News & Events
2017 Upcoming Events
Taking journalism and trauma seriously: the importance of the AZ case
Presenter: Matthew Ricketson
It was only in 2012 that the first case of occupational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the news media was brought to trial in an Australian court. An experienced, award-winning photographer at The Age sued her former employer for not providing sufficient support for during and after assignments, in particular after she took photographs of survivors of the 2002 Bali bombings for a series to be run on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack in which 202 people had been killed, including 88 Australians. AZ v The Age was a landmark case; the plaintiff was unsuccessful but the impact of the case has reverberated through newsrooms in Australia, with media companies now acutely aware of their obligation to provide a safe and supportive working environment, especially for those journalists and photographers who follow news into dangerous, even deadly fields.
During a period of OSP leave in 2016 I travelled to the United States – the global home of litigation – to spend six weeks working with colleagues in the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at the Columbia School of Journalism. I went there to find out whether there have been many occupational PTSD cases in the news media brought to trial, and if so to see what could be learnt by comparing experiences across the two countries, both for journalists and in how the courts view such cases. The results were surprising.
Matthew Ricketson is an academic and journalist. In 2009 he was appointed the inaugural professor of journalism at the University of Canberra. He came to the university from The Age where he was Media and Communications editor. He is the author of three books and editor of two. Most recently, the second edition of Writing Feature Stories has been published by Allen & Unwin. He is president of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia and chair of the board of the Dart Centre Asia-Pacific.
A user-centric digital inclusion framework for a digitalised society: 'Linking Australia’s digital divide policy and digital exclusion experiences’
Presenter: Jee Young Lee
Connectivity has continued to grow, however a significant division between those who use technology effectively and those who do not has emerged as a new digital gap. The long term consequences of not being able to use technologies effectively results in a range of economic, social and cultural disadvantages as we move towards a highly digitalised society. This study examines how digital divide policies have addressed the issues of both access and usage gaps. It furthermore explores the actual experiences of the digitally disadvantaged groups in order to devise a policy framework that can empower people through digital engagement. Two methodologies were adopted: policy analysis and qualitative interviews with digitally excluded groups. The first policy analysis phase of research investigated the nature of digital exclusion by questioning how the Australian government has perceived and defined the ‘digital divide’ over time, examining its relevance to policymaking. This includes ICT policy and more specifically the types of efforts – supply and demand-side - aimed to diffuse the use of ICTs across society. Official, publicly available documents that contain government policies and strategies related to the reduction of the digital divide in Australia were the focus of the study.
The policy analysis revealed that the demand-side of ICT diffusion policy has so far received relatively less attention than the supply-side dimension. Although Australia is considered a highly-connected society, it has also been observed that Australia has a stalling status of ICT diffusion over the last decade. This implies that the supply-side policies that focus on the provision of access to infrastructure may not be sufficient to stimulate effective uses. Demand-side facilitation is crucial to increase the effective uses of ICT by raising awareness of the possible benefits and also by providing training and support. A need to examine the actual experiences of internet users and non-users emerged from the policy analysis. In order to investigate the nature of the demand-side dimension, twenty one in-depth interviews were conducted with non-and limited users of the internet in Canberra. An inductive analysis approach to understand non-and limited users’ daily-lived experiences with technology and resulting digital exclusion was employed. From the interview data about participants’ everyday lives and experiences with ICTs, latent circumstances surrounding non-use and the underlying circumstances of limited users were identified. It was evident that non-engagement impacted participants’ everyday lives in many ways, including exclusion from different services and facilities, inability to undertake community participation, inefficiency, and also prevented further understanding of the potential value of technology in their lives. A theoretical theme, relative digital deprivation, emerged from data analysis is discussed, followed by the theme social encouragement and support, which is related to key vehicles to digital inclusion. Finally, combining the results of interviews with the policy analysis, this study seeks to extend and enrich the digital divide policy framework to reflect the perspectives and experiences of the digitally excluded individuals.
Jee Young Lee is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra, and a research assistant at the university's News and Media Research. Her doctoral research explores a user-centric inclusion framework for a digitalised society and the role of digital divide policy in addressing exclusion. She has worked on several research studies that focus on online behaviour and digital inclusion.
N&MRC PhD Candidate Catherine Page Jeffery spoke to ABC local radio about her research on parental anxieties about their teenage children's use of digital technologies. Listen to the interview here.
N&MRC News Archive
The Engaging Innovation 2016 communication and media policy conference was held in Sydney on 2-3 November. The conference was the second in the N&MRC's Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy conference series, following on from the 2013 conference held on-campus. Well-attended by industry practitioners, policy-makers and academics, Engaging Innovation highlighted the strong scholarly and pragmatic links between communication, media and journalism.
Professor Deborah Lupton and her colleagues from the UK have been awarded a 2016-2017 Wellcome Trust Grant (UK) for the project 'The digital health generation: the impact of healthy lifestyle technologies on young people's learning identities and health practices'. Congratulations Deborah!
N&MRC researchers Dr Kate Holland and Dr Michelle Dunne Breen contributed to a recently-launched report examining media representations of violence against women. Funded by a grant from Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS), the report is one of the largest analyses into media reporting of domestic violence around the world. Download the report from the Communication and media section of Policy Online, and read more about the report in the Monitor.
N&MRC has launched the Digital News Report: Australia 2016, the second annual survey of news consumption in Australia in collaboration with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Read more about the report's key findings here.
Centenary Professor Deborah Lupton spoke to WIN News about the impact of social media. Watch the interview via this link.
N&MRC researchers Sora Park and Sally Burford spoke to WIN News about the findings from a pilot program they conducted investigating the use of mobile devices in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Watch the interview here and read more about the pilot program on UC's monitor website.
Congratulations to N&MRC Associate Professor Kerry McCallum and PhD Candidate Tess Ryan who have been awarded project funding by UC's Collaborative indigenous Research Initiative (UC CIRI). The grant of $39,652 will fund the 'Deficit Metrics in Indigenous Education' project, which will examine the use of statistics and other official attempts to describe and quantify achievement in Aboriginal education.
The N&MRC welcomes Dr Gwangjae Kim to the University of Canberra. Dr Kim will be a Visiting Scholar with the News & Media Research Centre until December 2016. He is Associate Professor at the Department of Advertising & Media, Hanyang Cyber University, South Korea. His research focuses on media and telecommunication policy, media industries and media literacy. Dr Kim is currently an Advisor for the National Information Agency and Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in Korea. During his sabbatical at the University of Canberra, he plans to conduct comparative research across media and broadband policies.
Congratulations to Centenary Research professor Deborah Lupton, who is part of an international network of scholars awarded $450,000 Swedish Krona for the project 'Self-tracking and Automatised Bodies' (2016-2018).
Congratulations to Centenary Research professor Deborah Lupton, who is part of an international network of scholars awarded $450,000 Swedish Krona for the project 'Self-tracking and Automatised Bodies' (2016-2018). Deborah Lupton with Associate Professor Martin Berg (co-ordinator), Associate Professor Vaike Fors, Christopher Martin, all of Halmstead University, Sweden, Professor Tom O'Dell, Lund University, Sweden, Professor Sarah Pink, RMIT University, Dr Minna Ruckenstein, Dr Mika Pantzar, both of the University of Helsinki, Finland).
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, Assistant Professor Glen Fuller spoke to 2SER about why people feel the need to vent on social media after an event like this, and how productive it might be. Listen to the podcast on the 2SER website.
Congratulations to Associate Professor Jerry Watkins, N&MRC Director, on his successful project in the latest ARC funding round for 2016. Jerry is a Chief Investigator on a Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) project hosted by Swinburne University of Technology. Jerry's involvement will focus upon new systems and formats to advance online and mobile collection and dissemination of resources for communication and media policy and research. This study builds upon the News & Media Research Centre's leadership of the Communication and Media section of Australian Policy Online, the essential online research database.
Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton's new report was released on the 15th of October. It was co-authored with Professor Sarah Pedersen from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, who worked with Deborah on a visiting fellowship in Canberra earlier this year. The report, 'What is happening with your body and your baby': Australian women's use of pregnancy and parenting apps, can be downloaded on the publications page of our website.
N&MRC congratulates PhD candidate Teresa Ryan on her award for the best student paper at the Australian Political Studies Association Conference, held on campus last month. Teresa's paper was titled Where have all those black women gone? The curious case of missing visible indigenous women in the media and what it means for leadership in indigenous Australia.
Centre members Kate Holland and Kerry McCallum presented the findings of their report 'Conversations about alcohol and pregnancy' on Wednesday the 12th of August at the ACT Legislative Assembly. The report was launched in conjunction with the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)'s campaign 'Women Want to Know'. The ACT's Health Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Simon Corbell MLA, was in attendance.
On the 16th of June N&MRC released its Digital News Report: Australia 2015, the first the first in a series of annual reports which will track changes in news consumption in Australia over time.
Coinciding with the launch of the report, the Centre also assumed editorship of the Communication & Media collection of Australian Policy Online, the essential online research database providing access to research reports and other resources essential for public policy development and implementation.
N&MRC welcomes two Visiting Fellows, Professor Sarah Pedersen from the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and Dr Gareth Thomas from the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. Sarah and Gareth will be working with N&MRC Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton on the use of digital media during pregnancy.
N&MRC Research Associate Michelle Dunne Breen has contributed an article to The Conversation. The article, 'For the real story on Indigenous Australia, social beats old media', can be read in full on the website.
Centre Member Dr Caroline Fisher was awarded a $6,000 grant from the Journalism Education & Research Association of Australia (JERAA) for her project titled 'Press secretary to press gallery: managing conflict of interest and perceptions of partisanship'.
Academic Work in the Digital Era Symposium
On the 27th of November Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton convened a one-day symposium of international scholars including Inger Mewburn (ANU), Charlotte Frost (City University of Hong Kong), Pat Thompson (University of Nottingham), and the University of Canberra's Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education Nick Klomp. Symposium attendees addressed issues currently faced by academics, the use of social media in academia, as well as looking to the future. The following day Professor Lupton chaired a panel event at the ANU on "The risks and rewards of academic social media engagement: do you have to tweet and blog to be relevant".
Three N&MRC researchers receive ARC Discovery Project funding
The N&MRC congratulates three of our researcher on their successful Discovery Project grants in the latest round of ARC funding. Associate Professor Kerry McCallum and colleagues have won a Discovery Indigenous project via ANU on the prevalence of deficit discourse and its influence on Indigenous education. Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton and colleagues have won a Discovery Project via Southern Cross to study digital health and physical education. Professor Matthew Ricketson and colleagues have won a Discovery Project via La Trobe to investigate the digital reinvention of Australian journalism.
Deborah Lupton's Digital Sociology is out now
Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton's new book Digital Sociology was recently released and is available on Amazon and via the publisher's website. Digital Sociology is essential reading not only for students and academics in sociology, anthropology, media and communication, digital cultures, digital humanities, internet studies, science and technology studies, cultural geography and social computing, but for other readers interested in the social impact of digital technologies.
Professor Matthew Ricketson's ARC Linkage Project application with La Trobe University is successful
Posted: 30th June 2014
Congratulations go to the N&MRC's Professor Matthew Ricketson for his successful ARC Linkage Grant Application. The grant will be administered by La Trobe University, and will be conducted with Partner Organisations the Australian Broadcasting Organisation, the National Library of Australia and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
The three-year project is a multifaceted, innovative and timely analysis of the role of mass redundancies, forced career changes and the digital reinvention of Australian journalism at a time of industry restructure and technological change. In this project, academics and industry stakeholders join forces to explore how to best address questions about professional journalism's experience of structural transformation and its capacity to adapt positively to change. The project aims to provide the first in-depth account of the complex interplay between economic, technological, workplace and career pressures reshaping professional journalism.
New book on narrative non-fiction by Matthew Ricketson, Professor of Journalism
Posted: 24th June 2014
Matthew Rickeston, Professor of Journalism and N&MRC researcher, has recently published a new book entitled Telling True Stories. The book explores the key challenges in writing narrative non-fiction. In addition to this latest release, Matthew has also co-authored a chapter with N&MRC Adjunct Professor Franco Papandrea in the edited book State Aid for Newspapers - Theories, Cases, Actions. Another book chapter, 'The Gillard Government and the media' by Matthew and Sally Young, has been published in The Gillard Government: Australian Commonwealth Administration 2010-2013, edited by Chris Aulich.
Deborah Lupton's report on academics' use of social media released
Posted: 10th June 2014
Professor Deborah Lupton's article on the findings from her recently released report, 'Feeling Better Connected: Academics' Use of Social Media' (available for download in full here), has been published on The Conversation website. The article, Status anxiety: should academics be using social media?, suggests that despite the possible negative aspects, social media can facilitate connections between academics and promote an exchange of ideas. The Australian has also featured an article on this research, which is available (via paywall) at this link. Deborah tweets @DALupton.
NMRC researchers receive ACT Strategic Opportunities Funding
Posted: 27th April 2014
Associate Professor Sora Park and Associate Professor Sally Burford are to conduct an mHealth pilot program at ACT GP Super Clinic in collaboration with Leif Hanlen (NICTA), Paul Dugdale (ANU Medical School), Paresh Dawda (ACT GP Super Clinic), John Burns (Ochre Health), and Christopher Nolan (ACT Diabetes Service, Canberra Hospital). They were awarded $100,000 for their project "Mobile digital communication and health management: An mHealth pilot program at the ACT GP Super Clinic" from the ACT government to investigate how mobile digital communication can increase efficiency and quality of primary healthcare. Through this exploratory research, the team will identify benefits of and barriers to introducing mHealth at the Super Clinic. It will inform and drive healthcare debate and any necessary policy change, as service and communication are complemented by digital technologies.
State of the Newspaper Industry 2013 Report findings published by The Conversation
Posted: 26th February 2014
Adjunct Professor Franco Papandrea has written an article for The Conversation website on his recent publication State of the Newspaper Industry in Australia, 2013. The report, which was recently published by the N&MRC, can be downloaded in full on our publications page.
The N&MRC welcomes Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton
Posted: 24th February 2014
The N&MRC has kicked off the 2014 academic year by welcoming Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton to the Faculty of Arts and Design. Professor Lupton's research and teaching is multidisciplinary, incorporating sociology, media and communication and cultural studies. She is the author of 13 books and over 130 journal articles and book chapters on topics including the social and cultural dimensions of medicine and public health; risk; the body; parenting cultures; digital technologies; food; obesity politics; and the emotions.
Deborah Lupton presented the opening plenary at the 13th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases, UNSW, 20 February 2014, on the topic of 'The digital health phenomenon: promises and limitations'.
Three articles by Deborah Lupton were recently published:
Lupton, D. (2014) 'How do you measure up?' Assumptions about 'obesity' and health-related behaviors in 'obesity' prevention campaigns. Fat Studies, 3(1), 32—44
Lupton, D. (2014) The commodification of patient opinion: the digital patient experience economy in the age of big data. Sociology of Health & Illness, online first, doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12109.
Lupton, D. (2014) The pedagogy of disgust: ethical, moral and political implications of using disgust in public health campaigns. Critical Public Health, online first, doi: 10.1080/09581596.2014.885115.
Launch of the 'Italy in the Australian News Media, 2005-2012' report
Posted: 11th November 2013
The N&MRC's latest report, 'Italy in the Australian News Media, 2005-2012' was launched on Thursday 7th of November at the Italian Ambassador's residence in Canberra. Special guests included Ambassador His Excellency Pier Franceso Zazo, the Honorable Vicki Dunne MLA, On. Marco Fedi, and members of Canberra's Italian community.
Kate Holland, N&MRC Postdoctoral Fellow, awarded prestigious grant
Posted: 11th November 2013
Congratulations to Dr Kate Holland, postdoctoral fellow in communication, who obtained a nationally-competitive Discovery Early Career Researcher Award worth $375,289 from the Australian Research Council. Her research project will look at how media shape the public and professional understanding and communication about mental health issues and contribute to policy-making around these practices. For more information, read the article on the Monitor website.
The N&MRC welcomes new Associate Professor Mathieu O'Neil
Posted: 28th October 2013
Associate Professor Mathieu O'Neil joined the News and Media Research Centre in October 2013. A New paper by Mathieu titled 'Collaborative Internet Governance: Terms and Conditions of Analysis' has been published in the special issue on Contested Internet Governance of the Revue française d'études américaines:
"Online projects are communities of practice which attempt to bypass the hierarchies of everyday life and to create autonomous institutions and forms of organisation. A wealth of theoretical frameworks have been put forward to account for these networked actors' capacity to communicate and self-organise. This article reviews terminology used in Internet research and assesses what it implies for the understanding of regulatory-oriented collective action".
N&MRC PhD Candidate pens article for The Conversation
Posted: 10th October 2013
David Marshall, a PhD Candidate in Communication, was recently invited to contribute an article to The Conversation, one of Australia's largest independent news websites. The article, entitled 'Feeding the chooks: Abbott, Howard and media management', compares the ways in which newly elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott has handled his media appearances over the past month, to how John Howard ran his press office while Prime Minister. The article examines several key incidents in Abbott's first weeks in office to argue that despite appearances, 'Abbott's media directive is all about co-ordination, not control'.
The full article can be read on the website at http://theconversation.com/feeding-the-chooks-abbott-howard-and-media-management-18923
N&MRC researcher evaluates iPads as research tools
Posted: 12th May 2013
Research conducted by The N&MRC's Associate Professor Sora Park and Assistant Professor Sally Burford from Knowledge and Information Studies was recently featured in 'Monitor', the University's Magazine. The research looked at whether an increasing use of technology such as ipads can benefit university students' digital media literacy, with some surprising results. Download the full article here (.pdf 280KB).