Skip to content

Media Research

The Department of Media is an important contributor to the international research profile of the Faculty.

Our academic staff have published widely on research into media industries and technological change, media ethics, policy formation, visual cultures, and media representational issues. We have also published on topics such as content regulation, media consumption and production practices and their impact on wider society. 

Our staff and postgraduate students are interested in a broad range of research questions and are involved in sole and collaborative research that examines media in Australia and other countries and regions including China, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Europe. We welcome applications for postgraduate students in Masters (MPhil) and Doctoral (PhD) research. Please see our individual staff profiles (People) for individual supervisors.

Staff areas of research:

  • Dr Kim Barbour

    ‘Sharing #home’: a study of the ways people visualise their private spaces for public consumption on Instagram.

    “Gamifying popular culture”: viewing franchise mass media as playable content.

    “HDRs online: supporting strategic development of online academic personas”: working with HDR students to produce functional and maintainable online scholarly identities. 

    Kim is currently finalising a co-authored book called Persona Studies, contracted to Wiley, with P. David Marshall (Deakin University) and Chris Moore (University of Wollongong). This book traces the intellectual foundations of the study of persona, discusses methodology, and provides case studies. 

    Recent publications 
    Marshall PD, Barbour K & Moore C, 2018, ‘Academic persona: the construction of online reputation in the modern academy’, in D Lupton, I Mewburn & P Thomson (eds) The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education, Routledge, p. 47-62.

    Nguyen L & Barbour K, 2017, ‘Selfies as expressively authentic identity performance’, First Monday, vol. 22, no. 11.

    Barbour K, Lee K & Moore C, 2017, ‘Online Persona Research: an Instagram Case Study’, Persona Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-12

    Barbour K, 2016, ‘Public Audiencing: Using Twitter to study audience engagement with characters and actors’, in M Griffiths & K Barbour (eds) Making Publics, Making Places, University of Adelaide Press, pp. 179-192. 

    Research Collaborations
    Kim is Chair of Policy and Ethics on executive board of the Fame and Persona Research Consortium, an extra-institutional, international research community of scholars who research celebrity and persona. She is also an associate member of the Persona Celebrity Publics (PCP) Research Group, based at Deakin University in Melbourne. 

    Australian and International Links
    Kim is a founding and managing editor of the open access, online Persona Studies journal, a twice yearly interdisciplinary peer reviewed journal focused on investigations of persona.

    Kim is the South Australian represented on the executive of the Australia New Zealand Communications Association (ANZCA) and is a current member of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA).

  • Dr Kathryn Bowd

    “Losing their identity? Non-metropolitan newspapers and local ‘character’ in an era of networked media”
    This project explores the way identity is portrayed on the front pages of regional newspapers in four Australian states, and whether this is changing over time.

    “Converging or disconnected?: The impact of online and interactive communications tools on regional newspaper journalists’ professional practice”
    This project examines the ways in which Web 2.0 tools are affecting professional practice among regional newspaper journalists.
    Bowd, K. (2014). Eroding the connection?:  Web 2.0 and non-metropolitan newspaper journalists. Australian Journalism Review, 36(1), pp. 57-68.
    Bowd, K. (2012). Considering the consequences: Australian country newspapers and news impact on communities. Rural Society, 21(1).

    Australian and International links
    Kathryn is associate editor of Australian Journalism Review, the leading Australian journal focusing on journalism theory and practice, and is a vice-president of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.
    She is also on the advisory panel for Mindframe for Journalism Education, a federally funded project run by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health which provides resources and guidance for teaching journalism and media students about reporting on mental health and suicide.

  • Dr John Budarick

    African Media in Australia: Towards a Multi-Ethnic Public Sphere
    This project examines African media in Australia and their potential to communicate across communities and contribute to more inclusive and democratic public sphere. The project has received funding from the University of Adelaide and is the subject of a 2015 ARC Discovery application.

    National Conference on Migration, Media and Social Cohesion/Integration

    John is working closely with collaborators from Monash University, Africa Media Australia and the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcaster’s Council to organise a conference on media and social cohesion. Scheduled for February 2015, the conference has already attracted approximately $15,000 in funding and will feature some of the leading names in migrant media studies, as well as leading community members and organisations.

    Minorities and the Media in Australia: Production, representation and engagement
    An edited book John is putting together with Associate Professor Gil-Soo Han. Will be published by Palgrave MacMillan in mid-2016.

    Recent Publications
    Budarick, John (2015) 'Belonging-Security Across Borders: News Media, Migration and the Spaces of Production', International Journal of Communication, 9.
    Budarick, John and Gil-Soo Han (2015) 'Towards a Multi-Ethnic Public Sphere?: African-Australian media and minority-majority relations', Media, Culture and Society (published online-first:
    Budarick, John, (2014) 'Media and the limits of transnational solidarity: Unanswered questions in the relationship between diaspora, communication and community', Global Media and Communication 10 (2). After publishing this article John was asked by Sage to contribute a video summary for the Sage Video series:

    Australian and International links

    John is currently involved in an ARC Discovery application involving colleagues from Monash University, Swinburne and the University of Bradford.
    He is also part of a working group established during the conference on “Community, Popular and Digital Media in Migrant Settlement, Integration and Resilience: Mobilities and belonging”, held at University of Western Australia in June, 2015.


    As well as the collaborations discussed above, for the past two years John has worked extensively with Associate Professor Gil-Soo Han from Monash University. He is also part of an ARC research proposal with Professor Charles Husband from the University of Bradford.

  • Associate Professor Mary Griffiths

    Indicative Publications
    Griffiths, M 2014 ‘Notions of guardianship’ in P Dearman & C Greenfield (eds), How we are governed: investigations of communications, media and democracy, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle.
    Griffiths, M 2013, ‘Empowering citizens: A constructivist assessment of the impact of contextual and design factors on the concept of shared governance, in J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (ed.) E-government success factors and measures: Concepts, theories, experiences, and practical recommendations, IGI, Hershey, Penn.
    Griffiths, M, with Jiang Y & Griffiths M (eds) 2012 ‘China', China: challenges, change & collaborative research,' Editorial, 'China.' Communication, Politics and Culture. 45 (2) pp 168-173,;ID=k8fudaq7t1o3z .

    Projects in 2015
    China News in English: a Critical Analysis of Contemporary Political Discourse
    First-time Voters and Political Subjectivity
    A Civic Approach to the ‘Internet of Things’

    Research Collaborations
    1. Australia-China Centre for Transcultural Studies University of Adelaide. Partner: Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing.

    2. “Playing the City: Mobile Heritage Informatics” with Dr. Darren Peacock, National Trust, South Australia; City of Adelaide; Professor Mark Tebeau, State University of Cleveland, USA; Professor Mark Souther, University of Arizona, Texas, USA;  University of Arizona, Texas.

    3. Chris Sampson, CEO, Digital Society Foundation (digital uptake by populations and governments in the ‘blue continent.’), a member of The Alliance for Affordable Internet,

    International Refereed Journal Editorships
    Associate Editor, European Journal of E-Government
    Reviews Editor, Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication


  • Dr Sal Humphreys

    Sal researches in the areas of online communities, regulation and control online, big data and surveillance,  digital games, and health communication. Some recent publications include:

    2015 Wilmore, Michael, Rodger, Dianne, Humphreys, Sal, Clifton, Vicki, Dalton, Julia, Flabouris, Margarita, Skuse, Andrew, ‘How Midwives tailor health information used in antenatal care’ Midwifery 31(1):74-79

    2014 with Melissa de Zwart, Beatrix van Dissel ‘Surveillance, big data and democracy: lessons for Australia from the US and UK’ University of New South Wales Law Review 37(2)713-747.

    2014 Dalton, Julia, Rodger, Dianne, Wilmore, Michael, Skuse, Andrew, Humphreys, Sal, Flabouris, Margarita, Clifton, Vicki, ‘”Who's afraid?": attitudes of midwives to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for delivery of pregnancy-related health information’, Women and Birth  27(3):168-173

    2014 with Karen Vered ‘Reflecting on Gender and Digital Networked Media’ Television and New Media 15(1) 3-13.

    2014 with Karen Vered ‘Postfeminist inflections in television studies’ Continuum 28 (2) 155-163

    2014 with Melissa de Zwart ‘The Lawless Frontier of Deep Space: Code as law in EVE Online’ Cultural Studies Review 20(1) 77-99

    2013 ‘Predicting, securing and shaping the future: mechanisms of governance in online social environments’ International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 9(3) 247–258.

    2013 with Dianne Rodger and Margarita Flabouris ‘Understanding the role of medium in the control and flows of information in Health Communication.’ Asia Pacific Media Educator 23(2) 291-307.

    2012 with Melissa de Zwart ‘Griefing, Massacres, Discrimination and Art: the Limits of Overlapping Rule Sets in Online Games.’ University of California Law Review 2(2):507-536

    2012  with Melissa de Zwart ‘Playing in Contested Zones: norms, laws and rules in MMOGs’ Media Arts Law Review ,17(1):1-22

    Law: Prof. Melissa de Zwart, A. Prof. Mary Heath
    Gender: A. Prof Karen Orr Vered
    Health: Prof. Vicki Clifton, Prof. Andrew Skuse, Dr Diane Rodger, Dr Michael Wilmore, Julia Dalton.

  • Dr Ying Jiang

    Current project: A project with Soft Power Advocacy & Research Centre (SPARC) in Macquarie University focusing on the use of Chinese social media by embassies in China. A book proposal has been initially accepted (with changes) by Routledge in November 2014.

    Chinese social media and censorship:
    Book: Cyber-nationalism in China: Challenging Western Media Portrayal of Chinese Censorship (2012, Unversity of Adelaide Press). Sold and downloaded for more than 5000 copies so far.
    Most recent article in 2014: ‘Reversed agenda-setting effect’ in China: case studies of Weibo trending topics and the effects on state-owned media in China, Journal of International Communication (One of the top 3 most read articles on Taylors&Francis online).

    Australian and International links
    Ying is currently a member of Soft Power Advocacy & Research Centre at Macquarie University. Discussion on the possibility of a joint ARC discovery application with colleagues over there has been initiated. She is also a guest lecturer at Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Nanjing University, China.


    Prof Naren Chitty, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University.
    Mr Mark Sheehan, School of Communication & Creative Arts, Deakin University.
    Prof Naipeng Chao, Faculty of Journalism and Communications, Nanjing University.

  • Associate Professor Peter Pugsley

    Latest book - Exploring Morality and Sexuality in Asian Cinema: Crossing Boundaries (2015, Routledge).
    This book explores the moral dimensions of sexual imagery in contemporary, general-release Asian films. As distribution and technological advances make Asian films more readily available across the globe, an understanding of the different aesthetics at play will enable readers of this book to recognise key cultural motifs found in representations of on-screen sexuality and the surrounding controversies found in cinematic texts from Asia.

    Australian and international links
    Peter has ongoing links with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, including establishing the short course Japanese Media Industries and Cultures (JMC).

    Joint ARC Discovery Project application with Associate Professor Ben McCann (The University of Adelaide) on the representations of tobacco imagery in French and Chinese films.

  • Postgraduate Students

    Postgraduate Student Profiles

    Ayodeji Aiyesimoju
    Ayodeji is a PhD candidate whose thesis focuses on diffusion of new media and its implications for traditional media models in sub-Saharan Africa. His research interests and specialisations include development communication, media convergence, political economy, global digital divides, media representations and audience heterogeneity. He has taught media studies at Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Nigeria and the University of Adelaide, Australia. He has published in international peer-reviewed journals and contributed chapters to books on the intersection between different media forms and development in Africa.

    Sami Dannaoui
    Sami Dannaoui (pronounced Dan-Na-Wee) is an entrepreneurial visual communication and web designer with over 10 years of experience. His PhD research is centred on the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design of social network applications (apps). His current study focuses on identifying the design elements with which user interfaces shape and influence the user experience in social networking apps, its findings have practical implications which can be utilised by app design practitioners and educators. Further, his PhD project involves the design of an innovative app followed by the deployment of UX-testing methods. LinkedIn:

    Nazia Hussain
    Nazia’s PhD project is on Representations of Women in Pakistani Cinema: Exploring the Role, Image and Characterization from a Semiotic Perspective. Her research interests include Asian cinema, Pakistani cinema, third world cinema, global and alternative cinemas, feminism, queer theory, auteur theory, gender and screen culture, cultural studies, semiotics, discourse analysis, and qualitative research. She is the executive member of the Media Research Committee, DMCS, IIUI, Educational Broadcasting Forum AIUO, Pakistan and has taught Media Studies at the International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan.

    Muhammad Asim Imran
    Asim is a PhD candidate whose research focus is on the representation and framing of marginalized people, and he specialises in discourse analysis of media content. His thesis focuses on the critical examination of media discourses used in the portrayal of the elderly in Australian and Malaysian mainstream newspapers. He uses discourse analysis to examine the dialectic relationship between media discourses and the news media to understand the role newspapers play in representing elderly people while demographic trends are shifting dramatically. He has taught Media Theories and Media Laws at Effat University in Saudi Arabia.

    Amy Nancarrow
    Amy is a writer and PhD candidate whose thesis focuses on open-access arts organisations and their use of digital technologies and social media platforms to engage with their audiences. Specifically researching the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Amy's project examines the high/low art class dichotomy and the community impact of Fringe arts, the prevalence of social media and mobile application technologies in modern society, and the importance of local and international engagement with arts festivals for tourism, cultural practice, and the economic stability of each festival’s host city. 

    Rukia Nzibo
    Rukia is a PhD candidate whose thesis focuses on exploring the diverse nature of the Kenyan media, which is significantly influenced by historical, social, cultural and economic factors that are unique to African contexts and the viability of peace journalism in Kenya when reporting on terror. Her research interests and specializations include Peace journalism, framing, human security, African politics, security and strategic theory and the utilization of the African media as a peace-promoting tool. She has guest lectured on news values, reporting on terror in Kenya and the role of peace journalism in promoting peaceful dialogues at the University of Adelaide.

    Robert Palmer
    Robert’s PhD research is provisionally titled Adapting communication conventions: Communicating climate change adaptation to Australia's urban poor. His research examines whether existing media theories can contribute to the development of climate change adaptation communications targeting vulnerable, low socioeconomic groups in Adelaide. Robert’s work in climate change communications field has supported NGOs, research and academic institutions. His research has been influenced by experiences of working on climate change adaptation projects with Indigenous Australians. Rob’s academic profile is at, and his media and communications background at

    Varunika Ruwanpura
    Varunika is a MPhil. candidate whose thesis focuses on the pluralistic styles of Australian journalists’ nonfiction writing. Her research interests are literary journalism, nonfiction writing, long form journalism and slow journalism. She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate journalism courses at the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide. She works in print, magazine and digital journalism. She has authored three children's books, Breakfast in the Jungle, This is My Brother and Exotic Animal Carers, and a travel memoir on her migration from Sri Lanka to South Australia titled: Coming to Adelaide.

    Guillaume Vétu
    Guillaume is a recently enrolled MPhil candidate. His thesis aims to broaden our understanding of Japanese media and culture through the exploration of one particularly diverse and pervasive group of fictional figures most commonly found in film: the Japanese zombie. Guillaume’s research falls within the scope of the - arguably underappreciated - academic field of Zombie Studies and touches upon areas such as the arts, media, film, cultural and gender studies, as well as sociology, politics and philosophy.

    Hongyan ‘Zoe’ Zou
    Zoe’s doctoral research focuses on the dynamic relationship between cinema and city, specifically in mainland Chinese films set in three different regions since the 1980s. The material and imagined cities and space depicted in these films reflect the ongoing urbanization of China, where population growth and uneven economic development bring issues such as immigration (from rural areas) and identity to the forefront of urban renewal. These films record and reflect on social problems and, more importantly, enlighten viewers. Zoe’s research deploys Edward Soja’s views on macro space and Michel de Certeau’s space practice to investigate the various filmic characters and spaces that inhabit these images of Chinese cities.

Department of Media

Napier Building, Room 722


T: +61 8 8313 4249
F: +61 8 8313 4341
School of Humanities

Find Us Online

Media Department on YouTube