Talk – Social Support, Opinion Leaders, and Breast Cancer Patients’ Psychosocial Health Outcomes in Online Support Groups: Current Status and Future Directions

Given the important role of computer-mediated social support (CMSS) groups in the health care field, my research talk focuses on the nature and dynamic process of social support interactions in explaining psychosocial health outcomes within online breast cancer support groups. This research talk will first focus on the process of ‘supportive exchanges’ – emotional support giving and receiving – and elaborate on their consequences. My talk will then examine the notion of ‘opinion leaders’ and the role they play in explaining beneficial health outcomes in such an environment. A multi-method approach combining content analysis with longitudinal surveys and action log analysis was employed to answer these research questions. Both theoretical and practical implications for fields of eHealth research and future objectives for designing and implementing effective psychosocial health interventions for people with health concerns will be discussed.

Speaker: Dr Eun Kyung Kim








Date: 4 Nov 2016

Time: 3 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room #03-33

Talk – Automated Propaganda, Political Bots and Polarised Politics: Evidence from India

The use of automated propaganda during crises and elections to manipulate public opinion and suppress voices first witnessed in advanced industrial democracies like the US are increasingly getting used in developing countries including India. The limited Internet base in developing countries hasn’t stopped political actors from integrating the Internet in their propaganda strategies. Political bots — software apps that run automated tasks and conducts interactions with users over the Internet — have been deployed in different parts of the world to influence public opinion. Bots can perform both the benign function of sending automated news feeds or messages on Twitter in bulk, as well as act maliciously by sending spam. Despite the fact that only a very small fraction of Indians were online, who were an even smaller number of the population in 2014 during the last national election, Twitter and Facebook derived public sentiment scores were published on the front pages of many newspapers and websites of TV news channels, suggesting that these are representative of the public as a whole. Traditional media coverage lent credibility to social media as a reliable source of public sentiment. With the launch of low-cost smartphones in 2015 the prospects continue to grow for marginalized and low-income citizens to express themselves in online platforms.

It is against this backdrop that we need to consider the implications for Indian democracy of two very important developments that I argue have recently emerged in the country’s dynamic arena of political communication: The use of automated propaganda by political parties and the emergence of political polarisation in the news media. I discuss how studies have measured “automated propaganda” and “polarisation,” two distinct concepts, and assess the evidence on each in India, drawing on my own case studies. I conclude with a discussion of the potential consequences for the future of democratic politics in India.

About the speaker 

Taberez Ahmed NeyaziTaberez Ahmed Neyazi is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Culture, Media and Governance at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), New Delhi. He serves as India’s Coordinator for “Media Campaigns and Influence in Elections”, a collaborative project with colleagues at Emory University, Cleveland State University, Kyoto University and the National University of Singapore. Before moving to JMI, he held numerous fellowships including: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellow at Kyoto University; Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellow at Erfurt University. He has contributed to several edited volumes and his articles have appeared in several international refereed journals such as International Journal of Press/Politics, Media, Culture and Society, Media International Australia, Asian Journal of Political Science, among others. His monograph titled Political Communication and Mobilisation: The Hindi Media in India is going to be published by Cambridge University Press (2017).

Date: 04 Nov 2016

Time: 4.15 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room AS6 #03-33

TALK – Exploring the Strategic Role of Digital Media in Organization-Public Relationships and Public Engagement

Digital media exerts a substantial impact on public relations processes and effectiveness. The significant impact of digital media has drawn growing attention from public relations scholars and practitioners. In this research talk, Yuan Wang will discuss his program of research on the strategic role of digital media (i.e., social media and mobile media) in organization-public relationships, public engagement, and digital media usage and effects. In particular, he will present two empirical studies in his research program. The first study investigates the relationships between journalists’ motivations to use Twitter, their job-related Twitter use, and perceived relational satisfaction with the public. The second study examines the effects of publics’ perceived organizational membership on public engagement by surveying 13,229 members from eighteen professional associations.

yuan-wangSpeaker: Yuan Wang

Date: 27 Oct 2016

Time: 3.30pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room

Talk – Revealing Dark Matter(s): Media, science, and communication in collaborative research

This research presentation interrogates how changes in the media environment are shaping both the practice and the public communication of science. Through a discussion of three separate research projects, this talk considers both how multi-organizational research collaborations are increasingly working with and oriented to media organizations, and how changes in media technology are influencing the cultures, structures, and communication of science.


Speaker – Scot Brennen

Date: 20 Oct 2016

Time: 3.30 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room


TALK – It’s fun but is it effective: Learning from, appreciation of, agenda setting with, and persuasion by political satire.

Political satire is an increasingly popular media format and many questions rose about whether and how this can affect public opinion. This research talk presents work on the format of political satire and looks at several effects it may have. It first looks at the information function of political satire investigated through a panel survey. Then it presents the findings of an experimental study that looked into the appreciation of and persuasion by political satire. Finally, one example of political and public agenda setting is presented. Altogether, the presentation thus covers several aspects of the consequences that political satire may have.


Speaker: Dr Mark Boukes

Date: 21 Oct 2016

Time: 3 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room


Spotlight on Alumni – Elizabeth Tan, akïn

Elizabeth is the Branding Strategist at social-centric branding firm akïn, which runs digital and content marketing services ranging from lead nurturing practices to ground up initiatives, offering clients a holistic branding experience. She oversees the visual branding team, working closely with designers, copywriters and strategy planners to improve clients’ visual brand identities and activation campaigns.

After graduating from NUS FASS CNM in 2012, Elizabeth worked for e27 and participated in the NUS Overseas College (NOC) programme, where she stood out as a CNM student amongst participants from the business/engineering faculties. It was there that she met two other participants, Arvin Tang (FASS Econs ’12) and Kenneth Sim (Electrical Engineering ’11), whom she started a web development company with. The trio subsequently went on to start akïn.

Today, the core team (also consisting of fellow NUS alumni Rachel Goh (Sociology ’13) and Harris Lim (CNM ’14)) works closely with brands like Gong Cha, Home-Fix and ASUS to offer a holistic branding experience through shaping their brand messages and communication platforms.

Elizabeth recognizes that the knowledge and practices adopted during her time in CNM has enabled her to merge a keen eye for business with a creative perspective, thus empowering her to translate business plans into exciting consumer-facing products.

Aside from being part of the best dressed department in the whole FASS faculty and having fond memories of her favourite CNM modules (like NM3202: Governance and New Media and NM3027: Philosophy in Communications and New Media), Elizabeth recalls working on final year papers centered on K-pop culture. This required her to conduct intensive research into numerous Big Bang and Super Junior music videos and backstage interviews.

Enus-portraits-368lizabeth shares, “to be honest, I never really intended to start my own business despite NOC being promoted as an entrepreneurship exchange program. I merely wanted to travel (esp to India) but it was there that I met one of my partners now, who then convinced me to help him out for one of his business ideas. While that did not take off, I quickly realized that I was always ideating and thinking of new business ideas! NOC was also a good place to get exposed to not just the people that went for the program, but also the affliated networks , one of it was PGP at NUS where we were incubated for the first 1.5 years.  

For me, starting out was fun, there were a lot of things to experiment and test, and a lot of it was new experiences, so it was extremely refreshing. The real challenge came when the team grew, and we needed to think not just for the business, but for the team and how they can grow. We treat everyone like a family here and the culture is very open and supportive.  

Those who are looking to start on an entrepreneurial journey should not look at it like an act of defiance. I notice this a lot in the younger generation whereby they go “oh! I want to be an entrepreneur because I dont want to work in a corporate job” or “I think i can grow my $$ exponentially by starting my own business” 

A lot of people are mesmerized by successful entrepreneurs making it big without even completing school – Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, etc but the truth is most entrepreneurs are actually slaves to their job and are struggling to make ends meet. What i’m trying to say is that, people who want to be entreprenuers need to be inspired by the right reasons – not for money, fame, but for making a real difference and solving a real problem, this will really ensure the longevity of the business. “

Curious about what akïn does? Take a look here 

Communication Style in Strategic Communication: Beginning with Aggression

We have long passed the era when communication researchers believed that simply educating audiences with knowledge about risks would result in substantial behavioral change on most issues. The focus of my research on communication style provides a new venue to understand and achieve effective communication between individual experts or organizations and the public. Beginning with aggressive communication, a series of studies have been done to investigate the effect of communication style in the context of strategic risk communication.

shupei-yuanSpeaker: Shupei Yuan





Date: 14 Oct 2016

Time: 3pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room AS6 03-33

Talk – Promoting Online Patient-Provider Communication in China: An Internet-based Intervention

China has long faced the problem of having health care service that is expensive and difficult to access. Online patient-provider communication may bring a new option for the delivery of health services. However, the percentage of patients who use the Internet to communicate with their doctors remains low. To improve patients’ knowledge and skills to use various technologies (e.g., social media, mobile apps, health information service websites) to communicate with health care providers, I conducted a 4-week blog-based intervention that targets middle aged and older adults in China. This talk will discuss the theoretical foundation for the intervention, the intervention process, and some preliminary results regarding factors influencing online patient-provider communication, participants’ actual use of technologies to communicate with doctors, quality of online patient-provider communication, and effects this may have on health outcomes.

 Shaohai Jiang





Date: 14 Oct 2016

Time: 4 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room AS6 03-33


Talk – Rewriting the Victim: Dramatization as Research in Thailand’s Anti-Trafficking Movement

In this talk, I present an overview of my work as a professional playwright and composer who is also a feminist scholar conducting research in the developing world. My inquiries sit at the nexus of these two seemingly disparate—but actually very interconnected—realms. They are questions about what it means to uncover, recover and articulate lived experience. Questions about the positionalities of researchers and “subjects.” They are epistemological and methodological quandaries that bind together the seemingly inexplicable but ultimately connected realms of theater and feminist communication research.

My dissertation, “Rewriting the Victim: Dramatization as Research in Thailand’s Anti-Trafficking Movement” combines feminist international research with the writing, composing, and production of a musical designed to critique the discourse about the trafficking of women in Thailand. Through writing Land of Smiles, a two-act, fifteen-song musical inspired by field research that includes over fifty interviews with female migrant laborers, sex workers, activists, NGO employees, and other members of the anti-trafficking movement, and producing it for the communities about whom it was written, I show the importance of lived experience as a framework for knowing and understanding social injustice, and the power of musical theater in conveying that understanding. In doing this, I explicate a praxis designed to unearth and convey lived experience through feminist, liberatory means. I call this praxis Dramatization as Research, or DAR.

After discussing this project and the ongoing questions that inform my work, I conclude by outlining an agenda for further research that lives at these intersections, asking how such endeavors can advance the field of communication and help create a more socially just world.

Speaker: Drerin-kamler Erin Kamler





Date: 13 October 2016

Time: 3.30 pm

Venue: AS6 03-33


TALK – Digital Culture and the Politics of Passionate Work

renyi-yongRenyi Hong is a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. This talk addresses how passionate work sustains a contradiction under neoliberal capitalism: where people are led to feel optimistic about work amid worsening structural conditions. Using the telecommuting movement of coworking as a case, it presents how urban infrastructures are purposed to cultivate passion and resist the anxieties of economic dislocation for a burgeoning group of freelance workers. Reading the aims of the trend in relation to ideologies of digital utopianism, I highlight the ambivalent politics of work in the contemporary, which blurs conditions of human flourishing with that of survival.

Date: 7 Oct 2016

Time: 3pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room #03-33