Skip to Content
You are warmly invited to attend our 2017 seminar series.
Venue: Room 5D12 (Block 5, Level D, Room 5D12), Massey University, Wellington campus
OR online via MediaSite (details listed below each seminar)
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Wednesday 23 August
Massey Journalism Graduates Over the Past 50 Years: Who They Are, Where They're Employed, What They Think
Presented by A/Prof. Grant Hannis
Beginning in 1966 as the journalism course at Wellington Polytechnic, the Massey journalism programme is the oldest continuously operating journalism school in the country. This paper reports the results of a recent survey of graduates who attended the course across its 50 years. It is the first such survey undertaken. The results reveal how the nature of the students changed over time. It also reveals their career paths after graduation, their views on the course and their advice for today’s young aspiring journalists. Some thoughts on the future of the course are also given.
Wednesday 13 September
Rewarding Communications: From the Oscars to Oprah, and Beyond
Presented by Dr. Luk Swiatek
Can communications be rewarding? If yes, which ones? And rewarding for whom, and how? Alternatively, what do rewards themselves communicate? This presentation outlines what the notion of ‘rewarding communications’ might entail. Given the fact that societies around the world have becoming increasingly preoccupied with rewards of different kinds, this presentation argues that we have reached a point at which it might be very worthwhile to explore communication through the lens of rewards and rewarding. The presentation discusses the different practical and theoretical benefits that this rich area of inquiry could yield.
Wednesday 20 September
“Wisdom of the crowd” or “the tyranny of the majority”: Constructing democracy and debating racism in Taranaki Daily News
Elena Maydell, Keith Tuffin & Eleanor Brittain; presented by Elena Maydell
Research on ‘New Racism’ suggests that blatant and covert expressions of racism have been replaced by more covert and subtle manifestations of racial prejudice, some of which are articulated in the name of ‘democracy’. This research looks at the constructions of racist attitudes expressed in the regional New Zealand newspaper Taranaki Daily News following the debate in relation to the former Mayor of New Plymouth Andrew Judd. This study analysed 82 news items published between May 5 and November 8, 2016. The analysis revealed how such concepts as ‘democracy’, ‘majority’, ‘merit’ and ‘equality’ were utilised to resist accusations of racism and reaffirm the cultural politics of neoliberalism as the grounds for Pākehā dominance.
Wednesday 4 October
Came Back Haunted: Revisiting the Imperial Buildings
Presented by Mark Steelsmith
The modernist project was meant to remove nostalgia from architecture; like many high-minded ideals, though, the disruption of the people living in, and leaving memory traces on, the spaces has been underestimated. The violence, discord, sexuality, abjection, joy and boredom of the living haunts the space, too. Using Mark Fisher’s lost futures version of Hauntology as a frame in my practice-based research, I have studied this building via lived experience, other people’s recollections and archived newspaper articles. I have found that this building has a shaky future, as it is on the Earthquake-Prone Buildings list with a notice that it requires strengthening work before 15 June 2027. This fact makes the possibility of its demolition in the next 10 years quite high. Will it be saved? Will anyone miss it?
Wednesday 11 October
Not Your “Standard” Education Policy: National Standards, the Journalistic Identity and the Citizen-Consumer
Presented by Leon Salter
This paper discusses an analysis of daily newspaper editorial coverage of the National Standards education policy between 2009 and 2012. Also drawing on recent surveys of New Zealand journalists, I argue that the policy’s rhetorical emphasis on the dissemination of transparent achievement data carved out a role for journalism that chimed closely with identifications as liberal democracy’s fourth estate. However, when applied to the monitoring of schools, this journalistic identification relies on an assumption of the citizen as consumer, who desires the journalist to pass on neutral information in the form of league tables, in order to choose between products in an educational marketplace.
Wednesday 11 October
The Surprising Performance of Analogies in Predicting the Future: Examples of Technology Decline Forecasted with Analogous Data
Presented by Murray Macrae
Mostly, marketers are interested in the launch and growth of technologies. However, today, new technology is displacing the existing things we use at faster rates than at any time in the past. Trying to predict how fast this will happen is a relatively new challenge. The possibility to use analogous data from the past to predict technology decline is explored and reported in this presentation.
Wednesday 18 October
Leadership Communication: New Insights from the Chinese Ancient Classic Yi Jing (Book of Changes)
Presented by Dr. Mingsheng Li
Business leaders are exercising creative thinking to generate new ideas in response to the complexity and uncertainty of globalisation and glocalisation. Chinese classics provide a large pool of valuable resources. Yi Jing (or Book of Changes), the oldest of the Chinese classics, has played a very important role in shaping Chinese leadership communication styles and behaviour in the past 3,000 years. This presentation examines some of the leadership communication principles and strategies found in Yi Jing, including the concepts of change, yin and yang (the co-existence of contraries), a proactive approach to management, the doctrine of the mean, the attributes and aptitudes of a qualified leader, motivation, and conflict management, among others.
Wednesday 25 October
Making Sense of Environmental Change: Reflections from focus group research
Presented by Professor Victoria Wibeck, Department of Thematic Studies, Linkӧping University (Sweden)
This presentation will discuss results from recent and ongoing studies of sense-making of environmental change, with particular focus on how climate change causes, impacts and responses are communicated and understood by lay audiences. Environmental communication researchers have for long suggested that it is time to think differently about climate change communication. Recommendations include: emphasising local impacts and responses; linking climate change to other societal challenges; highlighting concrete action strategies; and using visualisations to make climate change tangible. The presentation will also discuss social representations of climate change and the implications of this research for climate change communication.
Wednesday 8 November
Making Risky Choices: Modelling Journalists’ Perceptions of Aggressive Newsgathering Practices
Presented by Dr. James Hollings, Dr. Thomas Hanitzsch & Dr. Ravi Balasubramanian
Attempts to establish reliable predictors of journalists’ perceptions of the acceptability of various controversial newsgathering practices, such as deception and intrusion, have so far produced inconsistent results. The use of these practices is likely to become more common, and sometimes necessary, due to the increased need for verified content in an environment of competing “alternative facts” in a post-truth age. However, little is known about what causes journalists to use or avoid these practices, even when justified. This paper addresses that gap by proposing an exploratory theoretical model, based on risk-taking theory, that identifies constructs that could be used to predict journalists’ use of these practices.
Wednesday 15 November
The State’s Management of Homeless People in Contested Urban Spaces: A Textual Analysis of Homelessness Coverage in the New Zealand Herald
Presented by Dr. Teresa Housel
This textual analysis of homelessness coverage from The New Zealand Herald examines how personal, private, public, and commercial spaces are contested spaces between dominant groups and homeless people, who are routinely marginalized from these spaces. The New Zealand Herald's articles describe how homeless people violate certain spaces in a city that is struggling with rapidly increasing housing prices, social and affordable housing shortages, and acutely expanding homelessness. This analysis argues that such media coverage helps justify anti-homeless legislation and state officials’ often violent responses to homeless people's spatial transgressions.
Wednesday 22 November
BEYOND A “SPECTATOR SPORT”: Social media for university engagement and community building
Presented by Dr. Jenny Hou
How can social media be employed to help non-profit organisations, such as universities, achieve their engagement objectives? Few studies have investigated this important area. This research examined the use of social media in a New Zealand university. Based on interviews and content analysis of the university’s social media communication, this study explored the reported tension between the interactive participatory culture of social media and its promotional use for one-way information transmission and persuasion. Given the young, social media-savvy nature of universities’ key audience – students – this analysis argues that social media can play a major role in facilitating engagement and community-building in universities, but that a participatory co-production approach must be used.
Wednesday 29 November
University Presidents' Use of Motivating Language in Their Online Welcome Messages
Presented by Bing Hu
How can the language of leaders be more motivating? This presentation reports on a study that explores leaders’ Motivating Language use, specifically by analysing the Welcome Message of university presidents. In short, it is an examination of leadership communication through the language lens. It takes Sullivan’s Motivating Language (ML) Theory as the framework, and Biber’s Top-down Corpus-based Move Analysis as the approach. Findings from an analysis of 50 American universities’ presidents’ welcome messages are shared. The study also outlines the rhetorical move structures of the welcome messages and shows how the different ML styles are distributed in five welcome message moves.
You are warmly invited to attend our 2016 seminar series.
Venue: Room 5D12, Block 5, Massey University, Wellington
OR Online via MediaSite - Details listed below each seminar
Time: 12:30 - 1:15 pm (NZT)
Aug 17 Dr Cathy Strong - The nexus of academic research and community activism: Local authorities’ codes of conduct
This paper demonstrates the ability for journalism academics to use their specific theoretical research skills to bring about social change in the community. The starting point is research into how New Zealand local authorities are using, or abusing, the legally required code of conduct for elected members. The initial research found 15% of councils had adopted disturbing wording for their code that would have prevented elected members criticising anything about their council. When we revisited the project 18 months later this had grown to 22% of councils, and interviews shed more light on the problem. At this stage activists because aware of the research results and made some sweeping steps to return democracy and media freedom to local authorities. This included sending letters to every council urging them to read my research, getting one council to review its code based on my research, and submissions to the Local Authorities New Zealand on the proposed new model code.
Aug 24 Dr Erika Pearson - A 10,000-step data trail: Quantified-self and lateral surveillance
This paper explores how the rising uptake of quantified-self devices intersects with wider issues of surveillance, coercion and particular frames of embodiment and control. Drawing on ideas of lateral surveillance and 'fear' and 'fun' framings of surveillance and power, this paper engages with the growing trend of health insurers using symbol rewards to entice their customers into adopting and sharing data from quantified-self devices like ‘FitBits’. By drawing on ideas of risk, ‘wellness,’ and digital and physical control of bodies, this paper argues that these different enticements for surrender of personal surveillance data both reveal and obscure the shifting landscape of surveillance around the quantified self.
Sept 14 Leon Salter - Neoliberalism, the media and resistance: The entrepreneurial self in New Zealand education policy discourse
This PhD research traces the varied discursive formations and subjectifications of the entrepreneurial self within education policy discourse, from the genesis of the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms of the 1980s to the more recent reforms of the National Party and its resistances. Viewed by Foucault, and others, as the central subject position of neoliberalism, the entrepreneurial self must be in a perpetual state of self-improvement, responsible for building up personal stock as human-capital through the consumption of education, or educational investments; with the emphasis being on selves as resilient, innovative and above all, responsible for (risky) choices made in the market place. National’s discourse, and that of newspaper editorials, metonymically transposes the entrepreneurial self onto that of ‘parents’, in order to position them as opposed to ‘educationalists’, who deny them access to sufficient information to make the correct marketplace choices, in order to improve their children’s stock as human-capital. However, this simplistic binary creates significant alienation and resistance from the education sector, who create their own frontiers in order to lay claim to the central ‘parents’ signifier.
Sept 21 Murdoch Stephens - Is there a role for critique alongside political action on climate change?
Critiques of environmental communication suggest that the field often functions as public relations branch to help with the communication of science. But is there a role for the critical thinking beyond helping science communicate? This presentation considers the tensions between doubting and acting, and how that has informed contemporary critical theories on climate crisis and ecological catastrophe.
Sept 28 Dr Ravi Balasubramanian and Dr James Hollings - Making risky choices: Modelling journalists’ perceptions of controversial newsgathering practices
Oct 5 Dr Ming Li - Recruiting returnees: Chinese university presidents’ perceptions of foreign- educated returnees at Chinese higher education institutions
Thousands of Chinese students pursue their advanced studies in Western universities and return to seek employment in the Chinese labour market after graduation. Approximately one third of those returnees with masters and doctoral degrees from Western universities are recruited to work at Chinese higher education institutions. There is a plethora of reports about Chinese returnees seeking employment in China; however, the research on the employment opportunities and challenges facing high-skilled Chinese returnees is very limited. This study adopted a qualitative approach to examine how Chinese university presidents perceived the performance of returnees at their universities. Twenty university presidents participated in the semi-structured interviews in July-December 2015. The study found that all the participants held highly positive views about the quality and performance of the returnees in their universities. In their perceptions, most returnees met the universities’ recruitment expectations and had made great contributions to the university, including introducing new ideas, new skills, and new courses, upgrading the academic programmes, raising the quality of research, internationalising the university’s programmes, and connecting with foreign universities. At the same time, the participants believed that most returnees had difficulties adapting to the Chinese educational and research environments, held unrealistic expectations, lacked leadership skills, and inadequate social and interpersonal communication skills, that hampered their performance in the workplace. The study recommends that Chinese universities are morally responsible to provide support to help returnees readapt to the environment, reintegrate them into the Chinese academic communities, and help them resolve issues in teaching and research. Similarly, returnees need to make rapid adaptation to the local educational environment, hold realistic expectations, and develop strategic communication skills in the workplace.
Oct 12 Mark Steelsmith - Everyday hauntology: Ghosts about Wellington
Is the future collapsing? We have now gone past the future point that Marty McFly went back to, October 21, 2015. That future has not happened. We are now in a nostalgia loss loop for futures that never were. In this seminar I apply Derrida’s hauntology via Mark Fisher’s lens to a building in central Wellington where a nostalgia point of an unrealised future “exists” for me. Ghosts of futures lost.
Oct 19 Dr Jeannie Fletcher - A war of words: Voices for peace in a world of conflict
Western media are replete with stories of war and violence, but what of those who speak for peace. Who are they and how do they make their voices heard? Whether sidelined by hegemonic discourse, or seemingly entirely absent from the mainstream, those who advocate for peaceful means of addressing differences find creative ways of putting their case and their cause. Three examples are presented, together with a theoretical approach to analysing discourses of absence and silence.
When: Wednesday April 27th at 12 (noon)
Venue: 5D12 and also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/09204bcfb46648a4a97403ca4d6abf811d
This seminar will discuss the challenges and issues surrounding: student engagement, large group teaching, dynamic learning environments, the deployment of technology, critical thinking, class participation, the usage of case studies, and industry-university learning partnerships. In addition, the benefits of peer observation and the development of teaching portfolios documenting these teaching innovations will be discussed
Venue: Room 5D12, Block 5, Massey University, Wellington
OR Online via MediaSite - For details contact Mark Steelsmith: email@example.com
Time: 12:15 - 1pm (NZT)
12 August - Dr Elena Maydell
Job-entry and on-the-job discrimination as a barrier to successful employment for immigrants in New Zealand.
Covert discriminatory practices continue to hinder positive employment outcomes even after immigrants manage to secure a job. Our research suggests that discrimination remains a serious issue for many migrant groups in New Zealand, especially manifesting in formal organisational practices.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/f4373a1e71e545ad860446ded0a7e2801d
19 August - Murdoch Stephens
From the repressive to the honorific: repurposing the Anjirak Afghan Archive.
Drawing on Alan Sekula’s two theories of the early function of the photograph, I will discuss my attempt to repurpose an archive of photographs of Afghan refugees sourced from an abandoned caravanserai in Iran. These photographs were taken with a repressive mode in mind; to catalogue non-citizens to control their movements. I am currently working on a project, in concert with the Afghan Centre at Kabul University, to move the photos from a relationship of repression to an historical archive. My question is whether this movement is also able to meet the second of Sekula’s functions of the photograph: the honorific.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/cb7393d063c64037a0eb64040387e7f31d
9 September - Dr Elizabeth Gray
Readable, audible, navigable: accessible communication for the non-profit health sector.
For non-profit organisations in the health sector, digital media – with its broad reach, relative cost-effectiveness, and vaunted inclusivity – might seem to offer an optimal ensemble of channels to the disabled. This paper reports on the digital communication practices of seven New Zealand non-profit organisations (NPOs), and found that accessibility was often overlooked in the planning and construction of digital communications.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/583e4ab8b67b464898d9948d9771ced21d
16 September - Dr Mimi Hodis
Globally accepted practices (GAP) study: New Zealand senior communication practitioners.
This study is part of a first-time international collaboration among Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States in the Globally Accepted Practices (GAP) survey of senior communication practitioners. The GAP initiative seeks to transform the leadership of senior practitioners in the field of communication by providing them with answers related to critical questions such as how to structure, manage, and measure the performance of their organisations.
23 September - Dr James Hollings
Ethical choice or calculated risk? What factors predict journalists’ willingness to use controversial newsgathering practices?
This study explored whether risk-taking theory could predict journalists’ willingness to use controversial newsgathering practices. It concludes that this willingness is most likely due to a more nuanced appreciation of the challenges and benefits associated with risk-taking, rather than to compromised ethics.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/e89a9e2ab4274b8cb514bec3a1f111971d
30 September - A/Prof Grant Hannis
The journalistic profile from Elizabeth I to today.
The modern journalistic profile is an article that describes an individual, usually on the basis of an in-depth interview. This paper looks at the development of the profile from the 17th century to today. Those profiled include great monarchs and other world leaders, musicians, criminals and ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/8a8a29f46c714df2bd8fb6968e4ba7f41d
7 October - Professor Frank Sligo
From undergraduate orality to postgraduate literacy: students’ learning transitions at the closing of the Gutenberg Parenthesis.
In this closing stage of the “Gutenberg Parenthesis” (a period roughly between 1500 and 2000 A.D.) the nature of much human communication is argued to be reverting to patterns similar to what applied in the pre-Gutenberg period. This presentation explores how students’ undergraduate oral-experiential literacies come to be subsumed under expectations that postgraduate students will become familiar with advanced textual forms of literacy.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/24c589148363401c858143652366afa71d
14 October - Mark Antony Steelsmith
Seeing ghosts: memories in art in the urban landscape.
Beginning as an investigation of recurring memories fixed around parts of Wellington’s Te Aro precinct, Seeing Ghosts draws on my art practice, mixing animations, looped narratives, text messages to myself, and architectural models into the context of current art practices.
Also online: http://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/889859b5c34c48edaea667f8a63aa5471d
Page authorised by Web Content Manager
Last updated on Tuesday 24 October 2017