Dr Thomas Owen

Senior Lecturer, Communication Studies

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 extn 8797

Email: thomas.owen@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

Level 12, Room WG1221
Sir Paul Reeves Building (WG)
2 Governor Fitzroy Place
AUT City Campus

Postal Address:
School of Communication Studies
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand


  • PhD, Massey University
  • BA (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre (JMAD), AUT
  • AUT Media Observatory
  • Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship
  • Pedagogy of Consequence Research Partnership


Thomas joined AUT’s School of Communication Studies in February 2014.  Previously, Thomas lectured for Victoria University of Wellington’s Media Studies Programme, and Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing.  Over these three universities, Thomas has taught papers in media theory, intercultural communication, journalism studies, public relations, news analysis, semiotics, media political economy, and global crises reporting.  Prior to his career in academia, Thomas worked in public relations in Wellington, language education in Madrid, and for research projects with the Yukon Territorial Government in Northern Canada.

Thomas actively researches in the areas of critical journalism studies, global crises media, and indigenous self-governance.  He publishes his research in international academic journals, books and book chapters, and as documentary films.  Thomas supervises post-graduate research, specialising in critical media analysis, discourse analysis, global crises, and post-structuralist discourse theory.

Teaching Areas:

  • Media Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Global Crises and the News
  • Research Methodologies

Research Areas:

  • Global journalism
  • Global crises
  • Global governance
  • Political communication
  • Free trade agreements
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Indigenous education
  • First Nations self governance
  • Civil society media relations
  • Discourse theory and analysis
  • Corpus-assisted discourse studies



  • Owen, T. (director, editor, cinematographer) (2017).  Our Stories: Self-Governing Education in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. Dawson City, Yukon, Canada: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government Education Department (available for view at https://www.pedagogyofconsequence.com)


  • Owen, T. (2015).  Patents, Pills, and the Press: The Rise and Fall of the Global HIV/AIDS Crisis in the News.  New York, NY: Peter Lang

Book Chapters:

  • Owen, T. (2016). Neocolonialism, nation-building and global journalism in Aotearoa news.  In Johnson, E., Tiso, G., Illingworth, S. & Bennett, B. (Eds) Don’t Dream It’s Over: Reclaiming Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 105-112). Freerange Press: Christchurch, NZ

Journal Articles:

  • Owen, T. (2018). Twenty one years of HIV/AIDS medicines in the newspaper: patents, protest, and philanthropy. Media, Culture & Society, 40(1): 75-93
  • Baker, S., Owen, T., Rupar, V., Myllylahti, M., Devadas, V., Craig, G. & Berti, C. (2017). Diversity in reporting?  A study of the news coverage of the 2016 New Zealand local body elections. MediaNZ, 17(1): 135-161
  • Owen, T. (2016). Lacan, Laclau, and the impossibility of free trade. MediaNZ, 16(2): 31-50
  • Rupar, V., Owen, T. & Baker, S. (2015). Diversity, inclusivity and the news: Coverage of the 2014 New Zealand General Election. MediaNZ, 15(2): 4-29
  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T. & Doiron, A. (2015). Curriculum change and self-governing agreements: A Yukon First Nation case study. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 17(3):37-55
  • Owen, T. (2014).  The ‘Access to Medicines’ campaign vs. Big Pharma: Counter-hegemonic discourse change and the political economy of HIV/AIDS medicines. Critical Discourse Studies, 11(3), 288-304
  • Lewthwaite, B., Doyle, T. & Owen, T. (2014). “Did something happen to you over the summer?”: Tensions in intentions for chemistry education. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 15, 142-155
  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., Doiron, A, Renaud, R. & McMillan, B. (2014).  Culturally responsive teaching in Yukon First Nation settings: What does it look like and what is its influence? Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 155, 1-34
  • Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., Doiron, A., McMillan, B., & Renaud, R. (2013).  Our stories about teaching and learning: A pedagogy of consequence for Yukon First Nation settings. Interchange, 44(1-2), 105-128
  • Owen, T. (2013). From “pirates” to “heroes”: News, discourse change, and the contested legitimacy of generic HIV/AIDS medicines.  The International Journal of Press/Politics, 18(3), 259-280
  • Phelan, S. & Owen, T. (2010). The paradoxes of media globalization: On the banal world of New Zealand journalism. International Journal of Communication, 4, 27-53

Book Reviews:

  • Owen, T. (2016). Levi Obijiofor, New technologies in developing societies, Communication Research and Practice, 2(1):111-112
  • Owen, T. (2009).  R. Wodak and M. Krzyzanowski, Qualitative discourse analysis in the social sciences. Prism 6(1).

Other Publications:

  • Rupar, V., Owen, T., Baker, S., Nand, P., Scott, J., Hoyle, C., del Pozo Cruz, J., Shaan Lee, J. (2015). News, politics and diversity in the 2014 New Zealand General Election.  Report from the AUT Media Observatory.
  • Owen, T. (2013). Drug wars: The battle for the commons in global pharmaceuticals. Freerange, 7, 23-27
  • Owen, T. (2009). HIV and AIDS medicine: Trade law, diplomatic pressure, and the future supply of generics. Just Change: Critical Thinking on Global Issues, 14(Feb-May 2009), 10-11


  • 2017, Dean’s Research Award for New and Emerging Researcher: Administered by the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT University
  • 2015, Critic and Conscience of Society Research Award: Administered by the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT University
  • 2012-2013, Loxley Award: Administered by Quaker Peace and Service Aotearoa/New Zealand for projects promoting peace, justice and environmental concerns
  • 2008-2010, Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowhip: Administered by the Tokyo Foundation to support three years’ PhD study into research concerning public health and progressive social causes