PR and Journalism Majors from Deakin University visit CNM

By Nick Ansell, Journalism & Public Relations major, Year 3, Deakin University

I am Nick Ansell, a third year student in journalism and public relations from the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.  On 19 November 2014, 18 of my course mates, accompanied by two faculty, Mr Mark Sheehan and Ms Bronwyn Kirby, had the pleasure of visiting CNM.

The visit is a highlight in our educational tour this year, in terms of the educational and cultural value that we were able to obtain as students and faculty.

Our exposure to the Singaporean university lifestyle had begun even before we stepped off the bus.  We were greeted with the sprawling grounds and general buzz of the campus at Kent Ridge as soon as we entered National University of Singapore.

Even though we experienced difficulties with our bus back at the hotel, the grumpiness that had come as a result of the humidity and false hope (the wrong bus had arrived twice!) was washed away as soon as we arrived at NUS.

Upon taking our seats at CNM Lab, we were given a fantastic introduction to a slice of media relations in Singapore by Ms Mary Lee.  Following which, we listened intently to the experiences and expertise of Ms Jovina Ang, former Director of Marketing Communication for Microsoft Services in Asia.  Now an independent communication consultant, Ms Ang regaled us with stories that inspired all of us.  Her experiences demonstrated that the dreams of working for leading multinational organisations are achievable, as long as we put in the requisite determination and hard work.

Once again, we at Deakin University are incredibly grateful to CNM for your hospitality and expertise.  We hope that our universities continue to maintain a strong partnership in the years to come.

Shaking off the jitters in public speaking ~ Here’s how

Extempo Raneous Records, the winning team of this semester’s GEM2027 Public Speaking Students’ Creative Video on “Oral Style and Delivery”  shows us how to overcome our nerves in public speaking:

Extempo Raneous Records is made up of Beh Wen Ming James, Maureen Yong Mu Ling, Seow Wei Liang, Tay Joon Kit Daniel, Wang Yue Yao and Yang Xue Ying.

CNM bids farewell to Assistant Professors Ingrid Hoofd and Giorgos Cheliotis

Assistant Professors Ingrid Hoofd and Giorgos Cheliotis will leave CNM before the end of 2014. They share on this blog their thoughts and feelings as they look back on their stints at CNM.

Dr Ingrid Hoofd
I have been in CNM close to nine years! My first semester was as an adjunct, and after that as an assistant prof for 8½ years.

What will definitely stay with me is the collegiality and warm atmosphere within CNM. It really felt like a community despite all our differences in research approaches. I also learnt  a lot from being in a predominantly social science department; although I had to get my deep intellectual dialogues mostly from outside the department, being in CNM gave me a lot of insight and appreciation of that field as well. And as the lone humanist, I also had a lot of freedom to shape my own research and the humanities bit of the curriculum.

I am heading for Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where I will be at the Department of Media and Cultural Studies in the Humanities Faculty, specifically their subdivision New Media & Digital Culture. To all NM students: Come do an exchange semester there, or check out their postgraduate degrees!

Dr Giorgos Cheliotis

I am returning to Greece to look after my ailing mother, and to recover from health issues I myself have been facing because of the climate here.  That said, I for one know I will miss the tropical storms, rich flora, and abundance of tropical fruit!

I am grateful I am for the opportunity to spend all these years at CNM. Coming from a computer science background, I must admit I knew little of the communications field when I first joined.  I have learnt a lot since. In fact, much of my recent work is attempting a synthesis across disciplines, taking things I have learnt about reliability and validity assessment in the social sciences and applying them to the methods that primarily, computer scientists use to observe online populations.

My time with CNM has been an important milestone in my career and I’m sure it will continue to influence me for a long time to come. I wish you all the best in your careers and hope that our paths will cross again in the future!

CNM Graduate Research Talks

Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 2:40pm
CNM Meeting room, AS6, #03-33
Sanju Menon
DeCAP: A computer-supported deliberative argumentation system for online deliberation
This study is about the design and evaluation of a prototype deliberative argumentation system called DeCAP.  The argumentation system is aimed at facilitating better quality argumentation as per the systemic approach to deliberative democracy.  For this purpose, a new model of argumentation called RICE (Reasoning as Instrumental, Causal and Evidential) is developed.  The DeCAP interface captures the design implications of the RICE model through two key interface elements – Thought experiments & agenda disclosure.  A 2×2 factorial study design is presented to test the effectiveness of the DeCAP inteface in facilitating deliberative argumentation.  Adhering to the expectations of the systemic approach, measures of effectiveness include factors like deliberative quality, deliberative coherence, ease of argumentation and generation of deliberative artifacts.

Arlianny Sayrol
Capitalised knowledge: The reinventions of the ‘subjugated’: Singapore’s education System within a technocratic rule.
Being a propagator as well as an invention of the education system under the Ministry of Education myself, I believe that it is crucial for me to provide a space to represent the voices of the masses.  My focus will be on the Singapore citizen (student), who I consider as being subjugated under the layers of state ideologies and nationalistic myths through their years of participation in the Singapore Education System (SES). I would like to uncover the ways they negotiate their paths towards what they identify and value as “successes”.  I would like to examine the empowering-repressive duality of the SES, along with its ICT reforms.  I would also like to include the different levels of socioeconomic realities each citizen faces within the SES.  Education after all, is a site for power struggle with many economic, political and social aspects of the living and their lives being contested.

Joy Ng
Piracy in the age of music streaming: A mixed methods study of the Napster generation in Singapore
Music streaming services (MSS) are seen as compelling legitimate alternatives to digital music piracy.  This research project examines usage of music streaming services and the changes in music piracy behavior amongst individuals aged 21-36.  In a broader context, this project aims to contribute to a better understanding of digital music consumption and sharing with the advent of music streaming services.  In particular, this project examines the effectiveness of MSS in curbing the illegal downloading of music among young Singaporeans through a field-experiment.  At the second phase of the study, the project will throw light on the evolving practices of music consumption that result from the new capabilities afforded by MSS through a diary study.

Benjamin Loh
Piracy is normal: Rethinking computer games piracy in developing countries
“Piracy is wrong” is the default stance that all piracy studies use.  In the developed world, this is the norm from centuries of cultivating the worth of intellectual property. With high piracy rates in the developing world, “Piracy is normal” is more likely their stance which drastically changes the outlook.  This study will utilize cognitive dissonance theory to understand the three cognitive reactions from this perspective: reinforcing pirate behaviour, justifying legitimate purchases, and altering their beliefs to pirate less.  This study aims to investigate the behaviour of pirating computer games in developing countries to uncover new approaches for anti-piracy solutions.

Vanessa Tan
The Trinity Syndrome: Exploring the faux “Strong Female Character” in video games and examining its potential real-world effects
The video game industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise with widespread global influence.  Most research conducted thus far has been concentrated on violence and its effects but scholars have also examined gender representations and its influence. However, these gender representation studies have only examined men and women as a whole, looking at general behaviors. I hope to dive deeper, studying one classification of characters, the “Strong Female Character,” to analyse if it fits their classification or are becoming like the “Strong Female Characters” seen in film, a dominant, competent woman who never develops or progresses the plot after her initial introduction.

CNM Graduate Research Talks

Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 3pm
CNM Meeting room, AS6, #03-33

Markéta Dolejšová
Politics of food-networking: Dieting for better food futures
This study is concerned with the computer mediated food experiences and their role within the phenomenon of political food consumption – a strategy of expressing individual sociopolitical beliefs through a deliberate simplification of eating habits. The focus of the study is put on the ways, how has this strategy changed along with the proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly those enabling social networking.  One of the popular topics that has recently started to be discussed within the online global network is food and various recommendations on eating and shopping options or sustainable eating practices.  I am concerned primarily with those online food-related encounters performed by political consumers, whose food choices are largely motivated by the uneven practices of global food industry, such as over-production, excessive volume of food export and the consequential trend of food wasting.  Adopters of this mindful ethos are for instance vegetarians and vegans, locavore and low carbon dieters, or the more extreme freegans.  There already exist a wide range of social networking services designed to facilitate the specific food ways of those consumers, while enabling them to share both food recommendations or food items per se (e.g. Buycott, Dumpster map, Leftover swap, Mundraub).  My research will focus on the position of those services within the daily practice of political consumers, and the possible implications of this “food-networking” strategy for the refinement of global food agenda.  I argue that even if the lifestyle of political consumers may be seen as individualistic or even escapist, with the support of networking technologies, it is likely to exert a greater social influence.

Ashwini Arvind Falnikar
Civic engagement in the age of new media in India
In a country as diverse as India, numerous forms of civic engagement exist.  These existing participatory discourses have further multiplied with new media technologies becoming increasingly available to various populations.  In this talk, I share my critical understanding of present modes of engagement in the political and cultural sphere in India.  The study will be a comparative study of two distinct groups of populations having different levels of access to new media technologies.  A possible entry point into this topic would be public art/public expression in the cityscapes of urban India and on virtual platforms.

Iris Wang Yang
Multi-lifing through computer-mediated communications: Transnational identity negotiation and relationship management of Chinese “study mothers” in Singapore
 “Study mothers” (peidu mama) refer to mothers who accompany their preteen or teenage children to pursue long-term overseas education, while leaving their husbands and other family members behind in the home country.  Besides playing the primary role of being “dedicated mothers”, they are simultaneously “unavailable spouses”, “unwelcome foreigners”, and “reluctant workers”, and thus have to constantly shuttle between multiple and overlapping identities.  This research focuses on Chinese study mothers in Singapore, and seeks to investigate the role of computer-mediated communications (CMC) in their identity negotiation and relationship management. Specifically, the research will probe into study mothers’ motives and habits of using various communication platforms, the influences of CMC on their multiple identities, and their strategies in reinforcing transnational family ties and developing instrumental social networks.  I shall employ in-depth interviews, media diaries and virtual ethnography to explore these questions.

Gui Kai Chong
News consumption in Singapore: A study of Singaporean citizens as audiences
This study is about the meaning of news consumption in Singapore.  It adopts a qualitative approach to researching citizens as audiences and uses in-depth interviews to explore the role that news consumption plays in the everyday lives of Singaporeans.  Drawing on the literature on audience studies, media anthropology, journalism studies, and political communication, the study focuses on how “media consumption” practices and habits as well as orientations towards the news are related to citizens’ sense of public connection.  The study attends to both cases of strong connection and cases of weak connection, and contextualizes these in a way that takes the situated and ambivalent nature of news consumption seriously.