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N&MRC Seminar Series

2019 Upcoming Seminars

09 October

Digital labour and platform technologies in China

Presented by: Dr Sun Ping
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite, 1C50

In the past 5 years, China has experienced a neck-breaking development in its digitisation and platformisation. In this process of platformisation, millions of previous migrant workers have become flexible laborers. Based on one and a half years' ethnographic fieldwork and a survey of 1399 delivery workers in Beijing, this seminar will explore the labor conditions of courier workers at China's take-away platforms as well as their agency, subjectivity and empowerment. It demonstrates that digital labor in contemporary China is never a unified pattern, and couriers' work has become both more accessible and precarious within the process of platformisation and digitisation.

Ping SUN (Sophie) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She got her PhD from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and was a visiting scholar of Oxford University. She is the author of two books, and her articles can be seen in journals like Information, Communication and Society, Chinese Journal of Communication, Computer in Human Behavior, International Journal of Communication, etc. Her research interests include ICTs, new media and digital labor. She also teaches research methods, new media and social development in CASS. Sophie currently resides in Beijing, China.

06 November

Crash Theory: Drone Entanglements with Endangered Species

Presented by: Dr Adam Fish
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite, 1C50

Drones crash into everything: oceans, lakes, glaciers, trees, cars, people, buildings, temples, birds, chimpanzees, mountains, windows, boutiques, power poles, trains, boats, canyons, hot air balloons, bridges, prisons, oil refineries, oil pipelines, nuclear power plants, airplanes, helicopters, agricultural fields, stadiums, bicycles, bullets fired from police officers, the White House lawn, Seattle Space Needle, and the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence.

It is not only drones that crash. Seventy-five percent of the earth and 66% of the sea are severely degraded by human activity; this is threatening 1 million species with extinction (Diaz et al. 2019). Sixty-percent of wildlife has disappeared over the past 30 years (World Wildlife Fund 2018). Drones provide a means of sensing the earth; witnessing these human impacts, diminishing habitats, and disappearing wild animals. And yet, even when the drone is crashing or has crashed it remains an important object through which to understand the emergent relationship between humans, technologies, and species.

This presentation examines this relationship through the event of the crashing drone, exploiting a material link shared by crashing drones and collapsing species, and To empirically define crash theory, this presentation provides case studies of conservation drone phenomenon and speculate on what their crashes, or the threat of their crashes, materialize. Drone crashes in the United Kingdom near white rhinoceroses present the imbroglio of the electromagnetic spectrum during the generation of machine learning training data, the threat of drone crashes in Washington State near orcas uncovers the impacts of wildlife protection laws and their negotiation, and drone crashes and their aftermath in Sri Lanka around Asian elephants presents the problems of technological repair for impoverished agrarians.

In light of this data, the discussion advances four insights: 1) using drones for field science is an experimental and contingent practice linking humans, technologies, and other species; 2) these linkages become most evident during crashes, where the challenges of conservation become clear; 3) drone crashes exposes the points of friction in the convergence of nature and culture; and 4) parallelism, a methodology which examines the material relationships between laterally arrayed phenomenon, in this case, crashing drones and endangered megafauna.

Adam Fish is a Scientia Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Arts and Media, at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and a senior research fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society at the Technischen Universität Berlin, Germany.

He is a cultural anthropologist, documentary video producer, and interdisciplinary scholar who works across social science, computer engineering, environmental science, and the visual arts. Dr. Fish employs ethnographic, participatory, and creative methods to examine the social, political, and ecological influences of new technologies.

He has authored three books including: Hacker States (2020 MIT Press, with Luca Follis), about how state hacking impacts democracy; Technoliberalism (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), an ethnography of the politics of internet and television convergence in Hollywood and Silicon Valley; and After the Internet (Polity, 2017, with Ramesh Srinivasan), which reimagines the internet from the perspective of grassroots activists, citizens, and hackers on the margins of political and economic power.

His fourth book, Drone Justice, will be published by MIT Press in 2021 and investigates how drones transform the ecologies and inhabitants of the Earth.

20 November

Introducing the Breaking Silences: Media and the Child Abuse Royal Commission project

Presented by: Professor Kerry McCallum
Time: 11.30am-12.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite, 1C50

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013-27) changed the national discourse around child sexual abuse, lifting the taboo and demystifying how institutions covered up or took responsibility for crimes committed inside their walls. The Breaking Silences project is investigating how this national conversation played out in a rapidly changing media environment. As such, it is the first Australian research to explore the nexus between media and commissions of inquiry in the digital era. Through a case study approach the project team will investigate the interplay between the RCIRCA’s media practices, news media reporting, and the role of social media activism in enabling victim’s voices to be heard.

This seminar will first provide an overview of the project’s development, case studies, and team. We are particularly interested in the role of journalism and social media in triggering, shaping and keeping alive the Royal Commission findings. Whose voices were heard in the Royal Commission process, which institutions got the most attention, and whose voices were lost in the mediation of the inquiry?

The seminar will report on initial research analysing news coverage of the RCIRCSA. Analysis of the Commission’s media monitoring found that despite extensive reporting of all hearings, the overshadowing pattern of news attention at times worked against the Commission’s ‘listening for justice’ approach. Entrenched news values directed media attention to already powerful and influential voices, with the Catholic Church and Australia’s most senior cleric, Cardinal George Pell, receiving the most consideration, while Indigenous and marginalised groups received little coverage. The study shows how news media works to both shed light and overshadow the voices of victims of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.

Kerry McCallum is Director of the News & Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra where she leads a team of researchers to advance public understanding of our changing media environment. Her research focuses on the relationships between changing media and Australian social policy, particularly in Indigenous affairs. Kerry is the lead CI on the Breaking Silences: Media and the Child Abuse Royal Commission project (DP190101282) which is the first Australian research to explore the nexus between media and commissions of inquiry in the digital era.

2019 Past Seminars

18 September

Supportive Environment Design for Our Last Years

Presented by: Dr Miryum Chung
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite, 1C50

Aging population has become a critical issue to reform healthcare system for both Korea and Australia. Australia reached aged society (elderly population ratio 14% and over) in 2012, Korea in 2017. Thanks to the development of medical technology and good nutrition, many of us will eventually use the nursing home (if you get chronic disease) or hospice care (for acute disease, such as cancer) at the end of life.

In this seminar Dr. Miryum Chung will talk about current situation of nursing homes (NH) and why it is important to design proper environment to support the elderly and staff activities. Also research outcomes of following categories will be shared: Safe/healing/meaningful environment for residents, Supportive space design for staffs’ teamwork, Case studies on Australia, Korea, Sweden and Japan NHs, Hospice & palliative care, and Preference differences by generations in Korea.

Dr. Miryum Chung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Consumer and Housing Studies in the Catholic University of Korea. Her academic background is housing, interior design, fine art and architecture. She worked in California as an interior designer (NCIDQ qualified). Her main research focus is on supportive environment design for nursing home and palliative care/hospice service. She teaches healing spaces, design communication, interior coordination studio, history of architecture & interior design, furniture design (capstone) in CUK.

04 September

Australian News Media Trends

Presented by: Dr Jee Young Lee
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite, 1C50

This presentation on the latest findings of the Digital News Report: Australia 2019 will provide the most up-to-date snapshot of Australians’ news consumption and compare it with the rest of the world. DNR Australia is produced by the News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra. It is part of the largest global comparative news survey, comprised of 38 countries, which is coordinated by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

The presentation will highlight the ongoing and emerging trends in digital news consumption based on five years of data and discuss future risks and opportunities for the news media industry in Australia. Key themes will include: the rise of podcasting, AI and voice activated assistants, perceptions of journalism’s role and relevance, trust, and payment for news. Also, more details on news consumption by different demographic groups, including gender, education, regional/city and generation, will be discussed.

Dr Jee Young Lee is the Chief Statistical Analyst for the Digital News Report project. She provides statistical analysis for the annual report, maintains the Digital News+ Lab’s Digital News Report Update blog, and provides services to members who wish to use the Digital News Report data. Jee was awarded her PhD by the University of Canberra in April 2018.

15 May

Media technologies of the family: Parental anxieties in the digital age

Presented by: Catherine Page Jeffery
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

In this seminar I report on some of the findings from my doctoral research which consisted of interviews and focus groups with 40 parents of teenagers aged 12-16 to examine their anxieties, practices and knowledges regarding their children’s use of digital media technologies.

Parents that participated in this study framed their concerns about their teenage children’s digital media use in terms of a tension between their children’s socio-biological and socio-technological development. The developmental paradigm, which is central to modern constructions of childhood, follows a discursively constructed linear trajectory comprised of a set of norms for each development phase. Existing in tension with this developmental paradigm, however, are discourses of technological development, progress and innovation, which are particularly prominent within educational contexts.

Participants framed a range of concerns in terms of their potential to disrupt their children’s ‘normal’ and ‘proper’ development. These included concerns about the potential ‘stunting’ of their children’s mental capacities and critical thinking skills, the implications of the increasing mediation of their children’s social relationships, as well as concern about their children’s digital reputations and their ability to ‘make mistakes safely’. Many participants indicated that they did not think that their children yet possessed the maturity, judgement, experience, or common sense to manage many of the risks of digital media. ‘Appropriate’ digital media activities were those that were seen to aid or enhance their children’s development. ‘Inappropriate’ activities were those that were perceived to be a threat to their children’s ‘normal’ development. ‘Good’ parents are expected to facilitate and encourage ‘appropriate’ online activities, while restricting or prohibiting ‘inappropriate’ activities.

Catherine Page Jeffery is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate at the University of Canberra. Her research interests include digital media, parenting, moral panics and gender.

01 May

News vs. Poems, Prose into Poetry

Presented by: Dr Marianne Boruch
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 20B2

My project in Canberra is to observe the stunningly strange wildlife of Australia, with an eye to write a bestiary, of sorts, a series of poems eventually using the images I see. So I am taking notes too from the great world, hoping to launch poems.

This informal talk will be about how a more journalistic take on actual events--personal or worldly—can morph into poems, how straightforward “facts” and “evidence” sometimes find their life on the page in a very different guise. I will focus on what was a deep surprise to me, my first prolonged attempt at this mysterious negotiation a few years ago in the so-called “Cadaver lab,” an experience supported by a Faculty Fellowship in the Study of a Second Discipline at Purdue University where I’ve taught for 32 years. I will track bits from the journal I kept during that semester I spent with medical students in their first course, Gross Human Anatomy, and how I later drew from that prose reportage to write the long 32-sectioned title poem of my 8th collection, Cadaver, Speak.

Marianne Boruch is delighted to be a Fulbright Senior Scholar in UC’s International Poetry Studies Institute. Her work includes 10 poetry collections, the latest Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing and forthcoming, The Anti-Grief (Copper Canyon, 2016, 2019), three books of essays, most recently The Little Death of Self (Michigan, “Poets on Poetry Series,” 2017), and a memoir about hitchhiking in the early 70s, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011). Her poems and essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Poetry, The Poetry Review, The Edinburgh Review, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Nation, New England Review, and elsewhere. Among her honors are the Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award for The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon, 2011), fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Yaddo, McDowell, and an earlier Fulbright professorship at the University of Edinburgh. She’s been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome and at two American national parks, Denali and Isle Royale. Boruch taught at Purdue University for 32 years, was the founder of the MFA program in the English Department there, becoming a Professor Emeritus last May. She continues on faculty in the low-residency Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College where she has taught since 1988.

17 April

A Powerful Click: An analysis of Social Media and Political Engagement in Nigeria

Presented by: Dr Temple Uwalaka
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

This paper describes the different discursive strategies and protest styles of #notsoyoungtorun, #antisocialmediabill, and #bringbackourgirls as a means of identifying elements that shape the dynamics of hashtag social movements and political engagement. Analysing sample from #notsoyoungtorun, #antisocialmediabill, and #bringbackourgirls tweets and Facebook updates, this paper examines both the socio-cultural and political contexts surrounding the hashtags and language devices such as personalisation, dialogism and self-refrentiality that may have impacted the creation of group camaraderie and mobilization in each campaign.  Although scholarship in political communication and digital activism understands politics as a collective enterprise that involves the development of strong, thick, deliberative ties between citizens (Hay 2014; Stoker 2006, 2016) and subtly dismisses clicktivism as mere slacktivism (Morozov 2009, 2014), this paper provides evidence that #antisocialmediabill campaign successfully blocked a bill that would have curtailed social media use in Nigeria from passing the Nigerian Senate based on clicks, (Facebook posts and tweets) alone while #notsoyoungtorun and #bringbackourgirls integrated both forms of socio-political engagement patterns in repealing a section of the Nigerian Constitution (#notsoyoungtorun) and forcing the Nigerian Government commit to the rescuing of the 276 Chibok Secondary School girls. This paper demonstrates the sustained importance of collective identity and connective togetherness, project acknowledgement and common action that influences political change.

Dr Temple Uwalaka tutors in the discipline of Arts and Communication, University of Canberra where he recently completed his PhD in Communication. Temple has previously worked as a Reporter and a Columnist in Nigeria as well as in South Korea. His research interests include the interrogation of how online and mobile media are used to influence political change.

03 April

Trust in the Australian Defence Force from the perspective of Australian military families

Presented by: Dr Amy Johnson
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

Those who love and marry serving members are significantly impacted by their service. Despite the critical role partners play in military capability, research about partners is limited. This seminar will provide an overview of Amy’s PhD thesis, which used qualitative interviews and focus groups to investigate the interactions of Australian Defence Force (ADF) partners on social media. This seminar focuses on one of the major findings of this study related to trust. Concepts of trust were a strong theme in the study and this seminar explores the trust relationship between partners and the ADF, outlining why trust is critically important and how evidence of the trust relationship is seen on social media. This seminar contributes to current discussions on the current perception of the ADF in the non-Defence community.

Dr Amy Johnson is an early career researcher and lecturer in Communications and Media at the University of Canberra. Amy teaches into postgraduate and undergraduate programs in relation to strategic communications and marketing.  Her research interests include the Australian Defence Force, corporate communications and social media.

20 March

Empire, Nation, and Cricket: Sport and Identity on the Early Australian Airwaves

Presented by: Dr Michael Socolow
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

Radio broadcasting provided Australians with a new medium through which local, national, and global identities could be negotiated. In Australian radio, sport programs proved a particularly illuminating locus of tension, as sport broadcasts embodied the conflict between popular amusement and cultural uplift that marked the earliest discussions of broadcast responsibility. As production formats and modes of address became more formalized with the emergence of the Australian Broadcast Company (A.B.C.) in 1932, sport broadcasts stood out for the informality of their rhetoric, their spontaneity, and their participatory characteristics. Whether represented by cricket, horse racing, wrestling, football, rowing, or other athletic contests, sport had long resided at the nexus of national identity and Australian culture. What made radio sport unique was the electricity of participation – the way in which listening audiences could transcend global distances and be linked live to athletes contesting events on the other side of the continent or the opposite side of the globe.  News reports, industry periodicals, oral histories, and other primary sources reveal the ways in which Australian radio listeners engaged sport radio to consider their place in the nation, the Empire, and the world.

Radio sport, in other words, was just as much about the listeners’ experiences as the athletes’ efforts. Long before the internet, radio sport provided interactive experiences for Australian audiences that proved both thrilling and memorable. And rather than being simple amusement, or mindless entertainment, those ephemeral radio programs helped shape a consciousness of modernity, Australia, and the world in the 20th century.

Michael J. Socolow is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine. He is the author of Six Minutes in Berlin: Broadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics (University of Illinois Press, 2016), for which he was awarded the Broadcast Historian Award by the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association. He has written numerous scholarly articles on radio in the 1920s and 1930s for such journals as Technology & Culture, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television. A former CNN Assignment Editor, Socolow also worked as an Information Manager for the host broadcast organizations at the Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney Olympic Games. He is a 2019 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Canberra, where he is affiliated with the News & Media Research Centre and the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE).

06 March

Funding the ABC: Key points, issues and debates

Presented by: Dr Tyson Wils
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

Tracing the pattern of funding for the national broadcaster is a relatively difficult task. In part, this is because there are a myriad of variations in the funding allocated. In addition, funding components are reported in different parts of the Portfolio Budget Statements. Finally, outside of Government appropriations, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) sources funding from other avenues. On top of the challenges unpacking ABC funding, there are also perennial questions about how much money the ABC needs to fulfil its charter obligations, whether there is waste or inefficiency by the Corporation in the use of public funding, and if the ABC should even receive public funding at all. In this talk Dr Wils will discuss some of the key debates and issues regarding how the ABC is funded and what the Corporation uses its funding for.

Dr Tyson Wils is a Senior Researcher in Media, Broadcasting, Arts and Sports at the Australian Parliamentary Library. He is co-editor of the book Activist Film Festivals: Towards a Political Subject (Intellect, 2016) and author of numerous chapters and articles, including Marvel and the storytelling industry: Characters in an age of media convergence (Screen Education, Sep 2017), and Paratexts and the commercial promotion of film authorship: James Wan and Saw (Senses of Cinema, 2013). Prior to working at the Parliamentary Library, Dr Wils worked as a lecturer in media, communication and screen studies at local and international universities, including Singapore Institute of Management and The University of Melbourne.

20 Febraury

An academic dilemma: Do PR degrees deliver what industry wants?

Presented by: Dr James Mahoney & Dr Katharina Wolf
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: 9B14

This presentation will be a preliminary analysis of research into perceptions of Australian public relations education. Despite some areas of strong agreement on curriculum content, the research suggests a curious divergence of views about the focus and content of PR degrees between academics and the profession.

Australia’s first public relations university degrees were introduced in the early 1970s (Fitch, 2013), usually in the former colleges of advanced education, most of which became universities in the 1980s. Public relations' enrolments grew at the same time as the new universities, which had a strong vocational focus (Fitch, 2014), experienced growth in communication and media studies courses (Putnis,1993, cited in Fitch, 2014). Undergraduate degree program structures usually reflect the traditional “Oxbridge” format used in Australian universities (Davis, 2013). While curricula have historically been based on US and literature (see Fitch, 2013) and practice, and more recently the work of European academics, increasingly Australian scholars have contributed to the body of knowledge via literature that reflects Australian professional practice.

Academics have engaged in limited research on formal public relations education in Australian universities (Howell & Bridges, 2009). Thus, this research explored academics’, employers’ and graduates’ perceptions of PR education, and their views of the essential skills/competencies required to work in professional public relations practice. The research will potentially help institutions improve public relations education by informing curriculum requirements, discipline alignment, and essential skills/competencies. The study’s results have implications for the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s degree accreditation requirements.

Dr Jim Mahoney is a former Head of the Discipline of Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. He taught public relations and strategic communication at the University and is the author of Public Relations Writing, 3rd ed., 2017, and Strategic Communication: Campaign Planning, 2nd ed., 2017 (both published by Oxford University Press).

Dr Katharina Wolf is Senior Lecturer, School of Marketing in the Curtin Business School, Curtin University.

Previous Seminar Series

7 November

The Tightrope Walkers: An exploration of the democratic role of public sector communication in the digital age

Presented by: Dr Barbara Walsh
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite (1C50)

This seminar provides an overivew of Barbara's PhD research, which helps address the gap in literature on government communication and its role in democracy by theorising how public sector communication can contribute to, or mitigate against, democratic engagement in an age where citizen’s demands of government are changing, enabled by digital technologies and social media. In 2011, when research on this thesis commenced, the Australian Government was progressing an agenda of citizen-centred government and engagement through “Gov 2.0”.

The research explored the organisational experience of public sector communicators in light of this agenda, and of changing citizen expectations of institutional responsiveness due to digital and social media. The model of public sector communication proposed in this thesis opens up areas for further research in communicative intent and democratic use of social media by government departments in democratic societies.

Barbara is a Senior Lecturer, Program Director for Communication and Media, Faculty Convenor for Work Integrated Learning and Course Convenor for the Bachelor of Communication in Public Relations. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Secretary of the NSW/ACT Committee for the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) and a member of the Education Advisory Group for the Mindframe National Media Initiative.

31 October

Revisiting copyright theories: Democratic culture and the resale of digital goods

Presented by: Dr Yoonmo Sang
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite (1C50)

This study surveys theoretical justifications for copyright and considers the implications of the notion of cultural democracy in regard to copyright law and policy. In doing so, the study focuses on the first sale doctrine and advocates for the doctrine’s expansion to digital goods based on a discussion of the doctrine’s policy implications and a review of the arguments for and against a digital first sale doctrine. The study argues that democratic copyright theories, in general, and the notion of cultural democracy, in particular, can and should guide copyright reforms in conjunction with a digital first sale doctrine. This study contributes to the growing discussions about the democratic theories of copyright by demonstrating their applicability to copyright policy and doctrine.

Yoonmo Sang is an assistant professor in communication in the Faculty of Arts & Design at the University of Canberra where he is a member of the News & Media Research Centre. Before joining the University of Canberra, he taught as an assistant professor at Howard University. His primary research interests center on the intersection of new media technologies and the law, focusing on how socio-cultural and technological changes advantage and/or disadvantage different stakeholders.

He is on the editorial boards of three journals: Social Media + Society, Communication Law Review, and the Journal of Media Law, Ethics, and Policy Research, a journal of the Korean Society for Media Law, Ethics, and Policy Research. His previous positions include Research Associate at the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy, Doctoral Research Assistant at the Technology and Information Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, and Business Banker at Shinhan Bank in South Korea.

24 October

Picturing post-war Australia: Photography and the construction of national identity in the Australian Women’s Weekly

Presented by: Megan Deas
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite (1C50)

In this seminar Megan will present an outline of her recenty-completed PhD thesis, which addressed the role of photography in the construction of national identity in Australia's popular press during the post-war era. Focusing on the Australian Women's Weekly magazine, the nation's highest-circulating weekly publication, between the end of the Second World War in 1945 until the introduction of mainstream television in 1956, the research examined how editorial, advertising and readers' photographs contributed to the magazine's representation of 'the Australian Way of Life'. Key findings from the research will also be discussed.

Megan Deas recently completed her PhD research in the School of Art & Design within the Research School of Humanities and the Arts at the ANU. Her PhD will be conferred in December 2018. She also designs and produces the annual Digital News Report: Australia. Megan is the News & Media Research Centre’s Research Support Officer and works as a Research Associate with some of the N&MRC's researchers. Since 2015 she has edited the Communication and Media collection of Analysis and Policy Observatory, hosted by the N&MRC.

12 September

Next Media: On the shifting futurity of media discourse

Presented by: Associate Professor Glen Fuller
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Location: Clive Price Suite (1C50)

Has there been a shift in media discourse from framing events in terms of what has happened to framing events in terms of what will happen? (Maybe?). Media discourse is defined as news and related discursive material that circulates as a part of the mediated public sphere. The temporality of media discourse has traditionally been suspended between history and immediacy. The ‘future’, as such, was fantastical in scope, such as the work of political dreamers (manifesto), or fatalistic, such as the doomsday clock marking eschatological horizons. Jameson (2003) argued that space has replaced time in the postmodern era and that during the modernist era, participants lived in two temporalities (pre-modern and modernist) until the completion of this process around World War Two. Arguably, the intervention of the ‘future’ in current media discourse repeats this problem in a different way.

There has been a shift. Current media discourse implicates participants in the immediacy of the present as a modality of the future. There is an interval between what is happening and the future that is not lived sequentially, but as an indeterminate existential linkage and relationality of belonging (Massumi 2015). Media discourse takes on the form of commentary with the clearest formal example being the signal quality of the quarterly earnings report and derivative meta-textual events (product launches, etc.). Media discourse is the site of multiple often contradictory temporalities, including the rhythms and trajectories of everyday life. The interval of the next becomes the domain of those charismatic leaders who can address the existential quandary of linkage with a performative certainty. Truth and falsity are less important than the orchestrating quality of the ‘next’ to shape temporal horizons. In this context, leadership ceases to be a quality of reputation (history) and instead becomes the capacity to manipulate the ‘next’ so as to exhaust indeterminate temporalities.

Glen Fuller is an Associate Professor of Communication & Journalism and Head of the School of Communication & Arts at the University of Canberra. He conducts research at the intersection of media, technology and culture. His focus is the role of specialist media in scenes and the relation between media and enthusiasm (affect), both in the context of technology, experience and the shifting composition of relations. Other research interests include journalism and media industry innovation, and discourse and media events. He has worked in the magazine industry in a number of different positions.

6 September

Media literacy education in Australia: learning from Australian teachers and students

Date: Thursday 6 September 2018
Time: 2.30-5.00pm
Location: 11B56

The N&MRC hosted an afternoon seminar for a group of teachers who teach media or media literacy to primary/high school students to learn about how media is taught in Australia. In the seminar, educators who are teaching media at schools in Canberra shared their knowledge and experiences of media literacy education. The seminar also included a conversation session with students who have participated in media literacy learning at their schools.

29 August

Media, technology, and kids

The News & Media Research Centre hosed a special seminar by guest presenter Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, followed by a Q&A with N&MRC PhD candidate Catherine Page Jeffery.

Date: Wednesday 29 August 2018
Time: 3.00-4.30pm
Location: Ann Harding Conference Centre, Seminar Room 1

Children aged 8 to 18 spend more time with media than they do at school or with their parents. In this presentation, learn more about the brave new world for parents and educators. Discussion will include the many ways — both positive and negative — in which media is impacting children’s lives. Topics addressed include social media, digital citizenship, and media literacy. Tips will be given on how to navigate media literacy for children and young people in this era of omnipresent digital media. The various forms of media are a huge part of kids’ lives. Let’s work together to prepare them for a successful life in today’s world.

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. As Executive Director, Michelle has helped NAMLE grow to be the preeminent media literacy education association in the U.S. She launched the first ever Media Literacy Week in the U.S., developed strategic partnerships with media companies such as Participant Media, Nickelodeon, and Twitter, and restructured both the governance and membership of the organization. Michelle is currently an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College in the TV/Radio department where she teaches media criticism and media literacy. Michelle also serves as a representative for NAMLE on the Council of Communication Associations and a judge for What’s Your Story? Youth Media Contest.

Ms. Lipkin’s visit was supported by the U.S. Embassy, however her views are her own and reflect on the broad range of responsible and informed opinion in the United States. She does not speak for, or on behalf of, the U.S. Government.

2 May 2018

Bhutan and Bhutanese Media

Presented by: Dr Bunty Avieson, Lecturer in Journalism, University of Sydney
Date: Wednesday 2 May 2018
Time: 10:30-11:30
Location: 9B27

Bunty Avieson spent a year in 2008-2009 in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, jointly funded by the United Nations and the Bhutan Observer newspaper, to teach journalists and editors, as well as to advise media stakeholders, as part of the country’s move to democracy. This provided the opportunity to undertake research for her PhD thesis, which she completed in 2013, receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation from Macquarie University. During the year-long posting in Bhutan she acted as a consultant to Reporters Without Borders, Asia-Pacific desk.

Dr Avieson presented a seminar on her research on Bhutanese media. Support for Dr Avieson’s visit was provided by Professor Sally Burford, Head of the School of Art & Communication, and Associate Professor Sora Park, Director of the News & Media Research Centre. The impetus for the invitation to Dr Avieson is the large number of students from Bhutan studying in the graduate-level unit 9111 Social Research and from a number of different courses.

18 April 2018

Trolling: between information and identity politics

Presented by: Michael Jensen, Senior Research Fellow, IGPA
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: 9B13

In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 presidential election in the United States, fake news became the story. In the closing days of the election, stories which contained misinformation or claims based on false factual predicates, were more commonly disseminated on Facebook than factual news. In January 2017, before Donald Trump took office, the Director of National Intelligence issued a report noting that social media played a key role in executing Russia’s campaign to undermine Hilary Clinton, in the event she won, and boost Trump's chances as his campaign appeared more viable. The 16 February 2018 indictments handed down by the Mueller investigation against the Internet Research Agency (commonly referred to as a 'troll farm') in St Petersburg, Russia makes clear the significance of Russia's social media campaign as an aspect of Russia's overall interference in the 2016 election. This research studies the activities of the Russian trolls on Twitter before and up through the 2016 election. Using a data set of 200,000 tweets from accounts identified as operating out of the Internet Research Agency, the research examines the strategies the trolls used at different points in the campaign and conjectures as to how these were used to advance different kinds of strategic narratives.

Dr. Jensen is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics. His research has been published by Cambridge University Press, Palgrave, and Routledge as well as the International Journal of Press/Politics, the Journal of Public Policy, and the Journal of Political Marketing. Dr. Jensen has given invited presentations at Oxford University, the University of California, National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, the Electoral Studies Center in Taipei, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

7 March 2018

Speaking for the firm in peer projects:  The case of Debian

Presented by:  Mathieu O'Neil
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: 9B13

Mathieu O’Neil, School of Arts and Communication, University of Canberra, Australia
Laure Muselli, Département Sciences économiques et sociales, Télécom ParisTech, France

Volunteers in peer projects such as Debian collaborate to produce Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Debian is ‘ethical’ as participation is primarily motivated by self-fulfilment, and ‘modular’ in a design sense, but also in political-economy terms: participants oppose restricted ownership and control. Profit-oriented firms such as Google and HP are increasingly engaging with peer projects, by hiring project members to develop FOSS code which will be used inside the firm. This raises the question of how developers who adhere to ethical-modular values can ‘speak for their firm’ within the project: are such voices loud, or quiet? Do members feel the pull of competing interests, or are peer and for-profit voices losing their distinctive tones, and moving closer together? To determine to what extent peer and non-peer voices are harmonizing or clashing, this paper presents the results of a survey of Debian contributors, and of in-depth interviews with Debian developers.

Mathieu O’Neil is Associate Professor in Communication at the University of Canberra and Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University. He was part of an ANU team which obtained a grant to establish the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks, a global leader in the development of e-social science research methods. Mathieu’s research has been published in top communication and social science journals such as Social Networks; Information, Communication and Society; Réseaux; and Organization Studies, amongst others. He focuses on the analysis of power, protest and work in online environments, examining the articulation of networked media with collective action and information diffusion as well as implications for democratic governance, organizational, and labor issues. In 2010, he founded the online Journal of Peer Production. Mathieu’s latest book, Digital Labour and Prosumer Capitalism: The US Matrix, was published by Palgrave in 2015.

21 Feburary

The Emerging Digital Divide in News Consumption

Presented by:  Jee Young Lee


The majority of Australians have a smartphone and smartphone penetration continues to rise. They are becoming the main platform for accessing the internet. While convenience of mobility and a diverse range of apps enable internet users to effectively access information and content, there is a growing concern about the digital divide that is emerging in usage among those who exclusively rely on smartphones to access the internet and those who have broadband connection. Research on the usage gap has yielded important insights into how this is creating a new type of digital divide that results in a different online experience. Compared to people who have internet access via desktop or laptop computers, mobile internet users face greater barriers due to the technological limitations of mobile devices and the smaller volume of content optimised for such technology. On the other hand, the type of internet content available online are becoming increasingly data-heavy, which increases the demand of internet users’ data allowance. According to Mobile Consumer Survey 2017 (Deloitte, 2017), almost half of smartphone users in Australia regularly exceed their data allowance of their already costly mobile subscription and are paying extra data.

Research shows that minority group members, as well as younger, lower income, and less educated users, are more likely to be mobile-only users and access news/information content less than more privileged groups, such as higher income individuals. While mobile internet access may address the basic issue of getting access online, the differences between mobile and PC-based forms of internet access can reinforce inequalities in digital skill sets and online participation among socially and economically disadvantaged users.

Based on theDigital News Report Australia2017, this presentation discusses an emerging digital gap among news consumers who solely rely on smartphones and those with multiple devices to access the internet. Among the 2004 respondents, 580 (36.2%) mainly accessed news via smartphones, of which 458 (80.7%) owned two or more devices including a smartphone (‘multi-device news consumers’), and 109 (19.3%) only owned a smartphone (‘mobile-only news consumers’).Between the two groups, there were no significant differences indemographic characteristics other than the level of income;multi-devicenews consumers were more likely to be in higher income groups. Whilemobile-onlynews consumers accessed the internet just as frequently as multi-device users,multi-devicenews consumers were more frequent users when it came to news consumption. There was no difference in interest in news between the two groups. Significant differences in diversity of news brands and location, news engagement and attitudes towards news amongmobile-only news consumerswere found, suggesting that having one’s internet access limited to a mobile phone has important implications for information access such as online news, and implying anemerging under-classof mobile-only internet users.


Jee Young Lee is Digital News Report (DNR) Research Associate at the News & Media Research Centre. She has recently completed her PhD, exploring a user-centric inclusion framework for a digitalised society and the role of digital divide policy in addressing exclusion.

15 November

Everyday Political Talk in Third Spaces

Presented by:  Dr Scott Wright, University of Melbourne
Time: 10am – 11am
Location: 5A37
No registration required for the lecture
Tea/Coffee provided

The Digital News+ Lab of the News and Media Research Centre, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Canberra, is proud to host Dr Scott Wright presenting his research on:

The extensive literature analysing the nature of political deliberation online has generally found limited evidence of deliberation, with debate polarised into like-minded communities; limited use of evidence; and significant flaming, trolling and incivility (e.g. Davis, 2005; Wilhelm, 2000; Smith et al., 2013). This literature has, however, largely focused on explicitly political online spaces (such as political discussion forums or debates on politicians’ social media) using formal definitions of politics and Habermas-inspired elite models of deliberation. In response, a new agenda for online deliberation has been proposed that focuses on the interactions of “ordinary” citizens’ informal political talk in everyday online, ‘third spaces’, such as parenting, sports, or gardening forums, using expansive notion of political talk that embrace the vernacular, expressive and porous characteristics of everyday public speech and broader definitions of ‘the political’ (Wright, 2012a, b).

This presentation will outline the concept of third space, and the methodological challenges of identifying and analysing such talk. Data from a range of case studies of UK and Australian ‘third spaces’ will be presented, showing that when people talk about politics in third spaces, they generally use evidence to support claims and refrain from trolling, flaming and abuse. Political talk is also often crosscutting (left-right) even on sensitive topics such as asylum and abortion. Furthermore, such talk leads to a wide range of political actions.

This lecture is part of DN+L Masterclass Series.  There is no need to register for the lecture but those who wish to attend the Masterclass which will commence immediately after the  lecture, please visit Eventbrite to register by November 8, 2017.  Lunch/tea/coffee are provided, spaces limited.

Dr Scott Wright
Scott is a Senior Lecturer in Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on communication and politics with a particular focus on political communication, political participation and journalism. He has recently returned from Stanford University where he was a Visiting Fellow (Symbolic Systems), working on the relationships between tech companies and journalism. His research is multi-method, comparatively grounded, and is quantitative and qualitative - using content analysis, statistics, interviews and discourse analysis.

Dr Glen Fuller
Organiser of Data Mess and Methods Workshop.
Glen is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communications at the University of Canberra. With Associate Professor Sora Park he leads the Digital News+ Lab of the News and Media Research Centre.

1 November

Making mental health news: theorising reporting and reception via interviews with journalists, mental health consumers, advocacy organisations and professionals

Presenter:  Kate Holland
Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Location:  5C57

Abstract: Media representations of madness and mental illness have long been of interest to scholars, activists and people experiencing mental distress because of their potential to influence community attitudes and mental health policy. But relatively little is known about the factors that shape the production and reception of mental health news. In this presentation I will share some findings from my interviews and focus groups with people with lived experience of mental distress, journalists, mental health advocates, professionals and researchers.  Findings to be discussed relate to journalists’ views about newsworthy stories and sources, including the value of ‘case studies’ of people with lived experience, and reporting challenges, such as negotiating ‘pushy’ and shy news sources in the context of competition for funding within the mental health sector. In terms of participants’ views about mental health news, portrayals that link mental illness to themes of violence and crime are an ongoing concern but many participants also criticised the media for promoting medicalisation and relying on narratives that depoliticise and sanitise mental health issues. The analysis draws upon the concept of biocommunicability as a lens through which to examine the ways in which journalists position themselves and other social actors in the construction of mental health news and the findings are discussed in relation to the dominance of risk thinking in the context of biological psychiatry, the ‘mediatisation of psychiatric culture’ as one of extremes, and perspectives from Mad Studies.

Biography:Dr Kate Holland is a Senior Research Fellow in the News & Media Research Centre and recipient of an ARC DECRA ‘Mediating Mental Health: An Integrated Approach to Investigating Media and Social Actors’ (DE140100100). Prior to this she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the ‘Australian Health News Research Collaboration’ working on a range of projects examining media and public discourses about health issues. Kate has published research on mental distress, obesity, alcohol and pregnancy, infectious diseases, pro-ana online communities, and anti-stigma campaigns.

18 October

Parenting, ways of knowing and teenage children’s use of digital technologies

Presenter: Catherine Page Jeffery (PhD Work in Progress Seminar)
Time: 12:30-1:30pm
Location: 5C57

Abstract:Public anxieties about how children are engaging with different forms of media are not new. Often framed in terms of a moral panic, anxieties about children and new media and technologies have included early concerns about television screen time, to more recent concerns about the internet, smart phones and social networking.  A ‘cyber-safety’ discourse has emerged warning parents about the potential risks and dangers associated with new digital technologies, and instructing parents what they should be doing to mitigate them.

I conducted focus groups and interviews with forty parents throughout late 2016 and early 2017 to discuss their anxieties and practices in relation to their children’s use of digital technologies. Parents discussed a range of concerns: from the amount of time spent on devices and the psychological pressure of constant connectivity, to concerns around gaming, sexualised online environments, and bullying. Parents admitted that while they found it a difficult issue to navigate, they developed specific knowledges and utilised a number of strategies to manage technology use in the home.

Parents demonstrated varying levels of knowledge and understanding of what their children were doing online and on devices; these involved different ‘ways of knowing’ and correlative subject positions. The ‘immersive’ parent demonstrated more detailed knowledge about their children’s technology practices which in part determined their practices in managing and negotiating their children’s use. The ‘structured’ or ‘methodised’ parent demonstrated less knowledge, and appeared to draw more heavily on existing discourses about parenting and cyber-safety when identifying their concerns and discussing how they manage and negotiate their children’s technology use.


Catherine Page Jeffery is a PhD candidate and teaching fellow at the University of Canberra. Her PhD research is concerned with parental anxieties in relation to teenage children’s use of digital technologies, as well as how parents manage and negotiate their children’s use of technology. Her professional experience spans internet content regulation and cyber-safety education in Government, as well as ICT research and policy for Australia’s ICT Research Centre of Excellence.

4 October

Denying Atrocities: First World War ‘fake news’ and the Nazi propaganda machine

Presenter: Emily Robertson
Time: 12:30-1:30pm
Location: 5C57

Abstract:Previous to the First World War, propaganda had a neutral meaning, and was used to describe various forms of public communication, from recruiting material to protest pamphlets.  At the end of the First World War, propaganda became a synonym for lies and manipulation.  This was largely due to the wartime British driven atrocity propaganda campaign that had alleged that the Germans had committed atrocities against the Belgians. Following the war, influential authors such as Arthur Ponsonby and Harold Lasswell contended that British news stories about German atrocities had been manufactured.  From the 1930s the Nazi propaganda machine successfully used public hostility against atrocity propaganda to counter suspicion about their actions against Jews in Germany.  They did this through publicity stunts that were reported in the Australian media. In 1935 the German government paid for a group of Australian schoolboys to visit Germany. An Australian newspaper reported, ‘The newspapers candidly declare that this rare opportunity of impressing young educated Australians must not be missed, because no country was so flooded with “atrocity stories” as Australia’.

At the beginning of the Second World War, Australian government authorities could not draw upon the previous atrocity propaganda methods of the First World War to mobilise support, as many Australians had come to believe that Great War anti-German atrocity propaganda had consisted only of lies, and that they had been manipulated into fighting an unnecessary war. As a result, government censorship of atrocity stories in the Australian press about the Germans and the Japanese was consistently enforced from the beginning of the conflict until the last two years of the war. Hostile responses to reports of enemy atrocities had left the Australian government with no other option than to censor atrocity stories and produce anodyne propaganda campaigns.

Biography:  Dr Emily Robertson is a Visiting Fellow with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Her work is interdisciplinary, drawing upon communications methodology and cultural history to explore past and present uses of propaganda in war. She has published several articles and book chapters on the topic of First World War propaganda in Great Britain and Australia.

20 September

Cross-Platform Analysis and Digital Methods: Where is ‘Discourse’?

Presenter:  Glen Fuller
Time: 12:30- 1:30pm
Location:  5C57

Abstract:In Richard Rogers’s chapter ‘Digital Methods for Cross-platform Analysis’ published in The SAGE Handbook of Social Media (2017) he outlines a step-by-step guide for how to carry out cross-platform research using digital methods. Rogers also presents a history of the field in terms of conceptions of digital research objects and the relevant methods used to research them. In a previous work, Rogers (2009) characterises what he calls “virtual methods” as those that import standard methods from the social sciences and the humanities; the title of this piece “The End of Virtual – Digital Methods” makes his position clear.

In this presentation I work through the early stages of a project that explores the current Same Sex Marriage debate by examining all Facebook posts by via official pages of Australian Federal politicians. I draw on the concept of ‘discourse’ to eventually think about the second level agenda setting in the framing of SSM in terms of the affective salience of the politicians’ posts. I argue that cross-platform analysis necessarily requires a concept of discourse so as to better understand that way issues are shaped.

Dr. Glen Fuller is an Assistant Professor of Communications and Journalism. He has an excellent track record of supervising student projects and working with students to publish from them. He is co-leader of the Digital News+ Lab in the News and Media Research Centre. His most recent publications are available here:

6 September

Multimodal Behaviour Analysis - Computational Modelling for Mental Health


In this talk, I will give an overview of our research into developing multimodal technology that analyses the affective state and more broadly behaviour of humans. Such technology is useful for a number of applications, with applications in healthcare, e.g. mental health disorders, being a particular focus for us. Depression and other mood disorders are common and disabling disorders. Their impact on individuals and families is profound. The WHO Global Burden of Disease reports quantify depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite the high prevalence, current clinical practice depends almost exclusively on self-report and clinical opinion, risking a range of subjective biases. There currently exist no laboratory-based measures of illness expression, course and recovery, and no objective markers of end-points for interventions in both clinical and research settings. Using a multimodal analysis of facial expressions and movements, body posture, head movements as well as vocal expressions, we are developing affective sensing technology that supports clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment progress. Encouraging results from a recently completed pilot study demonstrate that this approach can achieve over 90% agreement with clinical assessment. After ten years of research, I will also talk about the lessons learnt in this project, such as measuring spontaneous expressions of affect, subtle expressions, and affect intensity using multimodal approaches. We are currently extending this line of research to other disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and autism spectrum disorders. In particular for the latter, a natural progression is to analyse dyadic and group social interactions through multimodal behaviour analysis. At the core of our research is a focus on robust approaches that can work in real-world environments.


Prof Roland Goecke is Professor of Affective Computing at the Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Engineering, University of Canberra, Australia. He is the Head of the Vision and Sensing Group and the Director of the Human-Centred Technology Research Centre. He received his Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Rostock, Germany, in 1998 and his PhD in Computer Science from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, in 2004. Before joining UC in December 2008, Prof Goecke worked as a Senior Research Scientist with Seeing Machines, as a Researcher at the NICTA Canberra Research Labs, and as a Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Institutes for Computer Graphics, Germany. His research interests are in affective computing, pattern recognition, computer vision, human-computer interaction, multimodal signal processing and e-research. Prof Goecke has been an author and co-author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications. His research has been funded by grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the National Science Foundation (NSF, USA), the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (NeCTAR). 16 August

Regaining control: Citizens following politicians on social media.

Presenter: Caroline Fisher
Location:  20B01
Time: 12:30-1:30pm

Abstract:  The frenetic tweeting of US president Donald Trump and his public disdain for the mainstream news media has led to much debate about the impact of social media on political discourse. While there has been significant criticism by commentators of his social media strategy, at the time of writing this paper @realDonaldTrump had 32.4 million followers. Though there is a burgeoning body of research focussed on the media strategies used by populist politicians there is less research into the citizens who choose to follow them and why.  This paper presents quantitative data from six countries involved in the 2017 Reuters Digital News Report survey, in which approximately 2000 respondents in each country were asked if and why they followed politicians and political parties on social media.  The data revealed the majority of those who follow politicians in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Australia have a high interest in news and consider themselves to have political efficacy.  The main reason for following was a strong preference to hear directly from the politician or party rather than have the information filtered by others. Drawing on contemporary gatekeeping theory this working paper argues the data point to a desire by these citizens to have more control over the political information they consume and highlights a shift from the traditional conception of then journalist as gatekeeper to incorporate citizens and politicians as new filters in the digital communication landscape.


Dr Caroline Fisher is an Assistant Professor in journalism at the University of Canberra. She began teaching and researching in journalism and political communication at UC in 2014. In 2017 she took on the role of course convenor for the journalism programme. Caroline completed her PhD in 2014 which examined the career transition between journalism and parliamentary media advising. Prior to academia she was a reporter, presenter and producer for ABC News and Radio National; and, spent three years as a ministerial media adviser to Anna Bligh in the Queensland government.

14 June

How strategic are we? Communication activities in Australian Government science organisations

Presenter: David Beard
Location: 5B55a
Time: 12.30-1.30pm


Strategic communication aims to use communication to help organisations deliver business outcomes. It is aligned to business strategy and is planned, evidence-based and multidisciplinary. This research sought to understand the institutionalisation of strategic communication in Australian Government science organisations – that is, the extent to which strategic communication activities are commonly accepted and practised in these organisations. Data was gathered from 20 Australian Government science organisations, using a mixed methods approach – an online survey was completed by the most senior communication manager in all 20 organisations and then six of these managers participated in interviews. The study found that strategic communication is partially institutionalised in Australian Government science organisations. Activities that underpin strategic approaches to communication are institutionalised; however, strategic impact from these activities is not institutionalised. This means these organisations are underachieving when it comes to using communication to support business outcomes. The research suggests that the organisations could improve this situation by taking an evidence-based, customer-centric marketing approach to their business operations.


David Beard is passionate about using communication to help organisations achieve business outcomes. He recently completed a Master of Strategic Communication at the University of Canberra; which included researching strategic communication practices in 20 Australian Government science organisations. He has worked for one of these organisations – Geoscience Australia - for almost 20 years, progressively augmenting his geoscience knowledge with communication knowledge and skills. From 2012 to 2016 he was Geoscience Australia’s most senior communication manager; leading efforts to make the organisation’s communication more strategic. In addition to his Master of Strategic Communication from the University of Canberra he has a Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management) from the Australian National University, including Honours research focussed on climate science.

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

Abstract 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.

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.

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.

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

AbstractIn 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

Abstract 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

Abstract 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.