Research Talk by Ms Carol Soon

“Blogging and Collective Action: Which Networks Matter and For Whom?”

Date: Wednesday 8 September 2010

Time: 3 p.m.

Venue: CNM Playroom, AS6 03-38

Synopsis:

Political developments that took place in recent years suggest that blogging has embarked on a different trajectory, from a personal and therapeutic medium to one which impacts civic participation. Observations of how bloggers are influencing the political landscape are not limited to countries in the West but extend to Asian countries as well. Existing literature on cyber-activism is mainly focused on how technologies facilitate collective action across geographical boundaries as well as enable marginalized groups and individuals to overcome real world constraints to further their cause. In the field of sociology, social movement theorists have lauded the importance and indispensability of one’s informal and formal social networks in influencing and sustaining participation. This paper first identifies the different types of political bloggers in the local context and their levels of involvement in activism. It then examines the roles and significance of three types of social networks – informal, formal and online. In-depth interviews were conducted with more than 40 political bloggers, prominent activists as well as those who did not engage in activism. Quantitative data from questionnaires further elucidated on the relationship between social network variables and bloggers’ participation/non-participation in collective action. The findings indicate significant relationships between political bloggers’ informal and formal social networks and their participation. Although online networks play a critical role in helping political bloggers connect with like-minded activists, communication frequency, social influence, trust and information-seeking were higher between activist bloggers and their informal and formal contacts.

This paper is part of the presenter’s doctoral dissertation which examines the role of collective identity and social networks in engendering participation in collective action among political bloggers. Combined with the analysis of collective identity shared by political bloggers, these findings provide the basis for the development of a typology on the relationship between collectiveness and activism involvement.

A/P Sun Sun Lim appointed as CNM’s Deputy Head

CNM is pleased to announce the appointment of A/P Sun Sun Lim as its new Deputy Head.

A/P Lim teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in CNM. She also serves as the Graduate Coordinator and the CNM-Business School Double Degree Coordinator.

She has won seven awards for excellent teaching at both university and faculty levels.

Congratulations A/P Lim on your new appointment!

Congratulations to CNM’s winning TAs and new Graduates

At the FASS annual Awards Ceremony on Friday 20 August 2010, four of CNM’s Teaching Assistants garnered the Best Teaching Assistant Awards, making CNM the only department in the faculty with four winners.

Two of our new honours graduates from the class of 2010 also received their awards from Dean Brenda Yeoh.

Congratulations to all! You have made CNM proud!

Best Teaching Assistants
1. Mr Aaron Ng
2. Mr Lin Jin
3. Ms Jodie Luu
4. Ms Ou Meimin

Best Honours Students
1. Ms Jemima Ooi Ai Ping, Best Honours student, NTUC Income Prize Award recipient, and also Best Well-Rounded Student
2. Mr Daniel Teo Hee Boon, Best Communication Management student, Hill & Knowlton Award recipient

The winning team from CNM

The winning team from CNM

Research Talk by Mr. Preetam Rai

“Technology and Social Media and Peer-Learning in South East Asia”

Date: Wednesday 25 August 2010

Time: 3 – 4 p.m.

Venue: CNM Playroom, AS6 03-38

Synopsis:
In this presentation we will discuss the impact of technology and social networks on the young people in South East Asia and Asia in general. We will look at how they are building platforms for knowledge sharing, self-improvement and networking beyond their borders. We will take a tour of these low cost, user generated learning events called “Barcamps” now happening all over South East Asia. We will side-track into technology and lifestyle trends: What social networks are popular in Vietnam? How can we stay on top of Korean or Arabic Internet conversations?


About the speaker:
Mr. Preetam Rai is an Educational Technologist at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He
is always on the move helping groups across Asia in putting up technological and cultural events. He was the former South East Asian editor at Global Voices Online, one of the biggest social media content aggregation services. He is often consulted by organisations to help launch their online initiatives in the region. Preetam won the Apple Distinguished Educator 2010 award for his IT and educational activities, and work with Barcamps within the region.


Congratulations A/P Sun Sun Lim on her tenure and promotion!

CNM joins Associate Professor Sun Sun Lim as she celebrates the end of an arduous year-long process of being reviewed for tenure and promotion — and passed with flying colours!

Professors are reviewed by esteemed international scholars and senior faculty members in FASS and NUS after six years of teaching, research and service to the university, to determine if they are promoted with tenure (with job security in NUS till age 65) or asked to leave.

Said CNM Head A/P Millie Rivera, “CNM is a very young department with many wonderful and young professors. Sun was the first assistant professor to go through the tenure and promotion process and by succeeding has created a space for others to follow. She is now a source of inspiration and support for her younger colleagues. Her success is shared by everyone in the department. We are delighted!”

Indeed, Sun has been a trailblazer for CNM and a great mentor to younger colleagues. Dr. Iccha Basnyat affirms, “Sun brings a wealth of knowledge and for me that has been a wonderful opportunity to learn and to grow. Regardless of whether I interact with her at a personal level as a mentor or at a professional level as a collaborator, she is very easy going and always willing to give of her time to share her experiences and her knowledge.”

More importantly, A/P Lim has been such a wonderful colleague here at CNM that within 14 hours of news of her tenure, colleagues got together to throw a surprise tenure bash for someone whom Dr. Leanne Chang terms an “amazing woman!” While we’re left in awe of how she strikes a balance with all that she does, A/P Lim attributes her success to CNM, “While the tenure process was no walk in the park, it was made that much more pleasant with the support of our wonderful CNM family!”

CNM celebrates with a Tenure Bash!

CNM celebrates with a Tenure Bash!

She was made queen of the day with a crown and sash that read “Tenured Professor.”

The newly-minted A/P Lim

The newly-minted A/P Lim

And just as you dust off your old incarnation and start a new path, you want to pass on that piece of good luck to others around you. So for good measure, the Tenure crown was tossed and we await our next king or queen.

Who's next in line for tenure?

Who's next in line for tenure?

NM2010: Principles of Fun. – New module? Nah… (I wish :D)

This was the theme of this year’s CNM Freshmen Social Camp held from 11th to 14th July. Led by the CNM society, fun and interesting activities were planned to get freshmen acquainted with the Communications and New Media (CNM) programme and usher them into the exciting university life.

The module-themed camp was carefully crafted by the planning committee for participating freshmen to understand the NUS modular system. The CNM Society Exco members, orientation team leaders and seniors who facilitated the camp played the roles of ‘Professors’, ‘Teaching assistants’ and ‘Seniors’. To take things one step further, even the camp activities were called as “Assignments” and contributed towards their group’s “CAP”. The much coveted “S/U option” cards were also given out for outstanding performance!

Furthermore, much of the unique and original programme revolved around the different aspects of CNM. There was the mini PR competition, Twitter challenge, digital logo design and photo hunt. To top things off, our distinguished guest, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Accounts Director (Hill & Knowlton); CNM Head Dr Millie and Tutor Chris shared their insights about PR and the programme on the whole while seniors shared their work and student exchange experiences.

Lab

But of course the camp was not all about CNM!

The groups had their fair share of fun in the sun during the awesome mass games at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) and tasted the delicious food around school recommended by seniors during the “Scrabble-style” food hunt.

Outdoor Games at SRC

Indeed all good things must come to an end, but not before enjoying a nice evening of BBQ and interaction with some graduated seniors and teaching staff.

The night concluded with a graduation ceremony, congratulating all freshmen for completing their “first module in NUS”. Each received a parting souvenir – a mini hand-made grad mortar, while groups were presented prizes according to their final “CAP”.

BBQMortar

All in all, it was not about the “CAP” as good times were had and friendships were forged (even some knowledge was gained!). These fond memories shared by everyone will be sure to follow us throughout university and beyond.

Average grade (NM2010): A

Group Photo

Cheers!

Yin Yue
Publicity Director, 6th Exco
CNM Society

Research Talk by Dr. Chung Siyoung

“You create and I will use: The contributors and users of Wikipedia”

Date: Wednesday 11 August 2010
Time: 2 – 3 p.m.
Venue: CNM Playroom, AS6 03-38

Abstract:
The phenomenon of collaborative knowledge building has received growing attention from both researchers and practitioners. With the rapid advancement of computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools such as Web 2.0 applications, knowledge sharing has moved beyond face-to-face exchanges to virtual social contexts such as blogs, shared Web spaces, online forums, social networking sites, Wikipedia, and shared electronic databases. I am particularly interested in two aspects of such social contexts: the contributors and the users.

In this talk, I will discuss how and why people participate in collaborative knowledge-building practices in the context of Wikipedia. Wikipedia, a Web-based user-created encyclopaedia, is a prominent example of a collaborative, user-generated content outlet based on the open source model. I will also talk about key motivational and social factors that influence knowledge-sharing intentions, and how these factors are theoretically linked to attitudes, subjective norms, behavioural control beliefs, and behavioural intentions.

I also study the users of Wikipedia, examining the effect of psychological traits such as need for cognition and motivation on information search and consumption behaviour among college students. Understanding how and why people create and use collaborative learning spaces is expected to broaden our knowledge about roles and capability of social media in education and learning contexts.

About the speaker:
Chung Siyoung is a Visiting Fellow of the Communications and New Media Programme at the National University of Singapore. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University in 2006. Her research interests are uses and effects of social media, online piracy behaviour, online privacy, and civic engagement and new media.

Lim Chong Yah Lecture by Professor Mohan J. Dutta

Voices at the margins of health:
A culture-centered approach to addressing global health inequalities

Prof. Mohan J. Dutta

Prof. Mohan J. Dutta

Mohan J. Dutta
Lim Chong Yah Professor, National University of Singapore
Professor of Communication and Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Education, Purdue University

Date: Friday 6 August 2010
Time: 10.30 a.m. to 12 noon
Venue: LT10

Abstract:
One of the most salient characteristics of contemporary public health is the deep inequality in health outcomes that exists within and between populations. Of particular importance are the absence of health infrastructures and capacities in the marginalized sectors of the globe in spite of the rhetorical emphasis of development institutions on pro-poor policies over the last six decades. In response to the lack of health infrastructures in marginalized communities, Professor Dutta proposes the culture-centered approach to health communication based on the observation that structural marginalization of the poor is fundamentally situated amidst discursive marginalization. The culture-centered approach puts forth the argument that the concept of culture is either missing from most public health and health communication theories that have been developed in Western elite circles, or is narrowly conceptualized as a static mapping of a place and its people that can then be utilized for developing effective health interventions. Instead, the approach proposes that culture is contextual and dynamic, constituted in the lived experiences of people and in their everyday struggles to make sense of the conditions in which they live. The emphasis therefore is on listening to the voices of the marginalized sectors of the globe that have been erased from the dominant discursive spaces of health care policies and interventions. Listening to these voices creates the bulwark for building locally centered theories of health in global spaces that render impure the stable categories of dominant theorizing and create openings for change.

Biography:
Professor Mohan J. Dutta (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is Professor of Communication and Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Education in the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. One of the most prolific scholars in health communication and winner of the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award, he has been widely recognized for his work with the culture-centered approach to health communication. In his research with marginalized communities across the globe, he has explored the ways in which locally situated stories of health create openings for challenging the rationalities of dominant theories of health communication. Professor Dutta has published over 110 journal articles and book chapters in health communication in a short span of nine years and is the author of four books in health and development communication, including the widely used book Communicating health: A culture-centered approach. His work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, Agency for HealthCare Research & Quality, and the National Institutes of Health. At Purdue University, he is a fellow of the Service Learning Academy and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy, where he is currently developing a model of community-based networks of change.

Professor Mohan J. Dutta, recipient of the Lim Chong Yah Professorship, will be visiting CNM from 2 to 11 August 2010.

Homecoming 2010

CNM celebrated its annual Homecoming on Saturday 24 July, welcoming a whole clan (yes, we’ve grown!) of alumni, new graduates, staff present and past — and their families. There was a sense of déjà vu as we welcomed former students as well as teachers, with Ms Cynthia Owens and Dr Byungho Park (all the way from Korea) joining in. More importantly, the exuberance of the group overshadowed the fact that everyone was from different cohorts.

So packed with energy was the afternoon that we drove the rain clouds away, though each guest was armed with a spanking new CNM umbrella. The 2010 CNM Magazine was also launched on this day.

Guests were treated to a video presentation done by students of NM3208 before a sumptuous Thai buffet. Awards were also given out by Dr Millie to the following people:

2010 Best Teacher Awards

(1)   Dr Cho Hichang
(2)   Dr Linda Perry
(3)   Dr Chung Siyoung
(4)   Mr Gui Kai Chong
(5)   Mr Chua Chong Jin
(6)   Ms Francesa Nathan

2010 Best Teaching Assistants

(1)   Mr Christopher Ong
(2)   Mr Chan Yoke Hian

2010 Best Alumnus Awards

(1)   Ms Alicia Wong JiaHui
(2)   Mr Soh Junhao

2010 Best Teaching Scholars

(1)   Ms Carol Soon Wan Ting
(2)   Mr Florian Kund Laszlo

2010 Best Well-Rounded Honours Students

(1)   Ms Jemima Ooi Ai Ping,  Best Honours student, NTUC Income Prize Award recipient, and also Best Well-Rounded Student
(2)   Ms Michelle Woo Pui Mun, Best Well-Rounded Honours student
(3)   Mr Daniel Teo Hee Boon, Best Communication Management student, and Hill & Knowlton Award recipient

Alas this was also a time we bade farewell to Ms Ou Meimin and Mr Mohamed Elmie Bin Nekmat, both of whom are leaving CNM to pursue their doctoral studies.

Congratulations once more, everyone, and godspeed!

CNM welcomes Visiting Scholar Dr Byungho Park

CNM is honoured to host visiting scholar Dr Byungho Park. Dr Park comes from the Business School at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). During his one and a half month in Singapore, he will be doing research on Singaporeans and media consumption, in collaboration with CNM Programme’s faculty members. His research centres on media effects, human motivational system, cognition and behaviour. Dr Park will be in Singapore until August 31st, 2010.

About Byungho PARK

Dr Byungho Park

Dr Byungho Park

After graduating from Korea University (BS, Computer Science, 1993), Byungho Park worked for Samsung Electronics for five years before he proceeded to graduate studies.  Dr Park (Ph.D., Mass Communications, Indiana University, 2006) trained under Dr Annie Lang in the areas of media psychology and psychophysiology.  He was assistant professor at the National University of Singapore (Communications and New Media Programme) for two years, and is an Assistant Professor at the Business School at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).  He has two broad areas of interest: one is neuromarketing, which he sees as an area that applies psychophysiological research methods to marketing research (including advertising); another is human motivational system, which is related to personality and marketing, thus also having connection to neuromarketing.  He is particularly interested in individual differences in human motivational system, which is believed to lead to differences in cognition and behaviours.