Prof Mohan on air with Channel NewsAsia – The need for communicative context when engaging citizens

“One of the things that we see at least in our field of work is that there are many sub-cultures who do not interact with the text. So you might for instance, take that information in English and translate it into Mandarin and Malay, but that is not cultural adaptation. It is cultural tweaking in that sense, but it does not take into account the communicative context, the ways in which people live their lives so sometimes, I think we have this elite bias about how we think about communication.” said Professor Mohan Dutta in an interview with Channel NewsAsia, on how the government can better engage Singaporeans.

The advice from the Head of CNM comes at the back of a survey carried out by government feedback arm, REACH.  The  findings in the REACH survey showed that although citizens are aware of government policies such as the social security savings  plan, the CPF scheme, many are still ignorant of the details such as the Minimum Sum or CPF Life.

Prof Mohan’s interview can be found at


CNM graduate students move forward with FASS research challenge

By Evelyn Chew, Doctoral Candidate, CNM

This summer, to celebrate FASS’ 85th birthday, the Graduate Studies Division ran a FASSforward, a 28-hour interdisciplinary research challenge from 6-7 August. Graduate students from various disciplines were assigned into teams of three to five members. In less than 48 hours, they brainstormed, inquired, made field trips and ultimately came up with a presentation proposing lines of research on the theme “Forgotten Peoples, Places and Issues in Singapore”.

CNM put forth a strong contribution, with a total of six participants, three of whom emerged winners in the top three winning teams.

The representatives among the incoming graduate students were Marketa from the Czech Republic, Arlianny, a former CNM major returning as a grad student, and Ashwini from Mumbai, India. Marketa’s group made a memorable presentation on creative data visualization of ethnicity using salad to create bonding; Arlianny’s team spoke about the need to recognise minority groups such as the Shia Muslims; and Ashwini’s team won the third prize by making a case to remember Singapore’s forgotten gravesites.

Among the returning students, Pauline’s team presented on Singapore-Malaysia transborder workers, who are often sidelined in migrant worker studies and interventions. Dazzie’s team, which won the second prize, recalled Singapore’s Orang Laut (sea nomads) who were relocated ashore as Singapore and Malaya developed, and are now all but indistinguishable from the other local people. The winning team, which included Evelyn, made a case for researching Merdeka Bridge, the “lost bridge”, which still stands as part of Nicoll Highway but whose identity as a landmark has been lost in history as its distinguishing stone lions and monuments were removed when the bridge was widened.

FASSForward2014 Participants


CNM Visitor: Dr Nina Springer from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Dr Nina Springer from LMU CNM welcomes Dr Nina Springer, Research Associate & Program Coordinator (Master of Arts in Communication Science, Master of Arts in International Public Relations) from the Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

During her fortnight stay at CNM, Nina has co-taught the Graduate Research Seminar with Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun and shared with our Masters and PhD students her views on the professionalization for a career in academia and journal submissions.  Nina will also lecture on the European media systems in Dr Zhang Weiyu’s class, State and Society in an Information Age, for the module NM5201.

Nina is enjoying all the fruitful discussions on teaching and research she has had so far.  Not only did she get the chance to exchange ideas on research projects with faculty members, she also gained new perspectives on the topics that she teaches back home at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Sightseeing is on her agenda as well: She loves Gardens by the Bay as much as she enjoys yummy Singapore cuisines.

“Of course, Singapore is an interesting, diverse and vibrant city.  However, it wasn’t all the flashy lights that brought me here.  I chose to visit National University Singapore for my stay abroad because of its excellent reputation both in research and teaching.  Asia’s importance in the scientific community is rapidly increasing, and the NUS is one of Asia’s leading universities.  The Communications and New Media faculty is well renowned internationally and your scholars cover all relevant fields in communication research.  Thanks to the established institutional relations between the LMU and the NUS, I am happy to be part of the research and teaching that is happening here”.

Nina will be at CNM until the 27 August 2014.

Digital analytics in journalism

Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 3pm
CNM Meeting Room, AS6, #03-33

Real-time digital data collection and analysis are driving the current media landscape as editorial teams in the newsroom increasingly hinge their decision-making on data.  The shift to digital analytics comes at the back of growing audience expectations and desire for real-time news and information.  Breaking news becomes more crucial than ever, as is the effectiveness of communication plans to all stakeholders in the media enterprise.  Focusing on best practices in web, social and mobile analytics, this discussion-based session will draw on a broad range of skills and tools necessary for those who are keen on learning about digital media analytics.  The scope of the talk covers digital analytics across the paid, owned and earned media platforms.

Sharon Ng, Assistant Vice President of Digital Analytics & Strategy for Channel NewsAsia at Mediacorp, has 15 years of media experience across the region.  Describing herself as having evolved from an advertising Mad Woman during the dot com era to the current Math Woman of big data science in the media, Sharon has never looked back on what had been an arduous journey of professional and self development.  She is passionate about all things digital, allowing the internet of things to lead her into the world of social and digital analytics. Particularly intriguing to her is the art of marrying market intelligence with big data and how ideas from digital creatives can be transformed into measurable business value.  A tested and proven whole-brainer, Sharon brings an unusual mix of cross-functional skills whereby the form of the right brained and the function of the left-brained skills complement advanced creativity with a flair for the art of management and digital analytics.  Sharon’s expertise in Creative Advertising in Digital to Data Science & Digital Analytics has provided clients with help in digital product development and monetization, digital go-to-market strategies, digital media analytics, data visualization and social business media strategies.


User commentary on online news: User motivations and outcome

Wednesday, 20 August, 2014, 3pm
CNM Meeting Room, AS6, #03-33

Drawing on public sphere theory, framing and motivation theories, and utilizing interview techniques and content analysis, the talk will provide insights into the motivations of German online users for commenting on online news, and whether their comments are able to contribute new perspectives.  The data show that users’ comments induce new information, but predominantly stay within the journalistic interpretation of events.

The talk will also address the problematic commenting behavior that comes along with anonymity and the driving need for self-affirmation.

Nina Springer is a Research Associate and the Programme Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Communication Science and Master of Arts in International Public Relations Programmes at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. Her fields of research include online communication, journalism studies and political communication in the areas of viewpoint diversity and conflict in public discourse, media and migration).  For further information, log on to

A/P Lim Sun Sun launches cyberwellness resource kit for troubled youth

SocMediaKitCNM’s professor of Media Studies and Assistant Dean for Research at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun is in the news again!

This time it is for launching a resource kit for teachers and caseworkers to guide at-risk youth and their parents through the perils of using social media.

The kit was the outcome of a series of in-depth interviews A/P Lim, Chan Yoke Hian, Shobha Vadrevu and Dr Iccha Basnyat had conducted with 36 at-risk to high-risk youth from 2010 to 2011.  A/P Lim Sun Sun and CNM Masters student, Cheong Kakit designed The Social Media Resource Kit.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport launched the kit on 23 July 2014 at the Conversations on Youth symposium in the presence of 600 social workers, teachers and law enforcement officers.

The news stories about A/P Lim’s take on managing online peer relationships and the resource kit can be found at

The resource kit is available at Toolkit_COY.pdf.

CNM writing courses on video

By Rachel Phua; Yeo Zhi Qi, Year 3, NM Majors and Gwendolyn Neo

NM Majors Rachel Phua and Yeo Zhi Qi share with readers their combined loves for film-making and writing in this video clip, they and their friend, Gwendolyn Neo, a graduate from Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Communications, Arts & Social Sciences, made with the help of nuSTUDIOS.

CNM Writing Modules on Film

Music by Chris Zabriskie, Creative Commons

NM4207 students and professor on air: Tune into TV documentary series, Campaigns

Over the summer break, the production team of the documentary, Campaigns interviewed Dr Tracy Loh and two of her students from her class on Managing Campaigns.

The documentary is an eight-parts series tracing the history of public information campaigns in Singapore since the time of Independence in 1965.  The idea is to tell the nation’s history through the collective memory of more than 50 years of campaigns, and to understand these campaigns against the backdrop of the life and times that they were created in.

Dr Loh and Honours-Year students, Nur Safiah and Dawn Tan were featured in the final episode of the documentary series.  While the students shared about their campaigns, Dr Loh spoke about the aims and purpose of the module.

The documentary is commissioned by MediaCorp with support of the Media Development Authority.

Here is the link to the programme which was aired on OKTO channel on 13 August 2014 at 10pm.  The CNM interviewees appeared at the 19:05 minute mark of the 23-minute video clip.  Tune in!

Startup ecosystems in the emerging markets: A research project on alternate Silicon Valleys

Wednesday, 13 August 2014, 3- 4pm
CNM Meeting Room, AS6, #03-33

How to create a successful startup ecosystem? From the Silicon Savannah to the Silicon Straits, and even the Chilicon Valley, every part of the emerging world tries to mimic the original Silicon Valley, hoping to create the next Facebook or Google. The reality is actually quite different. If most of these countries, from Nigeria to China, Malaysia, or Chile, have kickstarted their efforts around 2010, the diversity of their means and innovation strategies is rich in learnings and insights. From mega-projects such as Kenya’s $10bn Konza city to specialised tech hubs such as Hong-Kong for fintech or Shenzhen for hardware startups, from top-down approach such as Malaysia’s Cyberjaya to bottom-up scenes like Nigeria’s CC-Hub, startup ecosystems today are plural, and unevenly successful.

In this session, the speaker will guide you through the different models and patterns of innovation he saw in his project, Innovation is Everywhere. The focus is on the maker movement and mobile money with a view to understanding how different communities and actors interact.

Martin Pasquier
is the founder and lead explorer at Innovation is Everywhere, a project which explores the startup scenes of emerging markets. Every month, he travels to different countries with his team to identify the best practices at an ecosystem level, discuss with the main players of each country, and list the top startups which disrupt the local and regional market. Innovation is Everywhere is both a media, where articles and reports are published and freely accessible, a consultancy, with the assistance of several MNCs in their innovation strategy, and as a broker for investors interested in fast-growing and under-taped markets.

A French national based in Singapore, Martin’s background includes foreign languages, political sciences and business intelligence, as well as a life of travels, from the then-West Germany to Bulgaria, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.