Danielle (Danni) Mulrennan

Lecturer, Communication Studies

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 extn 8007

Email: danni.mulrennan@aut.ac.nz

Links to relevant web pages:

Research Areas:

Technology in journalism, in particular the way video is used in the production of news in broadcast, online and mobile and social media, and how this plays out within an educational context.

Research Summary:

I am a journalism studies academic, with a practice-based background of twenty years in television broadcast news and sports production with New Zealand’s leading networks and production companies. I am particularly interested in news video, and began my postgraduate studies by looking at how a marginalised sector of society interacted with television news, when the video news reception becomes interrupted by a sensory disability, namely deafness. Because of my strong connection with industry, I went on to explore new ways that video news was being represented, and at the time of the emergence of web 2.0 began to look at video among other web-enabled technologies within the news and journalism sector. I became inducted into a community of practice (Enhancing Journalism Education http://ejeteam.wordpress.com) which continues to explore the theory and practice of using mobile social media to enable teaching of journalism. Due to the nature of the internet, our community of practice (COP) was able to hypothesise that a student-determined or heutagogical approach was one of the best ways that contemporary journalism could be taught. This has been tested by myself and colleagues within the journalism curricular area, and has enabled me to inform the development of a number of co-authored papers. Pivotal to this, was the research into the development of a “Mobile Journalism” paper which took a practical approach to the impact and therefore education of the integration of mobile and social media in theory and practice.

Current Research Projects:

I have recently begun my PhD research which goes a step further down this path by looking at the way mobile and social media affects video news, most significantly when user-generated citizen video is sourced by news organisations and remediated as news. The impact of this, is that it further questions the traditional role of journalists as major gatekeepers of the news. This is having an effect on the role of the fourth estate as the mediator of a functioning democracy, and my aim is to consider this within the context of a national general election which is located at the core of a member of the public’s democratic ability to vote and therefore have an influence on society.