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Core Themes

N&MRC investigates the evolution of media, content and communication and the impact of online and mobile systems. The work of the Centre encompasses:

Big data cultures
Research addresses the social, cultural, political and ethical aspects of the big data phenomenon.

Digital inclusion & engagement
How users engage or disengage with digital media and relations of power and social change in digital networks, with the aim of creating actionable resources that are tailored to the needs of locales and communities to facilitate greater digital inclusion.

Digitisation of children
The ways in which children are becoming monitored, visualised and placed under surveillance from pre-birth onwards using digital technologies.

Organising the crowd: online fields and network analysis
Analysing crowdsourced communication, online social movements and organisational innovation requires cutting-edge social research methods such as the combination of digital trace data analysis with surveys and interviews, and new conceptual frameworks such as the articulation of network science and social field theory.

Critical digital health studies
The social, cultural, political and ethical dimensions of digital health technologies as they are used in a range of medical and public health contexts.

Health & medical news
News media framing of health and medical issues with attention to journalistic practices and news values, the activities of news sources, and impacts on public and policy responses in the area of health.

Public understandings of health & risk
The ways in which diverse publics understand and respond to health issues and risks and the cultural resources they draw upon in doing so, including the impact of popular media, expert knowledge and biography. Research is also focused on the practices of health activists and social movements.

Digital divide
Addressing the various dimensions of the digital divide, including access,  literacy, and the capacity to produce, distribute and consume digital  media content, and how these are formally addressed in government policy and practice.

Media & Indigenous policy
Current research explores the relationships between news media, advocacy and policy, with a particular focus on the impacts of mediatised policymaking practices in Indigenous affairs.

Political communication
The intersections between politics, media and publics to evaluate the role of communication in the changing nature of power relationships and democratic processes. This includes research into the nature of the realtionship between political media advisors and journalists.

Journalism practices, social fields & futures 
Research examines the changing nature of journalism practice in response to digital convergence, such as social media. This includes the shifting professional boundaries between journalism and other communications roles such as public relations, potential challenges to journalism's ethical framework, and the evolution of the social field of journalists.

Long-form journalism
The nature and range of long form journalism (sometimes termed literary journalism or narrative non-fiction or creative non-fiction) is examined, both for the ethical and literary issues its practice throws up, and as it becomes an increasingly important field with the fragmentation of other media forms and the impact of the 24/7 news cycle on journalists' time to spend on stories and on audiences' ability to consume and connect with them.

News Consumption
The Digital News Report for Australia provides in-depth anaylsis into Australian digital news consumption, and how the Australian news consumer is similar to and different from 11 other countries surveyed in 2015.