CNM students use social media to address real-life issues

Students from the CNM module – ‘Topics in Media Studies: Social Media’, taught by Asst. Prof. Elmie Nekmat, use social media platforms to address real life issues. The module which covers the impact of social media on social, cultural, economic and political life, emphasises on the analysis of contemporary social media practice and design of social media platforms, allowing students to explore advanced topics in social media, while encouraging them to experiment with real social media platforms.

Prof Elmie says, “The module was developed to look at social media and the communicatory behaviours on the platform from the social-psychological perspective. The aim was for students to have a good grasp of this understanding and perspectives in social media communication and apply them toward achieving community objectives and social good by carrying out actual campaigns. Students learn about the various strategies that can be carried out on social media toward achieving the objectives. They experience the challenges and lessons from applying theoretically-informed online strategies and translating them to offline and actionable outcomes.”

By applying the theories and fundamentals from this module, students have created successful campaigns that addressed issues in the community, for instance students who ran the ‘Got Book or Not’ campaign collected lifestyle magazines from NUS and the wider community for patients recuperating in the National University Hospital (NUH). The campaign was run on Facebook and their book collection drive was a success, helping them collect a good amount of reading material for the patients. Another, campaign ‘Roti for Homies’, raised funds through their social media campaign to buy food for the homeless in Singapore. Apart, from raising their target amount, they also documented their interactions with the homeless and shared personal stories that were told to them by the homeless people.

Students from the "Got Book or Not' campaign at one of their book collection drives.

Students from the “Got Book or Not’ campaign at one of their book collection drives.

A food pack ready for disribution as part of the 'Roti for Homies' campaign.

A food pack ready for distribution as part of the ‘Roti for Homies’ campaign.

These social media campaigns run by the students not only helped them delve deeper into topics of communication, but also gave them first-hand experience of creating solutions to issues in society. The module and Prof Elmie’s class were recently featured on the Berita Harian.

Click to read the Berita Harian article.

To view the ‘Got Book or Not’ and ‘Roti for Homies’, click here and here.

Light and Sound Installation on Singapore River

CNM’s Assoc. Prof Lonce Wyse, who specialises in sound technology recently  collaborated with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to create SonicSG – the first of its kind, interactive light and sound installation floating on the Singapore River. The installation consists of 2000 LED lights and alternate between the shapes of the Singapore map and the SG50 logo. You can connect to this interactive installation through your Android or IOS mobile devices, which becomes a ‘sonified personal pixel’ by visiting and keying in your residential postal code. The part of the installation that corresponds to your postal code lights up once you key in the code and is also accompanied by a melodious ring on your mobile device. Each of Singapore’s district is assigned a sound and if there is more than one person keying interacting with the installation, a ripple effect is created moving from one district to another.

The light and sound interactive installation comes alive on the Singapore River. (Photo: Aloysius Lian, SUTD)

The light and sound interactive installation comes alive on the Singapore River. (Photo: Aloysius Lian, SUTD)

The installation is on display until 10 January 2016, in the section of the Singapore River in front of UOB Plaza. Do head down with your friends and family to experience this unique light and sound installation, you can also add an optional holiday greeting while keying in your postal code, which will be collected and shared at a later date. 

Read NUS News’ coverage on this installation here.

Public Events in association with CARE Conference

The Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) will be holding three public events, as an extension of the CARE Conference which is from 6-8 January 2016 and titled “Communication for Social Change: Intersections of Theory and Praxis”. The events are open to public and no registration fee is required to participate.

If you are interested in participating in any of these events, please register at the following link and indicate which event(s) you will be attending:

For more details contact Ms Naomi Tan (CARE) at


This workshop by Community Media Trust of the Deccan Development Society will show how community video and radio has given voice to the non-literate and socio-economically marginalized rural women in India. The CMT started in October 2001 in direct response to the demands of thousands of very poor, Dalit women who wanted their unrecognized voices to be heard and acknowledged by the outside world. It works with women’s sanghams (voluntary village level associations of the poor) in about 75 villages of Medak District, Telangana, where the official media were seen to be dominated by commercial and political actors whose interests conflict with those of rural communities and their environments. In an initial experiment led by the DDS, efforts were made to equip a group of 10 women with the skills to handle video filmmaking. They have brought fresh perspectives into filmmaking. Today, through their films, radio programmes, and ways of working, the women of the CMT have engaged with their own communities and other actors in debates over food and seed sovereignty, and control over natural resources, the market, and the media.

6 Jan - DDS Workshop

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Communicative inversions are communication strategies that are deployed to achieve the exact opposite of what is articulated in the inversion. In this collection, through images and representations, we critically interrogate communicative inversions in symbolic representations of events that punctuate the crucial moments of neoliberalism. Whereas some of these moments are dramatic in their performance, other events are more mundane, parts of everyday living and everyday life. These communicative inversions are symbolically violent, in their disruption of truth claims and in the very act of achieving these distortions through inversion. The exhibits represented in this collection are drawn from ethnographic fieldwork accounts conducted at the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) accompanied by earlier photographic work conducted by the photojournalist Julio Etchart, who spent two years with CARE from 2014 to 2015. The narrative accounts presented here are drawn from fieldwork notes in the book “Neoliberal Health Organizing” by Dr. Dutta.

6 Jan - Communicative Inversions_Photo Narrative

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Listening and engaging in dialogue with structurally and communicatively marginalized communities are considered central to communication for social change. Yet, several studies show that even in “participatory” projects, community voices are frequently appropriated to pursue agendas already set by knowledge gatekeepers to serve their interests. The voices of subaltern communities continue to be silenced and erased in these politics of social change. How then can we ensure that academics, social activists, and field practitioners authentically listen and privilege community voices in projects for social change? How can current participatory projects be reshaped so that they remain accountable and relevant to community members they serve? What are the challenges for, and ways to, building community-academic partnerships? Based on topics and issues raised in CARE’s three-day conference on Communication for Social Change: Intersections of Theory and Praxis, Mr P. V. Satheesh will deliver a closing keynote address tying together a wide range of dialogues and conversations between academics and practitioners, demonstrating how we can move towards a new politics of social change.

8 Jan - Closing Keynote Poster_Mr PV Satheesh

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CARE Conference – “Communication for Social Change: Intersections of Theory and Praxis”

The Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)’s housed under the Department of Communications and New Media is holding a conference titled “Communication for Social Change: Intersections of Theory and Praxis”, from 6-8 January 2016. 

This conference brings together communication scholars, both experienced and new, to share, dialogue, debate, and discourse on the future of social change in the discipline. Rooted in the idea that theory is deeply intertwined with praxis in the field, our conference is also envisioned as a platform to build solidarity among people working within the academic-activist spectrum. Featuring a mix of informative plenary sessions and paper presentations by faculty and graduate students from all around the world, the conference will be most beneficial for faculty and students that are interested in social change, activism, health communication, and postcolonial studies, from a communicative angle.

Professor Collins O. Airhihenbuwa is the opening keynote speaker and will deliver his talk titled “Leadership for Social Justice in Global Health Communication: Why Culture Matters”on 7 January 2016, 8.30 – 9.30 am. The conference will also include panel sessions chaired by other  scholars such as Professor Mohan J. Dutta, Professor Ambar Basu, Professor Raka Shome, and Professor Barbara Sharf.

The last day for registration is 24 December 2015. To register for the conference click here. A registration fee of S$75 is payable in cash during the official registration on 6 January 2016, at NUS. To register for the keynote click here

For more details email Ms Naomi Tan at