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N&MRC Seminar Series

2017 Upcoming Events

26 April

Water security, digital space and algorithms: building sustainable communities through engagement, innovation and digitally embedded communication.

Presenter: Anji Perera
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm


Water is at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the climate system, human society and the environment. As change factors in urban spaces and consumerism continue to affect water resources and services, seeking innovative ways to achieve attitudinal and behavioural changes in sustainable water consumption has become a challenge.  From a broad perspective, this  research project will attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ‘water communications’ and ‘domestic users of fresh water’. The goal is to investigate if ‘water conscious’ behaviour could be achieved through digitalised engagement, innovation and creativity.  The experimental design of this research will be organised around exploring persuasive social media effects for environmentally responsible behaviour. Further, the effectiveness of implementing a ‘smart metering – mobile app’ that tracks and provides real time information on water consumption in Canberra will be investigated.  It is intended that the research outcomes will address the gap in current research and contribute to public policy. Given the intense interest in this issue, strategies/toolkits that encourage, responsible average water consumption levels in everyday life, as well as adaptability at times of crisis will be formulated. Building sustainable communities is possible through engagement, innovation and digitally embedded communication.

Anji Perera commenced her HDR studies with FAD in 2017. Her research explores persuasive effects of digital media for environmentally responsible behaviour among online communities. The goal is to seek ways of achieving ‘water security’ through digital engagement, innovation and creativity.  Anji is currently teaching in the discipline of Communication and Media at UC, and prior to joining academia has worked in the corporate sector for nearly 10 years. Her professional experience spans across Brand Management, Marketing Research and Communications in the financial industry, as well as the multinational corporation-Unilever. She has obtained her professional membership as a Chartered Marketer from UK, and holds a MBA from the University of Southern Queensland.

3  May

Bearing witness: media and the Royal Commission

Presenter: Danielle Redmond, Royal Commission’s Director of Media and Communication
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm


The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has set new standards of transparency through its live streaming of public hearings, use of social media, and the publication of thousands of documents on its website.  For the past four years, it has been the subject of countless media reports across Australia, and in 2016, gained international attention when Cardinal George Pell appeared before the Commission from Rome.  In this seminar, Dani Redmond takes us behind the scenes of the Royal Commission’s approach to media and public communication, and looks at how digital technologies have transformed the way the community and media engage with a public inquiry.  For this seminar, Dani has interviewed the journalists who have reported on the Royal Commission over the past four years. They have shared with her their experiences of reporting on the Royal Commission, the challenges, and some of the unique transformations that have unfolded in the process.

Dani Redmond was the Royal Commission’s Director of Media and Communication from 2013 – 2016 and is now an independent consultant, writer, and tutor. Dani continues to work with the Royal Commission on occasion. Find out more about Dani on her website or connect via LinkedIn.

10 May

‘Both Fascinating and Disturbing’: Consumer Responses to 3D Food Printing and Implications for Food Activism

Presenter: Deborah Lupton and Bethaney Turner
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

Fabricated food using 3D printing technologies has the potential to address challenges that have been identified by food activists and those contributing to scholarship on the politics of food. These include food sustainability, food waste, ethical consumption, environmental degradation and world hunger issues. 3D printed food is such a new phenomenon that very little research has been conducted on what members of the public make of it and how receptive they may be to the idea of consuming it. In this chapter, we draw on responses to an online discussion group with 30 Australian participants that examined these issues. The participants’ responses revealed an initial lack of knowledge about 3D printers in general and even less about 3D printed food. Once they had been introduced to some examples and asked to respond to them, a range of attitudes was expressed. These attitudes drew on longstanding cultural meanings around food, particularly those relating to ideas of ‘natural’ food, what food should look like, what matter is considered edible and the processing of this matter. Key challenges to accepting 3D printed food evident in the participants’ responses include how the technology redefines what ‘food’ is, how food should be made or manufactured and the limits of the manipulation of edible ingredients. We conclude that those who promote the concept of fabricating food with 3D printers, including activists for sustainability and ethical consumption, need to come to terms with these cultural meanings and dilemmas when they are seeking to naturalise what is perceived to be a very ‘unnatural’ way of producing edible matter.

Deborah Lupton is Centenary Research Professor in the News & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra. Her latest books are Medicine as Culture, 3rd edition (Sage, 2012), Fat (Routledge, 2013), Risk, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2013), The Social Worlds of the Unborn (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), The Unborn Human (editor, Open Humanities Press, 2013), Digital Sociology (Routledge, 2015) and The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking (Polity, 2016). Her current research interests all involve aspects of digital sociology: big data cultures, self-tracking practices, digitised pregnancy and parenting, the digital surveillance of children, 3D printing technologies, digitised academia, and digital health technologies.

Bethaney Turner is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Design at the University of Canberra. Her current research explores the variety and complexity of the relationships between people and the food they grow, buy and consume. From local community gardens to global debates about food security, this research analyses the role food plays in the formation of subjectivities, practices of meaning-making and understandings of place.

Past Seminars 2017

12 April

Data, Dialogue and Democracy: Dissecting the Uneasy Relationship Between Digital Government and New Media in Canada

Presenter: Jeffrey Roy
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

In recent years, the Government of Canada has developed a flagship strategy as part of its efforts to go digital. This ‘Open Government Action Plan’ comprises three fundamental dimensions: information, data, and dialogue. The role of the media is fundamental to each of these dimensions, although the media itself is transforming, fragmenting and evolving in new ways. Whereas traditional media both public and private has played a primarily adversarial role by holding government to account, so-called new social media platforms are often viewed as central to a more collaborative and participatory ethos said to be at the heart of ‘Gov 2.0.’ Drawing upon both theoretical and empirical perspectives, this seminar will aim to illuminate the uneasy alignment between digital government and new media in Canada as well as the implications for democratic governance going forward.

Jeffrey Roy is Professor in the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management. He is a widely published observer and critic of the impacts of digital technologies on government and democracy. He has worked with the United Nations, the OECD, multinational corporations, and all levels of government in Canada. He is visiting Canberra as part of his sabbatical.

22 March

A user-centric digital inclusion framework for a digitalised society: 'Linking Australia’s digital divide policy and digital exclusion experiences’

Presenter: Jee Young Lee
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

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, publically 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.

Presenter Biography

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.

8 March

Taking journalism and trauma seriously: the importance of the AZ case

Presenter: Matthew Ricketson
Location: 11B56
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

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.

2016 Seminars

30 November

The Changing Geography of Overseas News in the Australian Press 1905-1950

Presenter: Emeritus Professor Peter Putnis and Jee Young Lee
Location: 5B55a/b
Time: 12-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
Since the early nineteenth century Australian newspapers have acted as vehicles through which news of the world, particularly news from Britain, was disseminated to the settler societies they served. Whatever the difficulties posed by distance, news scarcity, and the expense of transmission, a primary role of the press was to maintain the British connection and to provide readers with the wherewithal for a continuing knowledgeable engagement with the affairs of Britain, the British Empire and Europe. The London press and the London-based international news agency, Reuters, were the major sources of British and international news published in Australia well into the twentieth century.  However, following the Second World War, Australia's overseas news coverage reflected the increased importance of the US to Australia's interests, as well as increased attention given by the press to Asian affairs.

This paper reports on research into the changing pattern of overseas news coverage in the Australian press in the first half of the twentieth century. It presents statistical maps of the 'news geography' – the extent to which overseas countries and regions of the world are represented in the news - of the Sydney Morning Herald and theAge for the years 1905, 1920, 1935 and 1950 with a view to discerning historical trends in the view of the world presented through these newspapers. Discussion focuses on the question of how these maps reflect particular historical circumstances in relation to world events, patterns of global interconnectedness, Australia's position in the world, and the state of its press communications.

Presenter Biographies:
Peter Putnis is Emeritus Professor of Communication at the University of Canberra. He joined the University of Canberra in 1996 as Dean of the Faculty of Communication. Between 1999 and 2006 he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University's Division of Communication and Education. He has been an Expert Panel Member for the Australian Research Council in the area of Humanities and Creative Arts.

Jee Young Lee is a doctoral candidate at the University of Canberra, and a Research Assistant at the university's News and Media Research Centre. She holds a Master's degree in Communication and Journalism fromSogang University, South Korea. Her doctoral research explores a user-centric inclusion framework for a digitised society and the role of digital divide policy in addressing exclusion.

07 December

Seen but unseen:  Missing visible Indigenous women in the media and what it means for leadership in Indigenous Australia

Presenter: Tess Ryan
Location: 5B55a
Time: 12-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
This presentation reports on an investigation of media representation of Indigenous women's leadership in Australia. A plethora of strong Indigenous women are currently involved in leading roles, affecting policy and contributing in the areas of health, education, science and communication spheres. However I posit that contemporary mainstream media seem oblivious to or ignore this fact, and only seem to report on a few select individuals. Conversely, the sphere of digital and social media is saturated with a number of highly visible Indigenous women. Why is there a disconnection between what journalists report on and what is happening for Indigenous women, and why does there appear a disconnection within commercial outlets when a picture is emerging in social media full of fascinating, influential Indigenous women?

This seminar investigates, from an Indigenous standpoint, the role of leading Indigenous women who are currently affecting change within Australian society.  It also investigates why there is a lack of media coverage of these women, why reporting is steeped in negativity, and why the few that are reported on seem so appealing to news agencies. The presentation concludes that influential Indigenous women in leadership roles are not given positive coverage in mainstream media, and this thereby inhibits their further contribution to the Australian media sphere.

Presenter Biography:
Tess Ryan is a Biripi woman originating from Taree, New South Wales. She has worked for both Government and non-Government departments in areas ranging from child protection, out of home foster care, people with disabilities and the aged. Tess has also worked as an Indigenous cadet with the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in Indigenous Communications and Events and The Office of Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

Tess' academic career began at The University of Canberra in 2009 where she embarked on an undergraduate degree in Communications and Media studies. Tess has been awarded many scholarships during her time at University for her high academic achievements, including an ABC Indigenous Media scholarship, a Charles Perkins scholarship and the Lorna May scholarship. In 2013 she was awarded The University of Canberra Medal for her Honours theses, 'The push pull indicators of Indigenous political engagement'. Tess is undertaking a PhD at The University of Canberra which focuses on Indigenous women and their experiences of leadership in Australia. Currently she is the recipient of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Leadership Award and a visiting scholar with The University of Melbourne.

Past Seminars

23 November

Arguing about coal seam gas: frame conflicts over the future of fracking in Australia

Paul Fawcett
Michael J Jensen

Hedda Ransan-Cooper
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis
University of Canberra

Presenter: Paul Fawcett, Michael Jensen, Hedda Ransan-Cooper
Location: 5B55a
Time: 12-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
Coal seam gas exploration and production (colloquially known as ‘fracking’) has emerged as a key policy concern in many countries. The development and expansion of this ‘new’ technology has forged unlikely alliances between historically opposing groups as well as profound disagreement and fierce tensions within affected communities. These concerns are no less evident than in Australia, which has the potential to become a key player in this emerging market due to its considerable gas reserves and access to international markets. This paper develops a novel methodological approach that combines computational methods (topic modelling) with qualitative textual analysis in order to explain the rise and fall of frames over time: is it due to actors changing their frames, or changes in the composition of actors that sponsor particular frames? We present our findings at this seminar and discuss their theoretical, methodological and practical implications.

This paper is part of a larger ARC project on ‘Realising Democracy Amid Communicative Plenty: A Deliberative Systems Approach’. We would like to acknowledge the excellent research assistance provided by Sonya Duus.

framing, coal seam gas, topic modelling, big data

Presenter Biographies:
Paul Fawcettis is Director of the Centre for Change Governance at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. He has a background in political science and public policy with research interests in governance, public policymaking and political participation. He has published in journals such as Administration & Society, Government and Opposition, Policy & Politics and The Australian Journal of Political Science.

Michael J Jensen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. He has a background in political communication and has published books with Cambridge University Press and Palgrave concerning online political behaviour. His work concerns the use of digital communication technologies in the development of new forms of political organization within political campaigning and protest movements.

Hedda Ransan-Cooper is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis having previously worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Climate Change Institute, ANU. Hedda's research interests include the human dimensions of global environmental change, the theory and practice of sustainable development and the intersections between human mobility and climate change. Whilst at the Climate Change Institute, Hedda pursued research on risk and migration, framings of environmental migrants and climate change/energy change policy in Australia.

05 October

Changing Indigenous Media and Participation in Australia and Norway

Presenter: Associate Professor Kerry McCallum
Location: 9B13
Time: 12-1pm

This presentation discusses the impacts of changing media environments on Indigenous peoples’ participation in public debate. The paper examines how national media and political structures for representation have shaped Indigenous inclusion in political process and policy discussion.  It briefly reviews the historical development and contemporary diversity of Australian Indigenous media and introduces the Norwegian NRK Sápmi. The paper then examines how rapid and dramatic changes in the global media landscape promise to disrupt the established dynamic between Indigenous peoples and the State. It asks whether the adoption of social media is shifting the locus of an Indigenous public sphere and fundamentally changing the relationships between Indigenous peoples and the governments with whom they engage. Taking the case study of recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social media campaigns against government policy, the paper examines how social media is fostering a new form of public sphere activity in Australia. I propose that the unique communicative conditions of both Sami people in Norway and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia impact on the outcomes of such social media campaigns. This exploratory research provides a platform for a comparative study challenging the universality of minority experience frequently attributed to social media in the political communication process.

Kerry McCallum, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies, News and Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

19 September

Addressing parents' fears around Australian children (9-16) online

Presenter: Professor Lelia Green, Edith Cowan University
Location: 9B27
Time: 11am-12pm

Presentation Abstract:
Parents of children and teens often worry about their children's activities online. Key sources of Australian concern include excessive internet use ('internet addiction'), cyber bullying and children's access to disturbing or inappropriate content. This presentation draws upon the findings of the biggest comparative study of young people online ever conducted, the EU Kids Online research. The project remains the gold standard for comparative research in the field and allows Australian data from the aligned AU Kids Online study to be examined in the context of same-aged samples from 25 other countries. The presentation shows that Australia is far from average within this international context and the subsequent conclusions raise issues around the risks and benefits of online participation for Australian children. As might be expected, parents have a crucial role to play in supporting the positive possibilities of young people's digital activities and in helping to promote resilience and maturity in their online interactions. Key to some of these benefits are the ways in which parents handle the challenge of internet connected devices in the home and address their concerns over their child(ren)'s excessive internet use, cyber bullying risks, and access to pornography and other challenging content.

Presenter Biography:
Lelia Green has been first Chief Investigator on 4 ARC Discovery grant and 6 ARC Linkage grants, winning over $2,000,000 of competitive research funding with a majority of those funds being in the area of online participation, with a special focus on children and young people. She is a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and is a member of the Digital Data and Society Consortium. A career-long supporter of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), Lelia served as its President in 2001-2.

7 September

Towards a theory of online field/force

Presenter: Dr. Mathieu O'Neil and Dr. Robert Ackland
Location: Teaching Commons (1C42)
Time: 12pm-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
We address the emergence of innovations amongst online activists: why do some actors choose to connect to new issues, whilst others do not? To answer this question, we operationalise 'field theory' using social network analysis (SNA). SNA measures the properties of nodes, ties, and clusters statistically whilst field theory suggests that people act in certain ways because of shared values and social positions. We draw some elements from Actor-Network Theory (ANT), such as the incorporation of non-human actors into fields, but contrary to ANT, answering our question about actor choices requires us to establish distinctions between the agency of different categories of actors. We contend that ANT's objections about researchers arbitrarily imposing boundaries onto reality are, in this case, at least partly voided: actors in online activist fields have a common purpose that is both expressed and physically circumscribed by socio-technical affordances (such as hashtags) which do not extend forever. Our new framework for studying online activism involves three main aspects. First, we use field theory in an attempt to account for the goals of actors in choosing to connect (or not) to issues. Second, we define 'capital' as the number of connections accrued by actors in the course of their trajectories across online activist subnetworks or 'fields'. Third, we introduce the concept of 'field/force', the capacity of human or organisational actors to attract capital in social space or the capacity of issue actors to attract capital in semantic space, through people and organisations promoting them via their websites or tweets. We argue that field/force, capital and goals are mutually constitutive. We illustrate this conceptual exploration by drawing on studies of Web 1.0 and 2.0 activist fields, finding that field effects are stronger in Web 2.0, and offer explanations as to why this may be the case.

Presenter Biography:
Associate Professor Mathieu O'Neil is a core member of the News & Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra and Acting Head of Discipline, Communication and Media.
Associate Professor Robert Ackland is based at the School of Sociology & ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University.

31 August

Enhancing patient-centred cancer communication during cancer treatment

Presenter: Shara Ranasinghe
Location: 5C57
Time: 12pm-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
To live is to communicate. To communicate is to enjoy life more fully. The above quote resonate with the importance of communication in life. This study will examine effective means of patient-centred communication with cancer patients who are undergoing treatment. Experience of a cancer diagnosis involves radical changes in a person's life. Although the effect of communication on health outcomes is most often indirect, patient-centred communication can improve patient outcomes, such as in satisfaction, psychosocial adjustment, and adherence to treatment, thus contributing to a better state of health.

During the trajectory of the cancer journey, one of the most challenging stages of communication is during cancer treatment. There is a lack of research done at this stage compared to breaking the news, end of life, remission and survivor stages. Further, there are problems and dissatisfaction with the current ways that health care professionals and patients communicate with each other. Cancer diagnosis affects the entire family, especially the primary carer and not just the patient and the health professional. Further, the Internet platform is been used by all three groups for different reasons. Therefore, the aim of the study is to identify the forms and characteristics of effective communication identified by cancer patient, health professional and carer during the course of the cancer patient's treatment in order to enhance patient-centred communication in health care and online support contexts.

This inductive study will review communication within, cancer patient, health professional and carer and it is understood through the perspectives of social constructionism and online communication. Social constructionism asserts that understanding of the social world is achieved through the perceptions of individuals when they interact with one another, and the behaviours of individuals are shaped through social interactions with their environment. This concept would enable the researcher to understand the impact of other groups support and involvement with the patients' cancer battle and also the impact of the Internet on the illness experience.

This study will use van Manen's qualitative phenomenological research design to understand the various forms of communication experience during cancer treatment for cancer patients, health professionals and carers. Within the research design, this study would adopt interpretive phenomenological analysis that will focus attention on understanding the person in context and exploring, describing and interpreting how they make sense of their experiences. Data will be collected by conducting semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis is considered as the data analysis method.  This study has the opportunity to provide a significant offering to the broader spectrum of health communication and health care.

Presenter Biography:
Shara Ranasinghe is a PhD candidate with the N&MRC. This is her confirmation seminar.

24 August

Secret Public Policy: The Rhetoric of Major Defence Procurement in Government and News Media

Presenter: Kieran McGuinness
Location: 5C57
Time: 12pm-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
In times of risk and uncertainty, when billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, how does the public debate what the public does not have the right to know?

The politically sensitive future submarine fleet is the subject of significant media and government attention. However, the details of key defence policy-making decisions remain largely beyond the scrutiny of the public for reasons of national security. This research aims to explore the consequences of such an information void in the public discourse. Using a critical discursive approach this research will explore how the media and government fill this void with rhetoric of nationalism, exclusionism and foreign threat. It will analyse this rhetoric as it takes place in mainstream news sources with dedicated defence coverage as well as in government public affairs and policy documents. Broadly, it will discuss the function of rhetoric and persuasion in public policy discourse when there is no alternative but secrecy. It will also address the state of the media and its role in participatory democracy in the age of secret public policy.

The future submarine fleet is a significant example of secret public policy. Australian defence procurement, and particularly of submarines, has a troubled history characterised by schedule slippage, cost-overruns, politicisation and intense media scrutiny. Literature also suggests a distrustful relationship between the Australian Defence Organisation and the press characterised by denial of information. However, there is little research which looks directly at the media's role in reporting on defence procurement and how such scrutiny might shape the public discourse and political decision-making. This research hopes to address this gap in the literature as well as provide a significant contribution to understanding the current state of media-defence relations.

Presenter Biography:
Kieran McGuinness is a PhD Candidate with the N&MRC. This was his PhD confirmation seminar.

17 August

Living Digital Data

Presenter: Professor Deborah Lupton
Location: 1C Teaching Commons Hothouse Studio
Time: 12pm-1pm

Presentation Abstract:
In this presentation, I discuss some of my current work addressing personal digital data ontologies and practices under my 'Living Digital Data' research program. In so doing, I draw on some theoretical perspectives that I am developing on the following issues: the social, cultural and political dimensions of digital data; the notions of 'lively devices' and 'lively data'; the personal digital data assemblage; and the concept of 'data sense', incorporating digital sensors, embodied human senses and human sense-making. The discussion will be illustrated with examples from several of my empirical research projects.

Presenter Biography:
Deborah Lupton is Centenary Research Professor, News & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra. Her latest books are The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking (2016) and Digital Sociology (2015).

3 August

Press secretary to press gallery: managing conflict of interest and perceptions of partisanship

Presenter: Dr Caroline Fisher
Location: 5A37
Time: 12pm-1pm

Presentation Abstract:

This seminar will outline preliminary findings from research examining editors' and politicians' perceptions of issues surrounding conflict of interest and partisanship when a press secretary becomes a political reporter*.   This targeted qualitative research includes interviews with 10 news editors and 10 politicians and builds on the researcher's PhD study into the transition from journalist to political media adviser and back again, which examined these issues from the perspective of 21 journalism practitioners. The seminar will focus on findings in relation to disclosure of a journalist's political work history; Editors strategies for managing the transition from press secretary to newsroom; and varying levels of partisanship amongst press secretaries.
*This research has been funded by a grant from the Journalism Education and Research Association Australia.

Presenter Biography:
Caroline Fisher is an Assistant Professor in Journalism in the Faculty of Arts & Design and a member of the News and media Research Centre.

4 May

Technological Change, Convergence of Things and Issues of ICT and the Media Market in Korea

Presenter: Dr Gwangjae Kim
Location: 5B55b
Time: 11am-12pm

Presentation Abstract:
South Korea is considered an exemplary case when it comes to ICT and is currently developing various industries related to media and content based on its success. The question is what makes this possible and are positive changes available for the future? This seminar is designed to introduce South Korea's ICT and media policies, industries, and strategic directions for the future. The subjects to be introduced through the seminar are as follows.  A brief account of the ICT and media policy of the Korean government will first be provided to assist the audience's understanding. Secondly, changes to the highly developed ICT and media environment will be introduced. Thirdly, social and technological issues that have occurred in Korean society will be explored. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the Korean case.

Presenter Biography:
This seminar will be presented by our 2016 Visiting Fellow, Dr Gwangjae Kim. Dr Kim is an 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.

13 April

Drug Users and Australian Drug Policy: Engaging drug users in the policy debate

Presenter: Liam Engel
Location: 2C8
Time: 1-2pm

Presentation Abstract:
This thesis will consider how the lived experience of drug users can be greater incorporated in Australian debates regarding drug policy. It will achieve this by analysing 1) how drug users have been represented in Australian policy debates, and 2) Australian drug user communications concerning drug policy. Both of these investigations will stem from thematic analysis. The relationship between drug users and drug policy will then be explored using the concept of enabling environments. A broad Foucauldian lens will also be applied, emphasising ethics of moderation, care, governmentality, and norms. Through the application of these theories, potential developments of Australian drug policy will be considered.

3 February

Submarine diplomacy: Public discourse, political rhetoric and the mediatization of Australia's defence policy

Presenter: Kieran McGuiness
Location: 9C25
Time: 11am-12pm

Presentation abstract:
This research will investigate the mediatization of Australian defence policy and the growing role of social media as a site for political engagement and public debate over security and defence matters. It will use the proposed Collins-class submarine replacement fleet as a case-study within which to explore how public discourses of security, international relations and national identity are being shaped by social media commentators, politicians, journalists, defence public affairs officers and private defence contractors. This research will employ a range of qualitative methodologies including critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1993; Taylor, 1997) and frame analysis (Goffman, 1974; D'Angelo and Kuypers, 2010) to analyse the media strategies of key stakeholders, the press and concerned citizens as they debate the subject through traditional media (print, television and digital newspapers) and social media spaces (concentrating on Twitter, blogs and news and opinion websites [Crikey, The Drum, The Conversation etc.]). It will pay particular attention to ways in which emerging social media spaces can be used to challenge the narratives of traditionally powerful and secretive defence organisations and government officials.  It will also hope to address gaps in our understanding of the role that defence think tanks, defence public affairs and private lobby groups play in influencing political discourse. Finally, it will propose mediatization theory (Hjarvard, 2008; Hepp, Hjarvard and Lundby, 2010) as an ideal way to understand the influence of media and social media industries on Australian political communication.

Previous Seminar Series

29 November

The barriers and enablers to mHealth adoption for self-managing type 2 diabetes

Presenter: Morris Carpenter
Location: 9C25
Time: 11am-12pm

Morris Carpenter presented his PhD confirmation seminar at 11am in 9C25. Morris' project title is 'The barriers and enablers to mHealth adoption for self-managing type 2 diabetes'.

4 November

Mobile Public Sphere and Democratic Governance in Nigeria

Presenter: Temple Uwalaka
Location: 2C8
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

PhD candidate Temple Uwalaka presented his Work in Progress seminar at 12.30pm in room 2C08. Temple's PhD project is investigating Mobile Public Sphere and Democratic Governance in Nigeria.

26 October


Presenters: Melissa Sweet and Dr Lynore Geia
Location: 5B55a
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Our guest presenters for our upcoming seminar are Melissa Sweet and Dr Lynore Geia, who will be presenting an informal seminar on their Twitter-based collaboration around #IHMayDay - the day long Twitter discussion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples' health issues that was held in 2014 and 2015.

29 June

Pregnancy, Parenting and Digital Media

Presenters: Deborah Lupton, Sarah Pedersen and Gareth Thomas
Location: 5B55a
Time: 10.00-11.30am

This seminar will involve presentations from Centenary Professor Deborah Lupton from the News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra and visiting fellows to UC Professor Sarah Pedersen from the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and Dr Gareth Thomas from the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. They will be talking about their current collaborative research projects investigating the ways in which pregnant women and parents use digital media such as online parenting forums, blogs and other websites, mobile apps and social media.

17 June

Twitter response to televised political debates during the Scottish Independence Referendum and UK General Election 2014-15

Presenter: Professor Sarah Pedersen
Location: 5B55b
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Abstract: This paper reports on a longitudinal study that examines the immediate response of the Twitter audience to televised political debates prior to the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 and the UK General Election 2015. SNS such as Twitter allow users the possibility of participating in public debate. When used whilst watching television, it allows backchannel discussion and debate in real time, which can offer a new dimension to television watching. Our research collected and analysed Tweets sent during televised political debates in the last year, identifying issues and debaters that stimulated the most and least Twitter discussion. Our findings suggest that the Twitter audience responded most strongly to what could be described as 'moments of political theatre' and was more positive about panel debates with the inclusion of a diverse set of debaters than heavy-weight head-to-heads. In particular, this paper discusses the response on Twitter to different formats of TV debate and the involvement of women politicians in such debates.

Presenter Bio: Sarah Pedersen is Professor of Communication and Media at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. She teaches on the Journalism, Media and PR courses at the Aberdeen Business School at RGU. Her main areas of research interest are focused on gendered use of media, whether that is Edwardian women's use of newspapers, mothers online or social media such as Facebook and Twitter. She is currently working with a team at RGU on a study of Twitter response to political television debate, a study of the UK parenting discussion forum Mumsnet and also a book on how the Scottish press covered the suffragette movement in the early 20th century. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra.

01 June

Conversations about Alcohol and Pregnancy

Presenters: Kerry McCallum and Kate Holland
Location: 9C25
Time: 10.30-11.30am

N&MRC Senior Research Fellows Dr Kate Holland and Dr Kerry McCallum will be presenting reports on the Conversations about Alcohol and Pregnancy project, conducted for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), which explored how women understand drinking alcohol in pregnancy and how they interpret media portrayals of the issue.

04 May

Measuring the benefits of studying overseas - Japanese perceptions of Australia

Presenter: Maria Fleming
Location: Teaching Commons Lounge, 1C42
Time: 1.00-2.00pm

Abstract: Governments and educational institutions around the world assert the benefits of an international study experience. However the evidence to support these claims is limited.  This research addresses this issue by investigating the perceived long-term benefits of studying in Australia from the perspective of Japanese citizens who have studied in Australia and returned to Japan, and also university-based Japanese researchers who have collaborated with Australian researchers. Using semi-structured interviews and an online survey the research show that the majority of respondents overwhelmingly endorse the personal, professional and social benefits of studying in Australia. However credit recognition and transfer are problematic and act as disincentives. Other results from the research show that within the overall decline in the number of Japanese students studying overseas, where inter-university agreements exist, numbers have increased over this same period. In addition, the research provides added evidence of the benefits of international research collaboration in increasing university rankings - rankings being a critical decision-making component in choosing where to study overseas.

Presenter Bio: Maria Fleming is responsible for stakeholder engagement in the Department of Education and Training's International Group. In 2014 Maria was awarded the prestigious Japan-Australia International Education Exchange position to conduct original research on the Japan-Australia education relationship. Today's presentation shows the results of this research. Maria is also a tutor at the University of Canberra, tutoring in Communications and Media Research as well as Media, Technology and Society. Her publications include a refereed paper on Indian international student safety in Melbourne from a communications perspective published in the Melbourne University journal, Platform. She has a Bachelor of Arts gained with distinction in media studies from RMIT and a Masters of Strategic Communications from the University of Canberra.

04 February

Toddlers and tablets: what are 0-5 year olds doing online?

Presenter: Professor Lelia Green
Location: Teaching Commons Lounge, 1C42
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Abstract: Current figures from the UK and USA show that there has been a dramatic uptake of internet use by very young children over the last 3-4 years, and a five-fold increase in tablet usage by children aged between 0 and 8 between 2012 and 2013 (Ofcom, 2013; Rideout, 2013). In the US "fully half (50%) of all children ages 0 to 8 have used mobile apps, up from just 16% in 2011" (Rideout, 2013, p. 20) and in the UK "over half of 3-4 year olds have access to touchscreen tablets at home" (Ofcom 2013, p. 20). Previous studies with older children indicate that Australian data is comparable to that of high use European countries such as the UK and some Scandinavian nations (Green et al, 2011). This paper outlines a research project designed to investigate these issues further.

Presenter Bio: Lelia Green is Professor of Communications in the School of Communications and Arts at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Director of CREATEC, an interdisciplinary research centre, Lelia has been the first Chief Investigator on ten successful Australian Research Council grants: four Discoveries and six Linkages. She is the author of Technoculture (Allen & Unwin 2002) and The Internet (Berg 2010) and heads the ECU node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. Lelia is also involved in two EC-funded international research projects: EU Kids Online (since 2006) and Health Narratives (since 2013).

1 Oct

The nexus between research and policy: where Government, researchers, institutions and 'the short answer' collide

Presenter: Stephen Cassidy
Location 5B55b
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Increasingly governments have looked more broadly than the public service for the ideas and evidence to develop policy. The public service has also become less and less able to undertake its own research as budget cuts and staff exits take their toll. Specialised research units within the public service have disappeared or become less important and a range of private think tanks have offered ideologically compatible sources of competing advice to government. In this context, there are various ways in which governments can source research and in which research can inform policy. This complex process should deliver strong evidence-based policy which ensures government acts effectively and transparently for maximum impact. Some of the challenges for government, researchers and research institutions and industry bodies in ensuring this occurs will be considered.
This presentation considered a range of mechanisms which have been used for arts and cultural research in the last decade or so, looking at the partnerships involved and some of the issues thrown up along the way. Examples will range widely but will draw upon the experience of the National Cultural Policy, the National Indigenous Languages Policy, the Indigenous Contemporary Music Action Plan and the Digital Content Industry Action Agenda.

Presenter Biography: Stephen Cassidy is a cultural researcher, writer and commentator who has worked across the Australian cultural sector for the last 35 years. This has spanned research, programs and policy in government, museums, community radio, publishing and community arts in four states and territories at local, state and national level. Most recently he spent over 13 years working for a range of Australian Government departments developing programs and policies to support Australian artists, cultural organisations and creative industries. This has encompassed work across a wide range of areas – creative industries and digital content, including contemporary music and literature – Indigenous culture and languages and intangible cultural heritage and traditional cultural expressions. He was Director of the Task Force set up to coordinate the development of the the National Cultural Policy, drafted the Indigenous Contemporary Music Action Plan and played an instrumental role in the adoption of Australia's first National Indigenous Languages Policy. Before this he was a Community Arts Officer in local government, Arts Officer for the ACTU, Development Manager at Community Radio Station 2SER-FM and Membership Manager for the Powerhouse Museum.
He blogs at and is on Twitter at

3 Sep

Naming and Shaming for Minor Crimes in Victoria

Presenter: Dr Lisa Waller
Location 5B55b
Time: 10.30-11.30am

This exploratory study examined the power of the news media to publically name and shame ordinary people who receive non-convictions for committing minor crimes. This is an issue of national importance because the news media can now impose relatively permanent public records in digital space. It is also topical in light of the 'Right to be forgotten' campaign stemming from Europe. The study focused on two regions in Victoria identified for having news outlets that regularly identify ordinary people who receive non-convictions. It sought a range of perspectives from those involved in the court reporting process, including newspaper editors, reporters, police prosecutors, defence lawyers, victims of crime, offenders and magistrates. Findings include geographically determined inequalities in the reporting of non-convictions; concerns about the impact of this reporting practice on people with mental illnesses; and evidence of a range of media-related practices shaping the judicial process.

Presenter Biography: Lisa Waller is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. Her current research interests include Media and Indigenous Policy in Australia, research methodologies for journalism, media representation and the legal system, as well as regional and rural news media. She has previously worked as a senior journalist on metropolitan daily newspapers including The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and The Canberra Times.

28 Aug

Covering Traumatic Events

Presenter: Bruce Shapiro
Location 5B50
Time: 2.30-3.30pm

In this special N&MRC seminar, Bruce Shapiro will address the issues surrounding covering traumatic events without traumatising yourself or those you report on.

Presenter Biography: Bruce Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. The Dart Center encourages innovative reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide from the Center's headquarters in New York City. An award-winning reporter on human rights, criminal justice and politics, Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and U.S. correspondent for Late Night Live on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National. He is also Senior Executive Director for Professional Programs at Columbia.

26 Aug

Working With The Crowd: Engaging Participation in Online Crowds and Communities

Presenter: Professor Caroline Haythornthwaite
Location The Ferguson Room, the National Library of Australia
Time: 5.30-7.00pm

The organization of work is changing. The change began with the first move to online communication and has accelerated with each new innovation in social media and social networking. The latest challenge entails harnessing the crowd – crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, crowd creativity, and more – to address work needs. This focus promises the contributory power of many without the obligation to plan for long-term maintenance of the workforce. The turn to the crowd represents a marked change from earlier attention to communities. What have we gained and lost in focusing on the crowd over the community? What do we know about each form of organizing that can help in matching tasks and goals to crowd and community options? How can we harness the power of crowds as well as the commitment of communities? This presentation outlines two models for design and analysis of contributory practice: a lightweight model that draws on a crowd perspective to address tasks and rewards from discrete contributors, and a heavyweight model that draws on a community perspective to address contributions from connected contributors. The future of crowdsourcing entails multiple models of contributory practice, some of which entail full commitment to the goals of the work, trust in the use of contributions, and payoffs – however near or far – for society, the environment, and the next generation.

Presenter Biography: Caroline Haythornthwaite is the Director and Professor of Library, Archival and Information Studies at The iSchool at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. Her research areas explore the way interaction, via computer media, supports and affects work, learning, and social interaction, primarily from a social-network-analysis perspective.

2 Jul

Crowdsourcing and Critique

Presenter: Associate Professor Mathieu O'Neil
Location pC25
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Online, the 'crowd' or 'multitude' of ordinary people produces or curates a wide array of cultural and technological artefacts. The proliferation of terms such as co-creation (whereby consumers actively contribute to product development alongside firms), prosumption, produsage, mass customization, peer production, user-generated content, wikinomics, and open innovation, to name a few, are symptomatic of the fact that when labor becomes immaterial, communication and production tend to converge. Drawing on recent research into distributed online projects such as free software, free culture, and virtual environments, this presentation examines several critiques of crowdsourcing. Starting with a utility perspective, I define the efficiency benefits and costs of crowdsourcing. I next consider sociological approaches, such as 'critical sociology', which aims to unveil exploitation and domination, and the 'sociology of critique', which focuses on the critiques formulated by people in everyday situations. I argue that these approaches should better account for the central characteristic of user-led crowdsourcing, the abjuration of exclusive property rights. I present a new taxonomy of crowdsourced organisations, defined by their ethical logic and modular structure, and conclude with a critique of information exceptionalism, as crowdsourcing begins to expand to the sphere of hardware production.

Presenter Biography: Mathieu joined the University of Canberra in October 2013. He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian National University's Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute. Mathieu is a Graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Fontenay / St-Cloud. He previously lectured in American Society and Politics at the Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3, and has also worked as a magazine editor and exhibition curator.

18 Jun

Politics, Media and Democracy in Australia: Public and Producer Perceptions of the Australian Political Public Sphere

Presenter: Professor Terry Flew 
Location: 9C25
Time: 10.30-11.30am

This presentation will report on an Australian Research Council-funded project into the relationship between the political media and their publics in Australia. It will discuss three aspects of such a research initiative. First, it considers the relationship between theories of the 'political public sphere' and an empirical mapping of it in the Australian context. This brings to the fore debates about the relationship between 'hard news' formats, or those focused on established political institutions, with the proliferation of infotainment, participatory and satirical genres that have emerged to convey political news in new ways or to different audiences. Second, it will discuss focus group work being undertaken to gauge a cross-section of Australian community responses to different forms of political news, ranging from Insiders to Q&A to The Project, and Mad as Hell to Kitchen Cabinet to The Bolt Report. Finally, it discusses insights being developed from those closely involved with managing the media/politics relationship in Australia, including program producers, political advisers and strategists, and political journalists.

Presenter Biography: Terry Flew is Professor of Media and Communications in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology. He is the author of New Media: An Introduction (Oxford, 2014 - 4th Edition), Understanding Global Media (Palgrave, 2007), The Creative Industries, Culture and Policy (Sage, 2012), Global Creative Industries (Policy, 2013), and Media Economics Palgrave, 2014 (forthcoming)). Professor Flew is a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts for Humanities and Creative Arts, and the Research Evaluation Committee (REC) Committee for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). During 2011-2012, Professor Flew was seconded to the Australian Law Reform Commission to chair the National Classification Scheme Review. He is a Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery-Project (DP130100705) on Politics, media and democracy in Australia: public and producer perceptions of the political public sphere, with Brian McNair, Stephen Harrington, Adam Swift, Barbara Gligorijevic and Mimi Tsai.

4 Jun

Twitter as a decolonising agent for journalistic practice: some case studies

Presenter: Melissa Sweet and Luke Pearson
Location: 6C35 Time: 10.30-11.30am

In the first part of this presentation, Melissa Sweet will examine the role of Twitter in a decolonising methodology for journalistic practice, in particular its contribution to transformational learning, reflexivity and relationship-building. She will outline some case studies, including the recent Indigenous Health MayDay Twitter-fest (#IHMayDay) and the @WePublicHealth Twitter account, that are helping to inform her PhD's long-form work of journalism.

In the second part of the presentation, Luke Pearson will reflect upon his experience in establishing the successful rotated, curated Twitter account, @IndigenousX, as a case-study of community-led digital innovation (Sweet et al, 2013). He will also discuss the role of initiatives such as the NCIE's Community of Excellence, an online forum for Indigenous youth. 

Presenter Biography: Melissa Sweet is a freelance journalist and health writer and an adjunct senior lecturer in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. She is currently undertaking her PhD in the Faculty of Arts and Design.

Luke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man and the creator of social media project @IndigenousX and is also an experienced educator, mentor, facilitator and public speaker. Luke created @IndigenousX as a space for Indigenous people from all walks of life to tell their stories. An online forum for Indigenous youth, the Community of Excellence, is among the projects he works on at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, based in Redfern, Sydney.

21 May

kaupapa Maori ethics in the media

Presenter: Dr Andrew Dickson, Massey University
Location: 9C25
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Weight is a contested concept, one that inspires particular interest in the news media. News media coverage of body weight and related issues remains fairly uniform, tending towards sensationalism often despite evidence that presents a far more mundane reality.The impact of this sensationalism is clearly evident when looking at the New Zealand news media coverage of Maori health generally (smoking, drinking cancer and others) (Nairn et al, 2006) and Maori weight specifically (Burrows, 2009).
In this seminar we 'weigh in' on this topic using a discursive framework drawn from the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan (Lacan, 2007). In particular we examine how cases where Maori health 'subjected to science' through health interventions have become re-presented in the news media. By applying Lacan's theory of discourses we will rethink the ethical impact of scientific colonialism via the news media on indigenous conceptualisations of health and Wellness.

Presenter Biography: Andrew Dickson is lecturer in organization studies at Massey University, New Zealand. He is a graduate of biochemistry and business. His PhD was a Lacanian autoethnography of the weight-loss industry. His research interests involve applying a psychoanalytic lens to topics in the wider 'health' industry including; the impact of managerialism; gender relations; and embodied alienation in the sport sector.

7 May

'Little Data': Personal analytics, affective knowledge and the networked 'body work' of fitness apps

Presenter: Assistant Professor Glen Fuller
Location: 9C25
Time: 10.30-11.30am

Practices of self-documentation have long been a part of fitness and weight-loss oriented activity. There has been an increase over the last five or six years in the use of smartphone and web-based 'apps', combined with a localised network of sensors, to enable the personal tracking of activity. 'Tracking' has become a buzzword that refers to practices of self-documentation and it is these practices that produce the 'Little Data' that you may see shared on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) from activity-oriented platforms (RunKeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal and many others). The goal is to explore personal analytics from the perspective of 'Little Data'. 'Little Data' is the representational framing of analytics information produced by a personalised parsing of a 'Big Data' aggregate (produced by anonymised tracking of all other relevant users' activities). Guiding questions include: How do people make sense of this information? How is it incorporated into their ongoing activity? What new cultural practices and cultural values have emerged in the era of 'collective intelligence' and app-based personal tracking?

Presenter Biography: Dr Glen Fuller completed his PhD in 2007. It investigated the relation between enthusiasm and niche or specialist media through fieldwork and a 30 year history of the scene of modified-car culture in Australia. From 2008-2011 he worked in the magazine industry in a number of different positions and has worked freelance since 2002. He has taught across a number of universities.

2 Apr

Problematising digital public engagement: the politics of academics going online

Presenter: Professor Deborah Lupton
Location: 9C25

Abstract: In this presentation I will discuss the importance of adopting a reflexive and critical approach to engaging as a digital academic. Using digital tools to establish an online presence offers many benefits for academics. But we also need to be aware of the potential negative aspects of this type of professional activity, or what I have entitled 'the politics of digital public engagement'. I will draw upon some findings from my recent online survey of over 700 academics globally who use social media as part of their work in discussing the potential and pitfalls of these practices as well as some of the theoretical perspectives discussed in a chapter on this topic that will appear in my forthcoming book Digital Sociology.

Presenter Biography: Deborah Lupton joined the university in early 2014 as a Centenary Research Professor associated with the News & Media Research Centre in the Faculty of Arts & Design. Her 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. She is an advocate of using social media for academic research and engagement, including Twitter (@DALupton) and her blog This Sociological Life.

25 Nov

RIP and SNIP: Exploring citation data for communication and media studies journals

Presenter: R Warwick Blood
Location: 9C25

University league tables normally reflect the number of citations that refereed journal publications receive during a given time-frame. The higher the number of citations, it is argued, the higher the journal paper's academic quality. Increasingly, citation data are also used in assessing research grant applications and in assessing academic career progression. Knowing little about citation analyses, the author follows a basic ethnostatistical approach in this seminar to explore the construction, production and interpretation of citation data and analyses with specific reference to communication and media studies journals. Communication and media studies research characteristically encompasses a wide range of sub-fields with differing methodologies, which may lead to concerns in interpreting citation data. Some common problems with citation analyses are discussed – for example, reliability issues with bibliometric data provided by commercial providers; the 'Matthew' effect; non-citations and self-citations; negative citations; etc.). Mention is also made of the current complex debates about measurement and the validity of some citation indicators. Finally, some suggestions are offered about how to profitably use citation data and, concurrently, how to choose journals for publication.

Warwick is Emeritus Professor of Communication in the News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra.

14 Oct

Indigenous public opinion: Still voices in the wilderness

Presenter: Michelle Dunne Breen
Location: 9C25
Time: 12.30-1.30pm

This paper takes a critical discourse analysis approach to provide specific and varied examples of the silencing, exclusion and misrepresentation of Indigenous public opinion in the mainstream press that arises out of the interplay of journalistic and ministerial discursive practices. It explores how a reflective journalistic practice that seeks to identify and address these specific hurdles would enable inclusivity.

Michelle joined the Faculty of Arts and Design as a Teaching Fellow in journalism and communication in 2011, following more than 20 years in the print journalism industry. Her PhD research explores the Australian print media's coverage of the Northern Territory Emergency Response 2007, between its announcement and enactment.

11 Oct

Mobile Media and Next Generation Broadband: Policy and Markets for Connecting Content to Consumers

Presenter: Professor Catherine Middleton
Location: 9C25
Time: 1-2pm

The News and Media Research Centre and the Public Communication Research Cluster invite you a special seminar to be presented by visiting scholar Professor Catherine Middleton. Catherine's research focuses on the development and use of mobile and fixed communication infrastructures, with particular interest in the development of strategies and policies to ensure consumers have access to high quality, affordable and innovative communication services.

Catherine Middleton holds the position of Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies in the Information Society at Ryerson University.

16 Sep

The importance of perceptions of trust to truth and candour in the relationship between parliamentary media advisers and journalists

Presenter: Caroline Fisher
Location: 9C25
Time: 1-2pm

In order for people to be open and honest with each other philosopher Bernard Williams said there must be a level of trust between them. Without the precondition of trust, Williams said one cannot expect a person to be truthful with the other. This he said is especially so in the adversarial world of politics where one cannot expect political adversaries to be fully frank with each other. This paper explores the dependence of truth on trust in another political relationship, that being the relationship between parliamentary media advisers and journalists. The discussion is drawn from broader PhD research exploring the transition from journalism to parliamentary media advising and back again. Based on semi-structured interviews with twenty-one journalists who followed that career path, this paper reveals the importance of perceptions of trust to the way the journalists managed information in the role of parliamentary media adviser.

Caroline is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Arts & Design.

2 Sep

Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution

Presenter: Scott Bridges
Location: 9C25

After Al Jazeera English scooped its competitors in the 24-hr TV news market, how is the Qatari network's legitimacy and reach growing?

Scott teaches communications and journalism at UC. His book '18 Days: Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution' will be published later this year.

19 Aug

Social reading, longform journalism and the connected ebook

Presenter: Charlotte Harper
Location: 20A2

Digital technologies are redefining journalistic and publishing practices and influencing the way readers engage with texts. Devices like the Kindle and iPad, together with the use of social media to discover content, have led to a new form of journalism. Long articles can now be published quickly as ebooks and targeted to niche audiences using social media. The primary purpose of this research is to learn how extensive this genre's role may be by examining the processes and benefits of producing ebook journalism, to look at what has led to its development and to describe the form as it exists during the research period. A secondary purpose is the study of the use of social reading technologies. The chosen method is an investigation of the research questions via a practice-based creative project - a work of longform journalism on social reading - and an accompanying exegetical essay. The journalistic work will chronicle social reading use in a digital book club. This content will be complemented by semi-structured interviews on social reading with industry experts, technology companies, publishers, writers and readers. The research seeks to provide practical answers for journalists and publishers considering investing in longform journalism and social reading technologies.

Charlotte is completing a Master of Arts in Communications (Research). This is her confirmation seminar.

5 Aug

Journalism as the first draft of history: Investigating the role of the press in colonisation using digitised historical newspaper databases

Presenter: Peter Putnis
Location: 9C25 

The availability of large digitised collections of historical newspapers enables the historical reconstruction of the news-related communication networks of the nineteenth century, which were based on steamship routes, 'steamer editions' of newspapers, and the journalistic practice of reporting foreign news via the publication of extracts from recently arrived newspapers. When applied to an analysis of the reporting of particular historical events, the approach enables us to see how early understanding of these events developed. We can analyse how their meaning was constructed and how these meanings were circulated globally at the time. Such an analysis provides a new perspective on the idea of journalism as 'the first draft of history'. This paper illustrates this research approach through an examination of the role of the press in processes of colonisation. In particular, it examines the way news of the war in New Zealand between settler communities and the native population, which commenced in March 1860, spread across the English-speaking world and how it was subsequently reported in major newspapers in Britain and Australia.

Peter is Director of the News and Media Research Centre (N&MRC) and Professor of Communication at the University of Canberra. The focus of his research is on international communication and media history. He is the co-editor, with Chandrika Kaul and Jurgen Wilke, of International Communication and Global News Networks: Historical Perspectives, published in 2011 by Hampton Press. His most recent publication is 'Shipping the Latest News across the Pacific on the 1870s: California's News of the World', American Journalism, 30:2, 235-259, 2013.