Master of Communication Studies student
The media and other forms of communication are in a state of flux, says Ben Moore who is currently completing a Master of Communication Studies.
“Everything everywhere is being ‘disrupted’ by the proliferation of cloud platforms, data collection, and the democratisation of information. The Master of Communication Studies puts me in the position to be able to look at this changing world and understand the benefits, deficits and unintended consequences of it.”
Deciding where to enrol in postgraduate study was easy, says Ben who came to AUT after a successful career as a high school drama teacher.
“In my mind, AUT is almost synonymous with communication studies. It was the logical choice if I want to be where the people who are at the spearpoint of my research are. I’m hoping the knowledge I’m gaining through my studies will inform whatever comes after.”
Encouraging students’ ideas
The discussions between students and tutors are a highlight for Ben.
“It’s nice to return to study after nine years away, and find that my thoughts are valued and that there’s an entire ecosystem of knowledge that can help me express them. The academic staff are knowledgeable of, and engaged with, the topics they discuss. I enjoy being encouraged to pursue my ideas and look to the research that has been done to expand on them.”
Ben says he would recommend postgraduate study in communications to others wanting to understand the forces shaping modern opinion.
“My degree in English literature and drama taught me a lot about understanding certain aspects of society through a critical lens, but my Master of Communication Studies is giving me a perspective that is far closer to the ground on which we all walk every day.”
Investigating white supremacy in the media
Expecting to complete his Master of Communication Studies in 2020, Ben already has a clear idea what research topic he wants to explore through his master’s degree.
“My thesis begins next semester, and I’m planning to look at the coverage of white supremacy in the media post-Christchurch. It’s my view that we have significant cultural issues that are proliferated by the media, unintentionally.”
He hopes to turn the light on the darker spots of western culture, Ben says.
“I hope that by looking at how we are covering white supremacy for a mass audience, and perhaps what we’re not covering, I can start to understand how people within the homogenous western culture can become radicalised and end up committing such atrocities.”