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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

    Current project: Playing Along at Home, an investigation into the way audience members engage with actors and their fictional television characters through a second screen. The pilot project for this research investigated Twitter use by those live tweeting while watching Love Child, season 2, on Channel 9.

    Kim is currently working on a co-authored book called Persona Studies, contracted to Wiley, with P. David Marshall (Deakin University) and Chris Moore (University of Wollongong). Due for release in 2016, this book will trace the intellectual foundations of the study of persona, discuss methodology, and provide case studies.

    Recent journal articles
    1. Marshall, P.D., Moore, C., Barbour, K., 2015. Persona as method: exploring celebrity and the public self through persona studies. Celebrity Studies, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 288-305.

    2. Marshall, P.D., Barbour, K., 2015. Making Intellectual Room for Persona Studies: a New Consciousness and a Shifted Perspective. Persona Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 1-12,

    3. Barbour, K., Marshall, P.D., Moore, C., 2014. Persona to Persona Studiesí. M/C Journal, vol. 17, no. 3,

    Research Collaborations
    Kim is an associate member of the Persona Celebrity Publics (PCP) Research Group, based at Deakin University in Melbourne. For the past five years, she has collaborated on a number of research projects with Professor P. David Marshall.

    Australian and International Links
    Kim is the founding co-editor of the open access, online Persona Studies journal, a twice yearly interdisciplinary peer reviewed journal focused on investigations of persona. As a post-graduate student, Kim was a member of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), and served on the post-graduate subcommittees of both CCI and the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA). Kim is a current member of CSAA and the Australia New Zealand Communications Association (ANZCA).

  • 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

    Aaron’s dissertation demonstrates that comics and graphic novels can be complex and sophisticated tools for education. This is shown through historical research, pedagogical analysis and practice research involving the creation of a comic book that was used to improve physician wellbeing at a hospital in Queensland. Several chapters of the thesis are also presented in the form of original comics.
    With Amy Maynard and Troy Mayes, Aaron is a co-organiser of Inkers and Thinkers, Australasia’s leading research symposium dedicated to comics and graphic narratives, which has been jointly sponsored by the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice and the Department of Media. He is the Australian events editor of The Comics Grid.
    Aaron’s research was recently spotlighted in The Adelaidean:

    His recent publications include:
    Humphrey, A., ‘Lecture and Authority in Educational Comics: Derrida and Foucault for Beginners.’ Digital Humanities Quarterly 9(4), December 2015
    Humphrey, A., ‘The Imaginary Sounds of Woodstock: Using comics’ visual and spatial modalities to investigate the phatic properties of speech and text.’ Composition Studies 43(1), Spring 2015.
    Humphrey, A., ‘Beyond Graphic Novels: Illustrated scholarly discourse and the history of educational comics.’ Media International Australia 151, May 2014.

    Amy Louise Maynard is a PhD candidate whose thesis focuses on modern Australian comics production as a creative industry. Her research interests and specialisations include artistic scenes and subcultures, creative labour, social network markets, knowledge economies, media convergence, and independent publishing models. She is the co-founder of the Inkers and Thinkers Interdisciplinary Symposium, and has taught media studies and cultural theory at the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

    Robert Palmer is a media and communications professional who has run his own consultancy firm auc since 2003. He is a PhD student in the discipline of media and his thesis is provisionally titled 'Adapting communication conventions: Communicating climate change adaptation to Australia's urban poor'.
    His research is examining if modern media and communication theory can help contribute to the development of climate change adaptation communications that target vulnerable, low socioeconomic groups in urban Adelaide. Robert has worked in the climate change communications field providing communications support to NGOs, research and academic institutions. His research work with vulnerable Australians has been influenced by his experiences of working on climate change adaptation projects with Indigenous Australians. 

    More information about Robert's academic experience can be found on his ResearchGate profile page:

    Information about Robert's media and communications background can be found at

    Zoe’s current research project focuses on the dynamic relationship between cinema and city, specifically mainland Chinese films set in three different regions since the 1980s. Both material and imagined cities and space depicted in films reflect various aspects of the undergoing urbanization in major Chinese cities. Issues that accompany the urbanization of modern developed cities and regions now affect Chinese cities and people in recent decades. And because of the large population and extremely uneven development in economy, issues such as immigration and identity crisis are even more severe. As an effective and advanced artistic vehicle, films record and reflect on such social problems and, more importantly, enlighten viewers and the whole society. By deploying Edward Soja’s view on the macro space and Michel de Certeau’s idea of space practice, the project aims to investigate the various filmic space and characters, to draw a complete map of Chinese city images.

Department of Media
School of Humanities

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