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Media and Communication study options

03 November 2023

All courses at our Media and Communication department are regularly rated by students as well above the Arts average. Our students value the contemporary issues discussed, multimedia examples used in lectures, approachability of lecturers, and the relevance of what they learn. Check out Media and Communication study options at UC.

Highly-rated teaching and learning

All our courses are regularly rated by students well above the Arts average. Students value in particular the contemporary issues discussed, multimedia examples used in lectures, approachability of lecturers and the relevance of what they learn.


Building COMS into your BA

In addition to degree requirements, students need to have passed one 100-level COMS course to take 200-level COMS courses. We may waive this prerequisite if you have at least a B average in 60 points of relevant coursework.

If you wish to enter 300-level COMS courses, you need to have passed two 200-level COMS courses. We may waive that requirement for students who have good marks elsewhere and only want to take one 300-level COMS course.

To major in COMS, students need to take at least 7 courses in COMS: two 100-level courses + three 200-level courses + two 300-level courses. In addition to these in-major requirements, you must also meet the 360 point overall requirement of the BA regulations.

To enter the Honours year, students need a B+ average in at least two 300-level COMS courses, as well as completing the 360 points needed for the BA degree.


Bachelor of Communication

Introduced in  2018, this three-year degree qualification is a response to increased demand for communication graduates on the job market. It is intended to prepare graduates for work as journalists, public relations practitioners and communication advisors. The degree requires no background in any specific subject at school and is open to all students with entry to university. 

Please visit the Bachelor of Communication page for more information. 

Honours is a one-year programme directed to the critical analysis of Media and Communication in a number of areas: these include media and power, media organisations, media ethics, content and issues, particularly as applied to New Zealand. The courses within the degree are aimed toward preparing graduates for a career in media and communication. Students will analytically explore important areas of current international debate within Media and Communication and consider the kinds of questions these create for globally interconnected societies. The Honours degree is also the first step toward a Masters for those who have a three-year undergraduate degree.


About the programme

In this year-long, intensive programme you will engage in greater depth with the issues and theoretical ideas of your chosen field. Students take three courses over the course of one year, in which small group discussions are combined with self-directed research. One of these courses must be COMS 450, Media Research Methods. In order to graduate with an Honours degree in Media and Communication you also need to complete COMS480, a supervised research dissertation. Upon completion of an honours degree, students may undertake one year of research to complete a Masters degree at the University of Canterbury.

By the end of the year, you can expect to have transformed yourself from student to scholar. There is a huge sense of achievement in developing new skills and knowledge and consolidating what you have already learned over the previous years. The small classes allow a close-knit community and lasting friendships to emerge.

If you have any questions at all about our honours curriculum or your own honours study in Media and Communication, contact the Media and Communication Honours Coordinator.


Job prospects

Honours graduates tend to stand out in the job market. Graduates have got jobs as:

  • Communication officer
  • Government policy researcher
  • Radio broadcaster
  • Public relations consultant
  • Marketing executive
  • Advertising sales representative
  • Events organiser
  • Government operations officer
  • Publisher representative
  • Government Research Officer and more…


Frequently asked questions


What grades do I need to get into Honours?

The readings and work we expect are more demanding than at undergraduate levels. Accordingly, the usual requirement is a B average in relevant subjects at third year level or a GradDipArts, and enrolment is subject to the approval of the Department Co-ordinator.


Can I take courses from other programmes?

We recommend that most students do four COMS papers, but you may substitute one course from elsewhere in the BA schedule (subject to the agreement of the Heads of Programme in both subjects).


How much work is involved?

Honours is harder work, with a higher reading load, longer essays and an expectation that you keep up with the reading. Many students hold down jobs as tutors in COMS or outside the university while studying, but they are busy.


How do I apply?

The process is just the same as for undergraduate courses of study. Contact the university for further information.


More information

For more information about Honours courses, contact Honours Co-ordinator Zita Joyce.

To explore the full list of Media and Communication Honours courses, follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Please note: Candidates who are interested in a career as a working journalist should apply for the one-year Graduate Diploma in Journalism. 

The Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism is a one-year programme aimed at preparing graduates for a career in print, broadcast and online journalism. Students receive intensive training in media ethics and law, newsgathering and writing, research and analysis, and multimedia reporting, including basic storytelling methods in photography, audio and video, and for online media.

Students contribute to the online publication, The Record, which showcases their work. The course is designed to combine analytical skills with practical experience to produce thinking journalists who are highly competent and multi-skilled professionals.

Media and Communication offers a research environment where you can study under scholars with international reputations and contribute to analysis of some of the most important questions in contemporary culture and society. A research degree in this field will open doors for you, both in terms of new ideas and in terms of job possibilities. In both government and the private sector, the jobs with greater responsibility and opportunities are going to graduates with research degrees, and Media and Communication research graduates are sought after.


Masters study

An MA will mark you out as someone with high level thinking and writing skills, knowledge of research and the ability to plan and complete a major task. A PhD will qualify you as a researcher on an international level. With both degrees, you become an expert in your chosen area of study, able to expand critical horizons and to participate in both media scholarship and policy.

All of the programme’s academics are active researchers with international publication records. We have particular strengths in journalism, international media and politics, as well as critical analysis of the media from a wide range of perspectives. See the list of recent student topics on the right and visit our People page to see areas of staff expertise. We warmly welcome you to talk with us about your options.

Research students in the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences join the largest postgraduate grouping in Arts at Canterbury. Media and Communication attracts a wide range of research students, including New Zealand residents and students from countries as diverse as Canada, Malaysia, Germany, Argentina, China, Philippines and the Maldives. They come via a variety of routes: some from an Honours degree, some from overseas universities and some from professional careers.


Topics studied in recent years include:
  • Environmental and science journalism
  • Heroes and villains in the Americas Cup
  • The Maori public sphere
  • Sexualised advertising in women’s magazines
  • The reporting of poverty
  • Journalists on film
  • The journalism of Michael King
  • The colonisation of public space by outdoor advertising
  • Reporting of the Iraq War
  • The commercialisation of Polynesian youth cultures
  • Masters in Media and Communication

The Masters degree involves writing a thesis of about 40,000 words. There are two paths toward a MA in Media and Communication at Canterbury:
Students who have a 3-year Bachelor of Arts degree (or in other select disciplines), can take one year of research-based coursework from our Honours degree. After the first year, students complete a year-long period of writing and primary research under the supervision of their primary supervisor. Students present their work at seminars and participate in postgraduate research/writing groups. The final outcome is a Masters thesis that can be published in a peer-reviewed, academic publication.

Students who already have Honours-level certification (usually in Media and Communication but other majors will be considered) can choose their own topic and work with their supervisory team to develop specific questions and methodological approach. This is a one-year period of intensive research and writing under the supervision of a primary supervisor. There is no course work, although there are opportunities to take classes on various methodological approaches to research. Students present their work at seminars and participate in postgraduate research/writing groups. The final outcome is a Masters thesis that can be published in a peer-reviewed, academic publication.


Master of Strategic Communication

The Master of Strategic Communication (MStratCom) prepares students for careers in complex, professional media for corporations, public relations, and advocacy. Students will learn how to generate communications using creative understanding of the audience and corporate goals, media ethics, and using a range of research and data analytics.

This taught master’s is well-suited for students wanting to develop skills in public media relations and organisational communication, including those who have no previous experience in these areas or are wanting to change their career focus.

Find out more about the Master of Strategic Communication degree.


PhD thesis

The PhD degree lasts three to four years. The doctorate is up to 100,000 words in length and involves a major contribution to a chosen topic. Entry is on the basis of an MA degree in Media and Communication, or upgrading from an MA. In special circumstances, graduates with other qualifications can be enrolled.


More information

Contact the Postgraduate Coordinator for more information about Masters and PhD in Media and Communications or visit the College of Arts pages for postgraduates.

  • Sam Anderson - The Integration of Media and Marketing in Christianity in New Zealand
  • Mark Balderstone - The Language of Social Movements: Narrative, Discourse, and Identity.
  • Victoria Erin Haggland - News Values vs. The News Room. Analyzing the relationship between social media and journalism.
  • Sumaiya Nasir - Understanding Youth Cyber Activism.
  • Sophie Nussbaumer - How Christchurch's Rough Sleeping Youth Use Their Mobile Phones?


Mark Balderstone

BA First Class Honours in Media and Communication
Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication and Political Science


Working title - The Language of Social Movements: Narrative, Discourse, and Identity

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Sue Tait
Secondary Supervisor: Dr. LindaJean Kenix



Thesis summary

My research intends to explore the way in which social movements – such as feminism, workers movements, etc – use narrative and discourse to create a sense of common identity amongst those within the social movement and the way this challenges hegemonic myths that define social reality.


Areas of interest:

Social Movements, Social Change, Post-Apocalyptic Media, Cake, Gender, Alternative Media, Representations of Difference.


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Victoria Erin Haggland

Bachelor of arts in Media and Communications
Honors in Media and Communications
Diploma of Computer Graphic Design


Working title - News Values vs. The News Room. Analyzing the relationship between social media and journalism


Associate Professor Donald Matheson
Senior Lecturer Tara Ross



Thesis summary

My research looks at the relationship between social media and journalism in New Zealand. This central idea will look at the implications or influences of social media, on news values.


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Sumaiya Nasir

MA Thesis
Media & Communication


Working title - Understanding Youth Cyber Activism


Primary supervisor: Zita Joyce



Research question

What kinds of practice constitute as online activism amongst young people and in what ways does this translate to offline activist activity?


Thesis summary

As a phenomenon online activism came into prominence with the uprising in Tunisia, or what is known as the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in the western world. The apparent success of the Tunisian revolution set in motion what seemed like a string of revolutions in various Arab countries. Egypt became the first of the many Arab countries to get inspired by Tunisia. Like its predecessor, the ‘Arab Spring’ too witnessed the crucial role played by social media played in toppling the repressive regimes. (Cottle, 2011:647).

These incidents highlight the increasing importance of the new media in changing the political and social landscape of a nation with the young people at the forefront. Of course, the activism was not solely online as can be gauged from the past events; a successful campaign entails effective translation of the online movement into the ‘real’ or the offline world. The above mentioned political upheavals were certainly not a result of activities centered completely on the net but involved significant offline activism too.

The purpose of my thesis is to explore the relationship between online activism and offline action with the young adult’s online activity providing as the framework.


Research methodology

I seek to employ a series of case studies to demonstrate a sequence of instances of online activism that develop my argument. Each case study will articulate a specific brand of online activism. Furthermore, the case studies will showcase forms of activism in the digital sphere with young adults at the forefront. To develop my analysis I will be following various facebook pages, blogs, dedicated websites etc. of each event. For my research, I will be adopting the “Netnography” method of research. This is a qualitative, interpretive research methodology that adopts traditional ethnographic research techniques in order to study online cultures and communities (Kozinets 2010).


Areas of interest:

Online Activism, Young adults and social media, Social and Political movements online, Gender Theories and Social Media.


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Sophie Nussbaumer

BA(Hons) with Second Class Honours (Division Two)


Working Title - 'How Christchurch's Rough Sleeping Youth Use Their Mobile Phones'?


Primary supervisor: Donald Matheson



Thesis summary

The homeless are often seen as isolated transients on the periphery of mainstream society. With information and communication technologies, particularly cell phones, fast becoming an integral part of modern life, it would be interesting to uncover whether this holds true for ‘marginalised’ populations such as the homeless. For my research project, I aim to better understand how Christchurch’s homeless population utilise mobile phones in their everyday life.

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  • Femi Abikanlu - Defining the Future of Digital Television in Africa in the Perspectives of the New-Zealand Revolution to Digital Television.
  • Samuel Anderson - The Integration of Media and Marketing in Christianity in New Zealand
  • Suvojit Bandopadhyaya - Radical Ideology Propagation: The Interdependence of Social Media and Terrorism.
  • Semiu Bello - Newspaper Coverage of Health Issues in Nigeria from 2009-2013: Implications for National Development.
  • Dwie Irmawaty Gultom - Community-based Information Framework in Indonesian Natural Disaster Response.
  • Reza Jarvandi - The effect of social conditions on using Facebook: a comparative study among Iranian and New Zealander university students.
  • Adepate Mustapha-Koiki - Media Framing and Reportage of Conflict in Nigeria: An analysis of the coverage of Boko Haram crisis by selected newspapers (2010-2013).
  • Morenike Oladeinde - Media Commercialisation in Established and Emerging Democracies (New Zealand and Nigeria): A Comparative Appraisal of Political Discourse in the Print Media Sphere.
  • Netra Timilsina - Mainstreaming the Alternatives: Access & Participation of Audience in New Zealand's Community Radio
  • Khin Wee Chen - A comparative study on Singapore and Malaysia: the role of online socio-political humour in the struggle for fuller democracy.
  • Anuradha Deb - The construction of media “spectacle” in the contemporary Indian media & communication systems. Study: “India’s Daughter” (BBC series by Leslie Lewis).
  • Wei Shao - Old journalism, new journalism: how changing journalism challenges the managerial practice of newspapers.
  • Martina Wengenmeir - Aftermath online: Communication flow and the framing of information in social network communities after the Christchurch earthquakes.
  • Meng Xu - The Impact of American TV series on Chinese Audiences’ Cultural Identity and Values.


Femi Abikanlu

Bachelor of Technology in Physics Electronics, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
Masters of Science in Satellite Communications and Space Systems. University of Sussex


Working title - Defining the Future of Digital Television in Africa in the Perspectives of the New-Zealand Revolution to Digital Television


Primary supervisor: Dr Zita Joyce



Thesis summary

In 2006, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agreed on the deadline order to set the deadline for an analog-to-digital broadcast transition for June 2015. The idea is to release valuable spectrum which can be used in wireless communications, public safety and other services. Most western countries including New-Zealand have been successful at achieving the Digital switch-over initiatives but the African continent seems to be on a very slow pace on the digital switchover.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in collaboration with the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) have increased efforts at meeting the 2015 deadline in about 47 sub-Saharan African countries and in 2012, the government of New-Zealand announced its final shut-down date of Analogue Television to Digital Television. The research is expected to present an overview of the current state of play of the digital transition of the broadcast Media in Africa with some situational and operational analysis in some selected countries. It also presents the various challenges, different perspectives and various actions taken by broadcasters, stakeholder, regulators and policy makers in achieving this transition target in the landscape of the African Broadcast media. The Digital switch-over is not just about transition to digital television, it is shaping the way we see everything.


  • Design of 4GHz Communication Reciever Antenna using Microstrip Technology (M.Sc Thesis).
  • Variation of Height of RADAR Reflectivity Factor due to Rain (B.Tech Thesis).


Areas of interest

Broadcast Technologies, Television Studio Operations and Management, Industrial Media Researches, Teaching Opportunities.


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Samuel Anderson

2012: BCom: Marketing
2013: BA (Hons): Media and Communication - First Class Honours


Working title - The Integration of Media and Marketing in Christianity in New Zealand


Primary supervisor: Dr Zita Joyce
Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Michael Grimshaw



Thesis summary

My MA thesis aims to examine how and why media and marketing have been integrated into the delivery of the Christian message in New Zealand. 200 years since its first propagation on our shores, the gospel of Jesus Christ is still being proclaimed throughout the nation - but in new and different ways as society and technology have advanced. Within the church, on the street, in the home, and on the web, the message of Christianity is being shared in new forms in New Zealand. Some examples of these changes are: the branding of churches and ministries; the use of modern design, advertising techniques and marketing campaigns; the use of television, radio and the Internet to distribute church-produced content; social media engagement; the use of electronic and mobile bibles and prayer books; and the use of projectors to display song words, sermon slides and broadcasts within church services. In some contexts these tools and techniques are supplementary to traditional forms of worship, while in others they are integral to the identity and style of churches. My research aims to examine several different Christian contexts in Christchurch and their internal communications, to begin the task of identifying the changes in religious communication and understand why they have become part of the Christian experience in New Zealand.


Areas of interest

Media & Religion, NZ Church History & Theology, NZ Broadcasting History, Alternative eSports Media and Subculture, Qualitative Research Methods, Marketing Communication.


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Suvojit Bandopadhyaya


Working title - Radical Ideology Propagation: The Interdependence of Social Media and Terrorism


Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Master of Arts in Media Governance, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.

Supervisors: Dr Sue Tait (Primary) and Dr Babak Bahador (Secondary)



Thesis summary

The proposed research project looks at growing inter-dependence of social media and terrorism towards radical ideology propagation by terror outfits. The research project is an attempt to deconstruct terrorism in post-modern society with a renewed view to communication polices that address potential threats with the emergence of social media platforms. The research project primarily comprises of a comparative study looking at the inter-relationship between communication technologies and terrorism during the 1990’s compared with 2010-2015, nature of content/discourse being uploaded on terror-sponsored social media web pages. Apart from this, the research project also looks at newer technological implications brought by social media as a medium to promote cyber-terrorism. In addition to this, the research project will encapsulate case study of the Islamic State exploiting social media platforms for radical ideology propagation.


Areas of interest

Social Media, Cyber-terrorism, Online terrorism, Conflict communication.


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Semiu Bello

Higher National Diploma (HND) Mass Communication (2002)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A) Mass Communication (2006)
Master of Media Resources Management (MMRM) (2010)
Master of Science (M.Sc) Mass Communication (2012)


Working title - Newspaper Coverage of Health Issues in Nigeria from 2009-2013: Implications for National Development


Primary supervisor: Linda-Jean Kenix

Contact: or


Doctorale Scholarship from:
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) by the Federal Government of Nigeria accessed through Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Nigeria.


Thesis summary

The nagging problems of health-related issues and diseases in Nigeria and the inevitable role of the mass media as well as communications in general to improve the situation for accelerated national development is no longer a question of debate. In addressing the health variable of Nigeria to answer the question of national development, the approach must be holistic by exploring all possible means including the application of communications strategies and mass media. In a more succinct submission, Lai Oso supports this view that the role of communication in development, particularly in the Third World has engaged the attention of scholars. Since the early 1950s, policy makers and development workers particularly in agriculture and health have also shown considerate interest in the use of the various media of communication to assist in the development process (Oso, 2002). Therefore, the underlying rationale behind this study is to examine the newspaper coverage of health issues in Nigeria and how this has contributed or could contribute to the development drive of the country.

It is observed that over time or at a point in time, attention is usually shifted on certain health issues or diseases globally or within a particular region so much that they enjoy consistent prominence from the media. Adequate attention to such health issues or health problems by all stakeholders (governments, social institutions including the media etc.) is argued; would go a long way in getting good fraction in the mathematics of development. Hence, of interest to this study also is to examine the predominant health issues covered by the Nigerian Newspapers between 2009 and 2013, why and what values or otherwise does it hold for national development. It is pertinent to note that Nigeria as a nation state is broadly divided into the North, East and West and subdivided into six geopolitical zones (South-West, South-East, South-South, North-East, North-Central and North West) each of which has its unique peculiarities including health issues.

In other words, there are general as well as peculiar prevailing health issues or problems in each of these geopolitical zones which inversely have adverse effects on the national development agenda of the country. Hence, this study also examines the extent at which the Northern Nigeria is focused by the Nigerian newspapers in the coverage of health issues and how this has affected national development. The reason for focusing the Northern Nigeria is not far-fetched, that region of the country accounts for the two third of the national population. Of the 36 states of the Nigerian federation, 19 are from the northern region therefore, it is the most populated region of the country. The north is a savannah area with a lot of vegetation which harbours mosquitoes- agents of malaria transmission. Invariably, the inhabitants of such region are prone to malaria. From observation, the Northern Nigeria is noted for communicable diseases due to high temperature which characterises the region. More interestingly, it is ironical to note that as highly populated as the north is, it is the region with high level of illiteracy and this has consequently resulted in dearth of medical personnel. So, to develop the Nigerian state, more attention to the Northern Nigeria is required including the media coverage of health issues.

In national development discourse, it is axiomatically agreed that rural areas should be given adequate attention. This is widely held by many development scholars and policymakers given the fact that in most of the countries in Africa, between 50% and 60% of the population resides in the rural areas. For example in Nigeria, researches have shown that 50% lives in the rural areas across the country (CIA World Factbook, 2012). For effective development to take place, the rural dwellers should be given adequate attention. Their lives must be positively affected in the development plans, policies and strategies by all tiers of governments (local, state and federal as obtainable in Nigeria). Therefore this study examines newspaper coverage of health issues and problems in rural areas in Nigeria and its implications on national development.

Map of the Federal Republic of NigeriaAs key as development is, it cannot be addressed in isolation. It has consistently remained a dependent variable whose attainment incontrovertibly relies on other variables and social institutions. While health is by this study; identified as a key and independent variable in the development of Nigerian state, the press (newspaper, in this context) is also an inevitable social institution (another independent variable) in realising the Nigeria project through the coverage of health issues and promotion of health information. Newspaper as a mass medium in particular has a long and robust history in Nigeria. It (newspaper) has consistently remained an epiphenomenon in all the phases of Nigeria’s growth and development. The history of the Nigerian press is, indeed, the history of the nation as the press in Nigeria has registered itself as a major institutional actor before the formation of the political society and the state.

This in a way has made the press to loom large in the nation’s political landscape, (Jakande, 2004, Oso, Odunlami and Adaja, 2011). Newspaper as a mass medium is potentially effective to provide information, education and communication (IEC) on various health issues preventing the widespread of diseases. If citizens in Nigeria for example are well informed or educated through newspapers reportage on various health issues, problems and health policies, they would be better empowered. The tendency for them to live a healthy conscious life would be high. This in turn would inextricably contribute to the development of the nation.


  • Bello Semiu, Adejola Aminat, Adebimpe Peter, (2013) Media Literacy and Audience Choice of Television Station: A Study of Television Viewers in Ogun State. Journal of Media and Communication Research
  • Bello Semiu, Adesemoye Steven (2013) The Instrumentality of the Media in Evolving and Sustaining Political Will for Credible Governance in Nigeria. Journal of Public Policy and Research Administration
  • Lai Oso, Bello Semiu (2013). New Media, New Voices and the Democratic Process, in Journalism, Gender and Democratic Governance in Nigeria. (eds) Joseph Ngu, Lai Oso & Oluseyi Soremekun, UNESCO, Nigeria, Pp 1-2
  • Bello Semiu (2013).The Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication System in Political Communication Campaign, New Media and Mass Communication Journal. Vol. 10 (2013), Pp 33-39, (
  • Bello Semiu, Adejola Aminat, Folarin Jamiu(2012)Unethical Practices Among Journalists and the Nigerian Public Sphere, Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Vol.2, Issue 4, Pp: 205-224,(
  • Lai Oso, Bello Semiu (2012). Conceptualizing Media Audiences: Contextual and Contrasting Perspectives, inCritique and Application of Communication Theories. (eds.) Ekeanyanwu Nmandi Tobechukwu, Ngoa Stanley Naribo, Idowu Sobowale, Covenant University Press, Nigeria, Pp 228-258
  • Lai Oso, Bello Semiu (2012) Issues In Media Operating Environment In Nigerian Society and The Question Of National Development. Fountain Journal of Management and Social Sciences (FUJMAS), ISSN:2315-6325,Vol.1, No. 1, pp 31-41 (
  • Lai Oso, Bello Semiu (2012):The Concept and Practice of Corporate Governance in Nigeria: The Need for Public Relations and Effective Corporate Communication, Journal of Communication, 3 (1): 1-16, ISSN 0976-691X (
  • Bello Semiu (2012) Communicating Anti-Malaria Information through Radio. Journal of Media and Aesthetics, Special Issue (January 2012), pp 228-242
  • Bello Semiu, Kasali Taofeek (2012). The Imperatives of Leadership Concept in Media Management, International Journal of Research in Commerce, IT and Management (IJRCM). No. 4, Vol. 2 (2012), No.1 (January). ISSN 2231-5756. Pp. 36-40. (available on:
  • Bello Semiu. (2011) Newspaper for Quality Education in Nigeria: Concepts, Trends & Values. ISBN: 978-3-8473-1131-7, LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Germany. (Available on the internet, search by the title or semiu bello)
  • Bello Semiu. (2011) Radio and the Menace of Malaria in Africa: Alternate Means for Effective Prevention. ISBN: 978-3-8473-1141-6, LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Germany. (Available on the internet, search by the title or semiu bello)
  • Bello Semiu (2011) Impact Assessment of Western Films on Teenagers and the Question of Cultural Promotion in African Society, Global Media Journal, (,ISSN 2070-2469, Vol. 1V, Issue II (Fall 2011)
  • Bello Semiu (2011) Western Films and the Personality Development of Teenagers in Nigeria, Journal of Library Educational Media and Information Studies (JOLEMIS). Vol. 3, September 2011, Pp 106-112
  • Bello Semiu, Adejola Aminat (2011) Empowering Nigerian Citizenry through Media Literacy, African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) 2011Annual Conference Book of Proceedings, pp 233-242
  • Bello Semiu (2010). Communication and Cultural Promotion for Sustainable Development: The Challenges of Globalisation, in Des Wilson (ed)
  • Perspectives on Communication and Culture, Nigeria, African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), Pp. 399-414.
  • Bello Semiu (2010). Promotion of Newspapers as Supplementary Teaching and Learning Resources for Quality Education, Journal of Library Educational Media and Information Studies (JOLEMIS). Vol.1, No.1, Pp 51-66
  • Bello Semiu (2009). Conceptual Analysis of News Writing Dynamics, in Babs Bello (ed) Advocacy in Creative and Critical Media Presentation. Abeokuta, Fem Ades Publishers, Pp 183-199
  • Bello Semiu (2009). Book Review: Conceptual Framework and a Practical Paradigm, in Babs Bello (ed) Advocacy in Creative and Critical Media Presentation. Abeokuta, Fem Ades Publishers, Pp 200-217
  • Bello Semiu (2009). The Role of Mass Media in Achieving Millennium Goals in Africa and the Question of Human Capital Exchange, Book of Proceedings, 2009 International Conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary Research (SIR), Pp: 17-22


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Dwie Irmawaty Gultom

Bachelor of Political Science (Communication Science)
Master of Science (Corporate Communication Management)


Working title - Community-based Information Framework in Indonesian Natural Disaster Response


Primary supervisor: Dr Zita Joyce
Co-supervisor: Dr Donald Matheson



Thesis summary

This study focus on how local communities empowered themselves through participation in providing accurate information and mechanisms to connect with others as a fundamental need that social media can deliver. Although social media can positively expand new forms of peer-to-peer information-seeking and information-providing behavior to enable ‘back-channel’ crisis communication activities; they create demands for continual organizing, monitoring of credibility, and additional verification on the formal response effort. Therefore, this study is trying to acknowledge these challenges by stressing the local community’s roles and involvement based on their own knowledge, experiences and vulnerabilities. The community-based information framework will emphasize a bottom-up approach by underlining peer-to-peer communication in providing, verifying and sharing information so it can contribute and be integrated in a formal disaster response.


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Reza Jarvandi

Master of Arts (Cultural Studies). Thesis: Cultural studies of tourism in Iran; a comparative study between religious and secular tourism in Iran
Bachelor of Arts (Physics)


Working title - The effect of social conditions on using Facebook: a comparative study among Iranian and New Zealander university students


Primary supervisor: Dr Zita Joyce



Thesis summary

People always try to use different new technologies according to their needs and preferences. The concept of “domestication technology” describes this procedure. In media studies this theory usually has been applied to old kinds of media like television. Although “domesticating media” is mostly about how the media are used by families, I investigate this topic in the context of the broader society with the aim to analyse the mechanism of domesticating a media by society according to its needs. In addition, I investigate domesticating of new media and especially Facebook, which I consider the most important virtual social networking website. Thus, I explore how new media can take different roles in different societies, according to the context of its use.


Areas of interest

Social media, Cultural theory, Youth studies, Popular culture studies, Online marketing, Research methods.


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Adepate Mustapha-Koiki

Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Nigeria
Masters of Science in Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Thesis: Cultural studies of tourism in Iran; a comparative study between religious and secular tourism in Iran


Working title - Media Framing and Reportage of Conflict in Nigeria: An analysis of the coverage of Boko Haram crisis by selected newspapers (2010-2013)


Primary supervisor: Dr Sue Tait

Contact: or


Thesis summary

The term Boko Haram comes from the Hausa word (one of the three major languages in Nigeria) meaning Boko (book) Haram meaning literally (forbidden). Both words figuratively mean Westerrn education is sinful. According to Ekwueme (2011: 41), the group came into existence in the 1960s but only started drawing attention in 2002. Mohammed Yusuf became its leader in the same year. Also in the words of Popoola (2012) quoting Ekwueme (2011:42) Boko Haram is fast becoming Nigeria’s version of Muslim extremist operating with impunity elsewhere, maiming and killing those they consider as infidels, one has cause to be alarmed at this turn of events.
It was observed that Boko Haram group cashed in on the country’s epileptic school system that is plagued with numerous strikes by teachers, widespread youth unemployment, high prevalence of illiteracy and less than effective security system in the country. Ekwueme further disclosed that: Taking advantage of these economic frustrations and corrupt leadership of the country, they were able to win many converts. Even highly educated and well-connected members of the society joined the sect, and because their teaching addressed the frustrations of the unemployed youths, some of them dropped out of school, left their homes and joined the group fully.
Based on the above scenario, therefore, the manner of reporting of the group’s activities becomes a great concern of this study: journalists could take any position to report the crisis. This is actually of great importance when Popoola (2012) warned: when terrorism has any religious base, it takes a journalist a great deal of courage, selflessness and unalloyed patriotism to present a balanced report of the situation if he belongs to the religious body which carries out the terrorist act. Given the above background, therefore, this study seeks to examine the media framing and reportage of conflicts in Nigeria using a content analysis of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria spanning 2010 to 2013 as a study.


  • Mustapha-Koiki, A.R (2008). “The Practice of Investigative Journalism: Stories from the Field” in The Reporter’s guide to investigative journalism, edited by Victor Ayedun-Aluma & Steve Aborisade (2008). Wole Soyinka Investigative Reporting Award (WSIRA).
  • Mustapha-Koiki & Yomi Daramola, A.R (2011). “Changing Editorial Focus of TELL Magazine during Military and Civilian Eras in Communication Review: A Journal of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. Vol 5. No 2.
  • Mustapha-Koiki, A.R (2012). “Techniques of Investigative Reporting: Journalists’ Perspective”in Specialized Reporting: A Global Trend in Media Training.Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) LagosState Council. Vol.1
  • Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat & Ralph A. Akinfeleye (2012). “Women Filmmakers and Harmful Traditional Practices in Nigeria” in Communication Review: A Journal of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. Vol.6. No 1.
  • Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat & Daramola Abayomi (2012).“Influence of Advertising Rates on Advertisers’ Preference of Newspaper: A Survey of Selected Nigerian Advertisers, Agencies, Media Independent Agencies and Newspaper” in Communication Review: A Journal of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. Vol6. No2.
  • Ayedun-Aluma, Victor & Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat (2013). “Techniques of Investigative Reporting: Public Right to Know and Individual’s Right to Privacy” in Humanities and Social Sciences Review ISSN:2165- 6258 University 2013. Vol. 2. No.2
  • Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat (2014). “Bridging Cultural Space and Diversity in Communication Systems in Nigeria” in Fermenting Communication Systems, Processes & Contexts: A Collection of Critical Essays & Research. MiddleTown: Springboard Communications.
  • Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat (2014). “Power Raiders and Somnolent Watchdogs: Media Misinterpretations of Boko Haram” in Awodiya Daniel (2014) Fermenting Communication Systems, Processes & Contexts: A Collection of Critical Essays & Research. MiddleTown:Springboard Communications.
  • Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat (2014). “Walking the Tightrope of Conflict of Interest by Nigerian Journalists” in Journal of Communication and Media Technology. Vol. 1 No.1.


Areas of interest

Development Journalism, Conflict communication, Broadcast Journalism.


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Morenike Oladeinde

Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication (OND)-Ogun state Polytechnic, Ogun State Nigeria. (1996)
Bachelor of Arts In English Education (B.A.ED)-Lagos State University, Lagos State, Nigeria (2000).
Master in Language Education (M.ED) –University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. (2003).
Master in Communication and Language Arts (M.A- University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. (2006)


Working title - Media Commercialisation in Established and Emerging Democracies (New Zealand and Nigeria): A Comparative Appraisal of Political Discourse in the Print Media Sphere


Primary supervisor: Dr Donald Matheson

Contact: or


Thesis summary

Information accessibility is a major life line on which democracies all over the world survive. The press is seen as a powerful force for the promotion of democracy. Ideally the news media's role is to: provide the public with in-depth, factual information to inform their political decision-making, act as a watchdog against abuses of power and offer a forum for the exchange of opinions, experiences and perspectives. These functions assist the public to understand complex social and political issues, from the local to the international level. The media, in this regard the print medium, daily reports news about government activities which is a form of shaping the democracy. However the economics of media production, distribution and consumption make the commercialisation of the media an inevitable reality. Media commercialisation is a concept that has to do with the restructuring of media structures, characters and contents to reflect the profit-seeking goals of media industries. It underpins the assumption that media products are governed by economic/market considerations. Thus, for any media organisation to remain afloat, it must generate enough revenue to cover cost, and possibly breakeven. Of utmost concern is the effect such could have on New Zealand as an Established democracy (Parliamentary representative democratic monarchy) since 1907 as a Dominion while Nigeria as an Emerging democracy with just 22 years of consistent democracy since 1960.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the second largest Economy in Africa, and practicing democracy as her system of Government for the past. In this regards, New Zealand and Nigeria share some similarities, the first being that they were both colonised by Britain, they both practise democracy as their system of governance although with a slight difference from each other, they both also have the English Language as their form of official language and Language of the media, they have indigenous languages which is different from the English language and which have shaped their world view and perspectives. This research work is enriched as a result of the comparison which it undertakes. The decision to compare is inspired by “The looking- glass self “ by Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929).This concept states that “a person's self grows out of society's interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. The term refers to people shaping their self-concepts based on their understanding of how others perceive them. Cooley clarified that society is an interweaving and inter-working of mental selves.” New Zealand and Nigeria in reflecting on each other will enrich this study. Harrington (2006) states that news frames are how stories are made, that is how pieces of information are selected and organised. Tuchman (1978) cited in Severin and Tankard (2000) posits that news is the social construction of reality.

From his series of studies, he discovered that the act of making news, is the act of constructing reality itself rather than a picture of reality. This suggests that the portrayal of government activities under democratic rule could mostly be idealistic and not realistic, since there could be the influence of the commercialised media on such portrayals. The media thus have to facilitate public participation and debate over public affairs such as government policies in a bid to promote participatory or deliberative democracy. The public sphere can be seen as ‘a theatre in modern societies” ( in this regard the print media in New Zealand and Nigeria) in which political participation is enacted through the medium of talk (Fraser 1990 in Wikipedia assessed April 2012). Another role the media play is viewed from the perspective of Social responsibility. Here the press is allowed freedom of expression without any censorship but at the same time the content of the press should be discussed in public panel and media should accept any obligation from public interference or professional self-regulations or both. Although press ownership is private in both New Zealand and Nigeria, the press is expected to move beyond simple “Objective” reporting (facts reporting) to “Interpretative” reporting (investigative reporting).This will help to prevent pushing politics towards a scandal-ridden, short-term practices.


  • Odunsi R. M. (1999)“Students’ Academic Performance and their Socio Economic Background” B.A. Ed. Dissertation in the Department of Foundations, Lagos State University
  • Oladeinde R. M. (2003)“Knowledge, Attitude and Use of Pidgin English in Advertisement in Nigeria” M. Ed Dissertation in the Department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan
  • Oladeinde R. M. (2006)“A Comparative Analysis of the coverage of Miss World 2002 Crisis in Nigeria” M. A. Dissertation in the Department of Communication and Language Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan
  • R. M. Oladeinde & Fola-Adebayo T. (2005) “An Evaluation of Development Communication
  • Contents of the Guardian and Tribune News Paper” Journal of Mass Communication, Volume 1, No 1 ,Published in the Department of Mass Communication,Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. (ISBN978-2063-88-8)
  • Imhnopi D. & R. M. Oladeinde (2007)“Globalization of the Mass Media: A Sociological Perspective” Journal of Mass Communication Volume 2, No 1,published in the Department of Mass Communication, Olabisi Onbanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.(ISBN978-2063-88-8)
  • R. M. Oladeinde & Ajibola O. A. (2009)“The Dialectics and Framing of the Niger Delta Crisis” Babcock Journal of Mass CommunicationVol.2, No1, Published by Department of Mass communication , Babcock University ,Ilishon –Remo.(ISSN 0795-3399)
  • R. M Oladeinde (2015) “Sources of News and Attitude of Journalist to Conflict Reporting in Nigeria” Babcock Journal of History and International Relations, Published by Department of History and International Relations.


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Netra Timilsina

Master of Arts (Mass Communication and Journalism)
Master of Arts (Sociology)


Working title - Mainstreaming the Alternatives: Access & Participation of Audience in New Zealand's Community Radio


Primary supervisor: Dr. Zita Joyce
Co-supervisor: TBA



Thesis summary

The study investigates and analyzes the participation of audience as planner, producer and performer. With the community radio gaining fast-paced momentum across the globe encompassing diverse spectra, New Zealand too can be of no exception. Community radio is often referred as an alternative to commercial and public radio because of community participation. Analysis of the relationship between community and media started since 1920s or 1930s. The term 'community media' was coined during 1960's when the electronic community media began its influence as a second wave. Despite decades of practice, research on community media has not accelerated at its fullest, which means that it is still restrained within a certain boundary. Similarly, the conventional audience measurement doesn't work on community broadcasting. Thus, my study intends to analyze the audience participation through the Community Access Radio of New Zealand. It explores the role of Access Radio as a model of serving a community and an alternative to mainstream media.


Area of interest

Media audience, Media and society, Alternative media, Media and diversity, Broadcast Journalism.


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Khin Wee Chen

Bachelor of Church Music (Composition)
Master’s of Education (English Language)
MEd Thesis - An Exploratory Study of Linguistic Humour of Singapore Youth


Working title - A comparative study on Singapore and Malaysia: the role of online socio-political humour in the struggle for fuller democracy


Primary supervisor: Dr Donald Matheson
Co-Supervisor:Dr Linda-Jean Kenix



Thesis summary

Once politically voiceless, the people of Malaysia and Singapore have now been offered, through the Internet, a new medium to express their dissatisfaction and disapproval when social and political issues not to their favour arise. Both relatively young democracies are experiencing growing pains not unlike teenagers. And like teenagers, humour in the form of mockery and ridicule of those in authority makes up a large part of the arsenal of their newly-found offensive weapons. This study seeks to understand the "who, what, why, where, when and how" of political humour that is being employed in the new political landscapes of the two countries.


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Anuradha Deb

Advanced TV Media Management course from Mudra Institute of Communication and the Arts, MICA, India
MA in Film Studies from Jadavpur University
B.A. (Philosophy Honours), Calcutta University, India


Working title - The construction of media “spectacle” in the contemporary Indian media & communication systems. Study: “India’s Daughter” (BBC series by Leslie Lewis)


Supervisor: Dr Sue Tait (Primary)


Thesis summary

In the year 2012, the month of December witnessed a never before media upheaval in India which shook the entire country as well as the entire world with the very tragic death of Nirbhaya (name changed) in the most horrific gang rape incident in India. The brutal rape brought the angry nation out from their homes on to the streets for weeks on, purely instigated by the media making the event go viral everywhere. Demanding not just safety laws for women but literally forcing every citizen to debate on the otherwise tabooed issue of gender violence deeply etched in the Indian society. The widespread, prolonged public reaction was an unprecedented curtain raiser leading to an entirely new debate which began to be raised on the archaic, patriarchal policies and systems on such heinous crimes against women. The heated media debate lay bare the growing frustrations of an emerging, inspirational urban class youth of India. The social media groups and all other platforms became a forceful wave that came out with data like - a woman is molested in India every 34 minutes and kidnapped every 43 minutes (NCRB- Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau) given the fact that only 2% of women report of the crime after being sexually assaulted. Thus this event got itself situated socially as a movement of something larger than what it was on the surface, of a general anger of the youth against the establishment - which became a huge transformative event and more importantly, a media event. A la Arab Spring of India. My research would revolve around examining the construction of this transformative mega spectacle created through the various news, features, twitter, FB pages, documentary film etc. The investigation will be more focused around the controversial BBC documentary film rhetorically titled as “India’s Daughter” by Leslie Udwin shot much after the actual event. The film is more understood to be a ‘representation of the representation’ on the media hysteria. The film won Oscar nomination though was banned in India by the Government. The research will attempt to investigate such manifestations strictly within the framework of the media spectacle theory (Douglas Kellner, Guy Debord). It will probe these patterns of almost melodramatic associations of spectacular events perceived to be simultaneously occurring in the various medium of communication be it TV or film or social media to create a kind of a spectacle for the world to witness that gives rise to a new or different kind of media narrative which is transnational or trans cultural.


  • Revisiting the Documentary Film: Encounters at the End of the World: Werner Herzog. LENSIGHT, Quarterly Academic Journal of Film and Media, ISSN 2395-4604. Film & Television Institute of India, Pune.
  • "The State of our Minds and Media" published at "The Literary Voyage" International Journal for scholarly and creative writings. Refereed and peer reviewed. Vol 111, Issue 1, ISSN 2348 5272, Rachna Publishing House, India
  • "Television and Globalization" at SAGE publication is currently reviewing the research for publication.
  • Dissertation paper titled Globalization and Cultural Specificities in the contemporary Indian Media (1998).
  • Short films “RENDEZVOUS” submitted to the Jadavpur University, Dept. of Film Studies, Kolkata, as part of the Master’s degree assignment.
  • “100 years of Indian Cinema” – Documentary. Produced, scripted and researched. (Available on Youtube)
  • Documentary on the life of film maker Subhash Ghai. Produced, scripted and researched. (Available on Youtube)
  • AV on the screen journey of “The first “FILM STAR” of India - Behrupiya (Dilip Kumar)” (Available on Youtube)
  • Published articles and poems for The Asian Age: The commodification of women.



Mumbai University, St. Xaviers Mumbai, Whistling Woods International, SYMBIOSIS Institute of Mass Com as a visiting lecturer (PG & UG) , MET Mass Com Institute (Departments: Broadcast Journalism and Mass Com, Advertising and Marketing and Corporate Com), ISBM (Pune) on TV Media Management and Business development on TV channels and Marketing strategies in News Channels and SOPHIAS, Mumbai.

Member of a lay Buddhist NGO, Soka Gakkai International (SGI).

Spearheaded the first ever celebration/documentation of 100 Hundred Years of Indian Cinema.

Jury member of CMS Vatavaran International Film Festival.


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Shao Wei

BA (Eng)
BA (Hons) First Class, Media and Communication
MA First Class, Media and Communication


Working title - Old journalism, new journalism: how changing journalism challenges the managerial practice of newspapers?


Primary supervisor: Dr Donald Matheson



Thesis summary

The thesis aims to focus on the changing journalistic and managerial practice in newspapers in the digital age. Focusing on three key areas, media management, journalistic practices, and new journalism, the thesis prepares to address the nature of the evolving journalism as well as the growing complexities of journalistic work, and to discusses the challenges of managing media transition.


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Martina Wengenmeir

Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communication)
Master of Arts (Media & Communication)


Working title - Aftermath online: Communication flow and the framing of information in social network communities after the Christchurch earthquakes


Primary supervisor: Dr Zita Joyce
Co-supervisor: Dr Donald Matheson
Associate supervisor: Dr James Smithies



Thesis summary

After the Christchurch Earthquake in February 2011 and during its aftershocks online communities served as a matter of disaster response in order to inform as well as to discuss and share stories helping to raise community resilience. My research is based on case studies of online communities developed during and after the quakes. These studies of social network sites, for example Facebook fan pages, are undertaken to illustrate certain patterns in the communication flow online between mostly non-professional users. While telling personal narratives to make sense of the earthquakes for themselves as well as their online and offline networks users are creating issue based public spheres. In a discourse analysis these public spheres and the frames employed by the interacting stakeholders to describe information are examined. Furthermore this research inspects how the frames travel in hyperlinked social networks via shared information.


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Meng Xu

Bachelor of Arts ( English)
Master of Arts (Media & Communication)


Working title - The Impact of American TV series on Chinese Audiences’ Cultural Identity and Values


Primary supervisor: Dr Babak Bahador



Thesis summary

American television series came to China in 1980 and suddenly gained huge popularity in 2004. The media landscape in China changed significantly in the last few decades. This is the reflected in the swift change in the means of accessing the U.S. TV series from television to the Internet. Under this circumstance, the distribution of American television series in China became viewer centered rather than television station centered. Viewing American TV series in China changed from passive reception to active engagement among television audiences.

The Chinese government conducted strict restrictions and censorships on American TV series for concern about its influence on Chinese audiences. The government thinks that American TV series could cause Chinese audiences yearn for American culture and disdain their own culture at the same time. It attributes the popularity of American TV series to American cultural values. And these cultural values which sugar coated by daling American lifestyles could impact Chinese audiences’ value systems.

Given the above background, this study examines the impact of American television series on Chinese audiences' cultural identity and values. Finding answers to this big question will be a contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of television and audience research. The author, therefore, adopts a triangular methodological approach of content analysis, survey and experiment to unravel this important pule. In the light of theoretical framework, the study will be anchored on the propositions of cultivation theory and use and gratification theory.

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