Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre


The initiative to form this research centre was driven by the conviction that AUT should become a centre of excellence for journalism and media scholarship. This centre will enhance AUT’s public profile and attract internal and external funding for the sustenance of an active research culture.

The JMAD Centre will work cooperatively with other centres and research clusters within the School, Faculty and wider university community. In particular, JMAD seeks collegial and collaborative relationships with the Pacific Media Centre and the Multimodal Research Centre.

The centre is founded on a simple structure.  Martin Hirst and Wayne Hope are the foundation directors; as the centre membership grows and activity increases, sub-groups can be-formed with their own chair and structure.  The research areas will fit into the following research groups; journalism history, journalism issues, public sphere theory and issues and political economy of media.  Centre members can join any or several groups.  Each group, under the auspices of a chairperson will manage its own projects and apply for funding on their own prerogative.  It is envisaged that each group will meet socially on a regular basis.

Broadly, the short to medium term aims of the centre are to, firstly, foster individual research projects, including higher degree study, for members and, secondly, to develop opportunities for collaborative and funded research projects.  Such projects will not be framed within traditional academic disciplines.  There will be no pre-given limits on the theoretical and methodological approaches that might be employed. Research themes or projects around the following topics are encouraged:
  • Media, democracy and the public sphere
  • Political economy of media organisations
  • History of journalism and media in Aotearoa – New Zealand
  • Journalism and human rights
  • Journalism, law and ethnics
  • Journalism in the digital age
  • Global media and communication
  • Centre wide project construction
These kinds of projects will incorporate all four research groups.  For example, qualitative analyses of economic news journalism would necessarily involve journalism history, public sphere critique and the political economy of media ownership.  Similarly research into the particular histories of journalism in Aotearoa – New Zealand would entail a political economy critique of news media organisations and a public sphere evaluation of the journalistic activity in question.  Large scale centre wide projects will raise the profile of this centre within AUT and the wider media community.

Membership is open to any AUT staff member with research interests in the field and to postgraduate research students. Associate membership is open to the wider academic and media industry partners.



Last updated: 14-Feb-2014 5.03pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.