Print this page

Research Projects

N&MRC conducts breakthrough research with industry, government and community partners, locally and internationally. Download our 2018 Annual Report for more information on our current partnerships and collaborations.

Critical Conversations Lab

Amplifying Indigenous News: A digital intervention

David Nolan, Kerry McCallum, Peter Radoll, Lisa Waller, Scott Wright, Luke Pearson (IndigenousX), Lorena Allam (The Guardian)

This project aims to road-test, document and analyse an innovative strategy for amplifying Indigenous voices in news media. The project will deploy and assess the impact of a new digital application designed to enable access to a diverse range of Indigenous voices, stories and agendas. The anticipated outcomes will assist the project’s industry partners to meet their strategic goals of increasing the level of Indigenous media representation in Australia, and consolidate their roles as leading outlets for Indigenous content and coverage.

Breaking silences: Media and the Child Abuse Royal Commission

Kerry McCallum, Lisa Waller, Kristy Hess, Tanja Dreher, Eli Skogerbø

This project aims to analyse the role of media, journalism and social media activism in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013-17) (RCIRCSA). By focusing on the nexus between media and commissions of inquiry in the digital era, the project will investigate the impacts of a rapidly changing media environment on this national ‘listening’ exercise. Through case studies the project will analyse the role of a transitioning local, national and social media in triggering, reporting on and keeping alive the findings of the royal commission.

Mapping the co-production of digital infrastructure by peer projects and firms

Mathieu O’Neil, Laure Muselli, Mahin Raissi, Stefano Zacchiroli

The long-term viability of innovation-rich peer projects managed by international teams of volunteers is a key concern in the digital space. But as the not-for-profit and commercial sectors increasingly collaborate to produce digital infrastructure, questions arise concerning how commercial firms’ rules, priorities, and institutional logics emerge in peer projects, and how communal logics seep into commercial firms. This project will combine computational data analytics, qualitative content analysis, and ethnography to explore related questions across F/OSS (Free/Open Source Software) projects, with a focus on waged labor.

Digital News+ Lab

COVID-19: Australian news and misinformation

Sora Park, Caroline Fisher, Jee Young Lee, Kieran McGuinness

This report examines how Australians responded to a health crisis in the period shortly after social distancing measures were put in place by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus. We conducted a national online survey of 2,196 Australians aged 18 or above to ask questions about how they get information about COVID-19, how they understand and respond to the crisis, how concerned they are and what sources of information they find to be trustworthy.

Digital News Report: Australia 2019

The fifth annual Digital News Report: Australia is part of a global survey of digital news consumption in 38 countries by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

Regional journalists: What do they need?

While it has become easier to access quality news at the national and international level, the provision in quality local news is declining. The purpose of the project is to investigate the state of regional journalism in Australia, the work conditions of journalists in regional news outlets, their perception of the changing role of journalists in the community, their professional challenges and needs.

Sharing information on WeChat and WhatsApp: Generational and cultural differences among Chinese and Australian messaging app users

Jee Young Lee, Sora Park, Sun Ping, Chen He

With the rapid uptake of digital platforms in both China and Australia, the ways of accessing and sharing information have become diverse. In particular, the uses of messaging apps to share information and news have grown, with news consumers taking part in group discussions, indicating a preference for more private and less confrontational space to share news and information. This study explores this emerging trend of information sharing and communication via messaging apps focusing on technological (WhatsApp vs WeChat), generational (Under 35 vs 35+) and socio-cultural (China vs Australia) factors by conducting a cross-cultural and generational study. Focus group interviews in both countries will be conducted to better understand information sharing activities on messaging apps. This study will provide a deeper understanding of how digital platforms are used by citizens to share and circulate information in different cultural contexts.

Media Cultures Lab

Pedalling for change: Cultural geography for traffic congestion innovation

Gordon Waitt, Teresa Lea, Ian Buchanan, Glen Fuller

This project aims to offer new knowledge about why commuter cycling has failed to increase at a time when leisure cycling grows exponentially. The project seeks to provide evidence about what cycling enables people to achieve through analysis of a database of media discourses, policies and the experiences of cyclists. Expected outcomes include an enhanced understanding of cycling as response to congestion and improved strategies for increasing purposeful cycling in cities including moving the focus from cycling participation rates to cultures of cycling.

So what do you do?: tracking creative graduates in Australia and the UK's Creative and Cultural Industries

Scott Brook, Roberta Comunian, Alessandra Faggian, Jonathan Corcoran, Sarah Jewell, Sora Park, Jen Webb, Phil Lewis

This project brings together an international team of scholars from communication and cultural studies, labour market economics and cultural geography, in order to better understand the employment outcomes of creative graduates. It will draw on quantitative data, including longitudinal graduate destination surveys (GOS-L and LDLHE) and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, (HILDA) in order to understand creative graduate outcomes, and the significance of key variables for these outcomes, such as gender, geography and skills utilisation.

'Shaping the national outlook: International news in the Australian press, 1900-1950'

Peter Putnis (sole Chief Investigator), ARC Discovery Grant, (2010-2012).

This project entails publication of a database recording the results of a sample-based content analysis of overseas news stories published in the Australian press between 1905 and 1950. The content analysis was undertaken as one component of the Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project ‘Shaping the National Outlook: Overseas News in the Australian Press, 1901-1950’ (DP1096677, CI Peter Putnis). The content analysis provides snapshots of overseas news coverage in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald for the years 1905, 1920, 1935 and 1950. The dataset comprises 3928 news stories with substantial ‘overseas country’ news content coded according to range of variables including country, prominence, source, and main topic. The database is publicly available to interested researchers and students.

'Sensing, shaping, sharing: Imagining the body in a mediatized world'

Deborah Lupton (co-Chief Investigator), The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (2016-2018) with Halmstead University, Lund University, RMIT, Univerity of Helsinki.

'The prevalence of deficit metrics in Indigenous education and their impact on public discourse, policy and educational practice'

Kerry McCallum, UC Collaborative Indigenous Research Initiative Research Grant Scheme (2016-2018).

The digital health generation: the impact of healthy lifestyle technologies on young people's learning identities and health practices

Deborah Lupton (co-Chief Investigator), Wellcome Trust Grant (UK) (2016-2017) with University of Bath, University of Salford, UK.

'Linked data policy hub stage II: Urban and regional planning and communications'

Jerry Watkins (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Linkage Infrastructure Project (2016) with RMIT, Swinburne University, Sydney University and Melbourne University.

'Small technology, big data and the business of young people's health: an international investigation of the digitisation of school health and physical education'

Deborah Lupton (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Discovery Project (2015-2017) with Southern Cross University, Monash University and Northern Illinois University.

'Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Education: mapping the discursive environment, assessing impact, and changing the conversation'

Kerry McCallum (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Discovery Indigenous Project (2015-2017) with the ANU, The University of Queensland, Notre Dame University and Deakin University.

'Mediating Mental Health: An Integrated Approach to Investigating Media and Social Actors'

Kate Holland, ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2014-2016).

'Mobile digital communication and health management: An mHealth pilot program at the ACT GP Super Clinic'

Sora Park and Sally Burford, Funding: ACT Strategic Opportunities Program (2014-2015).

'Conversations about Alcohol and Pregnancy: Investigating Media Portrayals and Women's Experiences'

Kate Holland, Kerry McCallum and R.Warwick Blood. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, (2014). $19,537.60.

'Mobile Indonesians: social differentiation and digital literacies in the twenty-first century'

Jerry Watkins (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Discovery Project (2013-16) with QUT, ANU.

'Shrinking the food-print by creating consumer demand for sustainable and healthy eating'

David Pearson (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Discovery Project (2013-2015) with ANU, Deakin University.

'Enhancing public organisations' digital literacy to facilitate online engagement'

Sora Park, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Australia-Canada joint-action program (2013-2014).

'Opportunity Spaces - Community Engagement in the Planning, Use and Governance of Shared School Facilities'

Jerry Watkins (co-Chief Investigator), ARC Linkage Project (2012-15) with RMIT, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria).

'Public and media understandings of A/H1N1 (swine flu) within a risk communication environment'

R.Warwick Blood (First Chief Investigator), with University of Sydney, University of Melbourne. National Health and Medical Research Council (2010).  $107,340.

The Australian Health News Research Collaboration

R. Warwick Blood (Co-Chief Investigator), Kate Holland and Melissa Sweet, with University of Sydney, University of Melbourne. National Health & Medical Research Council, Capacity Building Grant in Public Health (2009-2013). $1,897,375.

'Australian News Media and Indigenous Policymaking 1988-2008'

Kerry McCallum (First Chief Investigator) and M. Meadows. Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, (2009-2011). $225,000