

All material, unless otherwise indicated, is licensed CC-BY — you are free to take, adapt, modify and reconstruct this text any way you like, as long as you give attribution — and we’d appreciate it if you’d let us know if you found the project useful.  As CC expands, more resources will become available under that suite of licenses, and future versions of this text will endevour to incorporate them.

Made by Dr Sy Taffel, Dr Erika Pearson, Dr Brett Nicholls, Martina Wengenmeir, Khin-Wee Chen, Hazel Phillips, Collette Snowden, Bernard Madill, Jane Ross, Sarah Gallagher, Thelma Fisher, Shah Nister J. Kabir, Maud Ceuterick, Hannah Mettner and Massimiliana Urbano.


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Media Studies 101 Copyright © 2014 by media texthack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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