Come join us to hear from our newest Post-doctoral Researchers.
When: Friday 13 November, 1 – 2.30pm
Where: Via Zoom
Amber’s postdoc investigates the nexus between low levels of digital inclusion in rural/agricultural areas, and the emergence and promise of digital agricultural technologies, in Australia. She is currently leading a pilot project (funded by the IFE Catapult program) to study human factors of AgTech adoption on a cotton farm in the Darling Downs. Taking a ‘digital inclusion ecosystems’ approach, the team is documenting and analysing the farm’s transition to digital farming as they implement several technologies – including farm-wide wi-fi, remote sensors, and satellite imagery – and aggregate the data on a centralised dashboard. The aim is to uncover the social, cultural and technical barriers to, and enablers of, adoption within the local context.
Ben’s postdoc project explores the use of ‘data analytics’ by independent game developers in Australia. This project aims to generate new knowledge about the challenges and opportunities faced by independent game makers – both economic and creative – arising from the implementation of these new digital tools. This talk will introduce this project, and present some preliminary research findings, looking at how the industry of videogame development analytics discursively frames, and attempts to normalise these tools.
In her talk, Sofya will map Russia’s digital public sphere with its propagandistic narratives and anti-establishment resistances. Russia’s political communication is often portrayed as a monolith, propaganda-driven, and rigid communication environment. The state propaganda is believed to be based on domestic, state-owned TV channels (e.g. Channel 1, Russia-1), media outlets for foreign audiences (e.g. RT, Sputnik), and a network of quasi-government bots and trolls. Despite the extensive body of research on “Russian bots”, little is known of how Russian state-owned TV channels such as RT and Channel 1 adapt to digital realities. In her postdoctoral research, Sofya investigates the online communication strategies of those media outlets, and how their respective digital publics perceive and engage with propagandistic content. From another perspective, Russia’s digital public sphere is seen as a multi-faceted and dynamic space with its own struggles and challengers, who are opposing the mainstream discourse despite the frequent harassment. As Sofya’s study concludes, the combination of populism, investigative journalism and digital activism practices disseminated through social media can contribute to the survival of the elite’s challengers in the Russian public sphere.