• Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Researcher Identity in Ethnographic Study

    I recently published an article in Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture that considers the place of identity in ethnographic research. Stemming from my dissertation research on community media in Nairobi’s slums, I wanted to do some self-reflection to consider how my identity was used strategically (by myself and others) during the course of my fieldwork, and how identity management and use is complicated by the digital age. The abstract for the article “Negotiating the researcher: Interstitial, appropriated, and digital identities in media production ethnography” is below: While all people form, exhibit, and use multiple identities, the hybridity of identity plays an integral role in the production of ethnographic knowledge. This article…

  • Academic,  Highlights,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Participatory Culture in Kenya

    Melissa Tully and I have a new article out in Critical Studies in Media Communication about the one and only Makmende. If you’re not familiar with Makmende, you should watch this video immediately. Melissa and I were both in Kenya doing research on other topics when Makmende became the hot topic online and in public. The video and the resulting meme caught our attention. If Kenyan bloggers and international news organizations like the Wall Street Journal and CNN were discussing Makmende as Kenya’s first internet sensation, we wanted to know why this video, why now, and what does this all say about contemporary Kenya? Our article, “Makmende Amerudi: Kenya’s Collective Reimagining…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Community Journalism in Kibera

    I have a new article in Journalism Practice about the difficulties of doing community journalism in places like Kibera. The article is titled “‘I Wish They Knew that We are Doing This for Them’: Participation and resistance in African community journalism” and will appear in an upcoming special issue on “Community journalism midst media revolution” edited by Sue Robinson. Here’s the abstract: This article examines the relationship between community journalists and residents in Kibera, a sizable slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Focusing on two videojournalism initiatives, this research explores the structural and cultural features of Kibera that impacted residents’ participation and nonparticipation in these projects. Findings reveal that many residents were unfamiliar with…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Chapter: Media Authorship in Kibera

    I’m beyond excited to have a chapter in the new volume A Companion to Media Authorship, edited by Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson. The chapter, “Telling Whose Stories? Re-examining Author Agency in Self-Representational Media in the Slums of Nairobi,” offers an overview of the work I did for my dissertation. It looks at the creative and constraining forces working at multiple levels of analysis for young journalists and filmmakers in Kibera and Mathare. Yes, the book is pricey at the moment, so tell your library to pick up a copy or wait for the cheaper paperback version to come out. Big thanks to Jonathan and Derek. It’s an honor to see my name listed…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Entertainment-Education and Online Cocreation

    This is a belated notice, but Melissa Tully and I have a new article published in Television & New Media that looks at the Kenyan television show The Team and its online campaign to engage viewers in a discussion about national unity. Here’s the abstract from “The Team Online: Entertainment-Education, Social Media, and Cocreated Messages“: This article examines an entertainment-education program, The Team, which began airing in Kenya after the 2007–2008 postelection violence. The show promotes cooperation and national unity among Kenyans through the metaphor of Kenya as a football (soccer) team. The focus of this article is twofold: viewers’ identification with and reaction to certain morally ambiguous characters and audience members’ interaction with the program…

  • Academic,  Publications

    American Remakes of British Television

    DePaul University Assistant Professor Paul Booth and I just published the chapter “Translating the Hyperreal (Or How The Office Came to America, Made Us Laugh, and Tricked Us into Accepting Hegemonic Bureaucracy)” in the new book American Remakes of British Television: Transformations and Mistranslations edited by Carlen Lavigne and Heather Marcovitch. In the chapter, we use Baudrillard to examine the American remake of The Office. Here’s an abstract: The Office stands as one of the most popular “translations” of a British television show to an American audience. The British Office garnered scores of awards during its two-year run; the American Office is currently one of the most popular sitcoms on…

  • Publications

    Communication, Culture and Human Rights in Africa

    I have a chapter in the just-published book Communication, Culture, and Human Rights in Africa (Bala A. Musa and Jerry Domotaub, editors). My chapter is called “Media Activism, Youth Culture and Human Rights Campaigns for the MTV Generation,” and it looks at the organization Invisible Children that focuses on the ongoing conflict in Northern Uganda. I wrote about the Invisible Children for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s a rare example of an organization that was born out of a media production, and the organization continues to be very media savvy. 2) The organization is very successful at attracting young people. 3) I think the original documentary (called Invisible Children:…

  • Publications

    New Article in Mass Communication and Society

    The article “Credibility in Context: How Uncivil Online Commentary Affects News Credibility” written by Kjerstin Thorson, Emily Vraga, and myself has just been published by Mass Communication and Society. Here’s the abstract: In the new media environment, hard news stories are no longer found solely in the “A” section of the paper or on the front page of a news Web site. They are now distributed widely, appearing in contexts as disparate as a partisan blog or your own e-mail inbox, forwarded by a friend. In this study, we investigate how the credibility of a news story is affected by the context in which it appears. Results of an experiment…

  • Academic,  Publications

    New article in Information, Communication & Society

    Information, Communication & Society just published an article I co-authored with Kjerstin Thorson, Porismita Borah, Kang Namkoong, and Chirag Shah, titled “Youtube and Proposition 8: A case study in video activism.” Here’s the abstract: The present study uses California’s Proposition 8 campaign as a case study for an exploratory investigation of video activism online. We conducted a content analysis of a sample of Proposition 8 videos drawn at random from the results of a keyword search of YouTube. Main findings from the analysis (N = 801) show that a majority of the videos were made up of original content and took a position against Proposition 8. The results also show…

  • Publications

    Article in Africa Today

    An article I co-authored with Jo Ellen Fair, Melissa Tully and Rabiu Asante was just published in Africa Today, an interdisciplinary journal of African Studies. The article, titled “Crafting lifestyles in urban Africa: Young Ghanaians in the world of online friendship” examines young, urban Ghanaians who use the internet to form relationships. Here’s the abstract: The Internet in Africa has generated a lively debate in the popular press and among commentators about what its growth will mean for Africa and its people. Through in-depth interviews and observations, we consider one aspect of Internet practice in Africa: how use of the Internet for making friends and dating allows young, urban Ghanaians to craft lifestyles, incorporating globally…