Student video on Pulau Ubin wins consolation prize in Sharing ASEAN Project

Melody Lee’s video titled ‘Falling in Love with the Human Touch’, won a consolation prize in the video competition organised as part of the Sharing ASEAN Project.  The competition was organised in late 2015, by the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam and managed by the Media Development Authority of Singapore, with the aim of capturing the traditions, lifestyles and culture of ASEAN countries.

Melody was in her final semester of studies and studying the Photographic and Video Storytelling module, when the opportunity to take part in this competition came by. The knowledge she acquired from this module, helped her in putting the winning video together. “Beyond the technical skills of film production, I was able to explore social issues on the ground, by speaking directly to the people affected, such as single mothers and elderly workers. Although this video was not produced as a module deliverable, it was filmed with skills and opportunities garnered from the module. The module enabled me to feed my interest for on-the-ground social issues, as well as do something about them – in terms of being a voice, advocating for change, through our videos produced and published on Inconvenient Questions,” says Melody.


Her video submission was based on life on the island of Pulau Ubin, which is often dubbed as Singapore’s ‘dying town’. With only about 38 residents and physically disconnected from the modernised and digitally connected mainland, Melody felt that this quaint island depicted an alternate perspective to Singapore.  She observed that although the island was far removed from the digital world, human connection was very strong. “You grab a taxi on through speaking to the locals, and not through booking one on your phone. You enter shops, not just to get your thirst and hunger quenched, but you ask after shipowner’s day, how they’ve been. Residents’ homes aren’t gated and padlocked, but doors lay wide open, beckoning you to drop by and have a chat. They say Ubin is a ‘dying town’, I’d say its alive with human connection,” adds Melody.

Watch Melody’s video here.

Prof Mohan J. Dutta receives the 2016 ICA Applied/Public Policy Research Award

Mohan1Prof Mohan J. Dutta  was awarded the International Communication Association (ICA) Applied/Public Policy Research Award, at this year’s ICA Annual Conference held in Fukuoka, Japan from 9th to 13th June.  The ICA Applied/Public Policy Research Award honors a scholar or group of researchers who have produced a systematic body of research in communication studying a particular applied or policy problem for the betterment of society.

The award is a recognition of Prof Dutta’s decade-long collaborations with marginalized communities in developing the culture-centered approach as a framework for addressing needs voiced by members of marginalized communities, for developing participatory processes for structural transformation through grassroots-driven advocacy, for fostering communication infrastructures for listening to community voices, and for co-constructing knowledge claims from the global margins. Under the umbrella of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) that he directs at NUS, Prof Dutta has developed partnerships with communities that work toward addressing locally articulated  and contextually constituted solutions such as building cultural resources of health and wellbeing, building healthcare services, building locally-based agricultural systems rooted in indigenous knowledge, developing culturally-centered communication campaigns, and creating policy advocacy tools that center the voices of marginalized community members in policy spaces.


Prof Dutta receiving the Award at the 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association held in Fukuoka, Japan on 11 June 2016.


Prof Dutta (right, seated) with other CNM faculty members and graduate students at the ICA Conference 2016

CNM Camp 2016 – Recruitment for OGL(s) and Councillors

The organising committee of CNM Camp 2016 is recruiting for OGLs and Councillors. Those interested can sign up here

Want to have a meaningful summer experience? Opportunity knocks! Sign up to be an OGL or a Councillor for our upcoming CNM Masters Camp 2016, and you’ll have the chance to forge new friendships and create unforgettable memories! The camp will be from 25-28 July 2016. All majors are welcome! 


Screening of award winning documentary ‘COtton for my Shroud’

CNM-CARE invites you to the screening of the award-winning documentary film ‘Cotton for my Shroud’. The documentary focuses on the Agrarian crises in India and their Human Rights dimension. The film is one in the trilogy of films; the other two being ‘Candles in the wind’ and ‘I cannot give you my Forest’.


The films are the works of independent filmmakers and media-trainers Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bahl with over 40 films to their credit, many of them feature-length. After their Masters in World Literature and a diploma in journalism, they worked as journalists in print and television for seven years, in what they call their previous life. In 1996, they quit their jobs to follow their dreams. Over two decades into filmmaking, their films are poignant portraits of these times, often blurring the thin line between documentary and cinema. Do join us for the screening.

Please register at this link:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Workshop

The workshop will share how pain can be treated using traditional Chinese medicine techniques, in particular the root cutting method of conventional therapy. During the workshop, Mr Zheng will also provide a free diagnosis and pain treatment for attendees who suffer from pain.



Farkhan-FBFarkhan Salleh, is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Kevokanvas. Prior to this he was the creative lead for Social@Ogilvy Singapore, leading his team on over 20 accounts, both locally and across the APAC region.

He is an award winning creative and has a few Effies and Markies  for various accounts like Guinness, Dreyer’s and AIA, to his credit. He shares with us, more about Kevokanvas and his CNM days.

How did Kevokanvas come about?

Kevokanvas was started about two years ago by a few friends/ex-colleagues and I from Ogilvy. We roped in a former sales director from Meltwater to help us in our business development and kevokanvas was born. Fast forward 2 years later and we’re now a full-fledged agency with over 50 employees across Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Our people come from a similar mould; a group of hungry, slightly dissatisfied advertising agency veterans who were looking for a place to finally call ‘home’. We’d also establish tie-ups with local colleges in Malaysia to roll out a graduate fellowship programme which allows fresh graduates to spend time across the different advertising disciplines that are available in kevo. The programme is designed for them to experience the different departments before finding their true calling at the end.

How did CNM impact your career, are there any special CNM moments you would like to share ?

Honestly I found my love for advertising in one of the CNM modules. Unfortunately it was a one-off module and that was it. The other modules did help me in one way or another to understand the people who I was communicating later on. I think the biggest advantage was that CNM helped me understand or enabled me to understand this new era of digital and social advertising that the industry was pivoting towards. I also had the opportunity to go for a work stint with the NUS-MDA SHAPE programme, thanks to Dr Denisa Kera, who connected me with qik, inc., just because she found them “interesting”. It was there that I got a hands-on experience in app development, video making and social media management. In an ironic twist, the landlady that I stayed with was a 30-year advertising veteran. Arguably, even after these short trysts with advertising, I knew I was severely disadvantaged if I wanted to make this my career. However as with many passions mixed with the folly of youth, I guess I wanted to see how far I could push myself in the field.

What words of advice would you offer to your juniors, especially those who have dream of their own start-up/creative enterprise?

I would say don’t do it fresh out of school. That is the worst thing to do, unless you’re well-connected. I think the romanticism of creating start-ups fuelled by ever-available tales of overnight millionaires is definitely a tempting prospect. I would say don’t do it especially when you’re talking about the advertising industry, where the big agencies are currently under siege from dozens of small to mid-sized boutique agencies. However the only reason that traditional agencies have survived is that their connections are so much more robust, allowing them to weather these spikes of challenges. Sure you may be able to survive, but that’s not to say you won’t be able to survive doing less at a 9 to 5 job. I would recommend spending at least 2 years in an job related to the field of interest to learn and more importantly to make friends. At a decent-sized agency like Ogilvy, where the turnover rate is close to 50%, you’d looking at making hundreds of friends over 2 years. And some of these friends eventually leave to join other companies and that’s where they might remember you, hopefully for the right reasons.


CNM welcomes Assoc Prof Gu Jie

Gu jie

CNM welcomes Assoc Prof Gu Jie, from the School of Television, Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Communication University of China. He received his PhD in New Media Studies from the Australian National University in 2012. His research interests include media practice, audience studies and political communication and his teaching areas are Digital Journalism, Television Production & Photography. Gu Jie will be with us until end July 2016.

He will be giving a talk on Wednesday, 27 Mar 2016, 3 pm at the CNM Meeting Room. The synopsis of his talk is given below.

Talk Synopsis:

For the past decade, a practice turn has been witnessed in quite a few research disciplines, such as sociological consumption studies, organization studies and science and technology studies. In 2004, Nick Couldry first brought practice theories to media studies and formally argued that media should be also theorized as practice. However, practice theories have appeared in relatively few studies of media and communication. Moreover, I suggest that most existing practice-based media studies are still conducted under the purview of methodological dualism without manifesting the essence of duality of practice theories. To explicate this suggestion, I first review the development and rationale of practice theories. Especially, the focus is laid on the second generation of practice theories, which is pioneered by Theodore Schatzki. Compared to the first generation of practice theorists, like Bourdieu and Giddens, Schatzki’s ensemble practice approach offers a better solution for bridging the gap between methodological individualism and wholism. More importantly, this approach entails a set of concepts and parameters which operate at a relatively low level of abstraction. Second, by referring to the merits of existing practice-based studies, and also incorporating the insights generated from my own study of YouTubing practice in the context of Australia, I extend existing practice-based studies by detailing a research script of with more emphasis on individual side of social practices. In the final section, I further develop my contention that the field of media and communication is a fruitful one for the development of practice theories, and that practice theories are useful for media scholars, especially with research interests in motivation, usage pattern and media institution.



CARE campaign to highlight challenges faced by the poor in Singapore

No12993593_1710946682516738_1548376197116818553_n Singaporeans Left Behind is the latest campaign to be launched by CNM-CARE and seeks to highlight the daily challenges faced by low-income families in Singapore. Prof Mohan J. Dutta (CNM Head and CARE Director), along with Naomi Tan and Dr Asha Rathina Pandi have launched this online campaign to raise awareness of Singaporeans living in poverty. Through their research and in-depth interviews with low-income families, the team was able to identify several issues including key areas such as; access to housing, access to and affordability of healthcare, receiving financial assistance, food insecurity and stigmatization. Their initial findings have been published in the white paper, Singaporeans: A Culture-Centered Study of the Poverty Experience in Singapore

The team worked together with some of the participants to create a communication campaign, highlighting the issues. After several rounds of discussion, they collaboratively designed a print advertisement, a video advertisement, a documentary film and a social media campaign. For more updates and details follow their Facebook page