64 – Does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism?

With the power of digitalization, criticisms toward journalism now often are aired in digital spaces, such as social networks and blogs. But does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism, and how do journalists handle this? These are questions asked by David Cheruiyot in his doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies. Through in-depth interviews with journalists, media critics, and media accountability agents, David’s research gives us an understanding of how journalistic practice in Kenya and South Africa is affected by new forms for mainstream media criticism. Prior to the digital era, journalists could deal with criticism in controlled spaces, such as letters to editors. Today, they may need to grapple with open hashtag campaigns built up by many different stakeholders of journalism. As David explains in our interview, this has profound effects on journalists and journalistic practice.

63 – Modelling the life span of the sewage system mathematically?

When old sewage pipes break, they can undermine the soil. In the worst case, this can lead to the formation of sink holes that devour buildings, vehicles and other things.

In our podcast we talk to Arthur J. Vromans who does research that can potentially predict the degradation of sewage pipes and thus prevent the formation of sink holes. For this he has developed a mathematical model that can assess the life span of existing sewage pipes and estimate the degradation rate in the sewer system over a long time period.  His work offers a way to estimate error margins, predict degradation processes and hopefully avoid series of unfortunate events related to broken sewage pipes.

40 -Twitter and language transformation

Speech and writing are traditionally regarded as contrasting pairs with specific forms, structures, and normative values attached to them. In the time of social media, these differences are increasingly challenged. We tweet more like we talk or at least, that is how it feels. To find out whether our intuition is right we meet  Peter Wikström who has studied Twitter language in his PhD thesis “I tweet like I talk: Aspects of speech and writing on Twitter”. He has investigated features such as hashtags and emojis to see what it might mean to tweet in a “talk-like” manner. Listen to learn more about shifting norms, questions of identity and authenticity, and a communication hybrid that evolved together with the advent of social media.

38 – Evolution of markets from a service ecosystems perspective

How do markets evolve? And how can this evolutionary process be understood from a service ecosystems perspective? These are the main questions guiding Kaisa Koskela Huotari’s doctoral research in Business Administration. In our conversation Kaisa explains that markets are made up of rules and norms guiding people when exchanging innovative knowledge and skills. Markets can be disrupted, as new ideas can work as ‘game-changers’. Likewise new ideas – innovations – can after a while themselves become mainstream and turned into well-established norms. Based on her research Kaisa presents a four-phase model on market evolution, helping us understand this process of market continuity and change.

37 -What are phthalates and why can they be troublesome for us?

Hard to pronounce, invisible to the human eye and regarded as a miracle compound for centuries: phthalates. They are in a huge variety of things such as toys, cars and make up and it is likely that you bump into them on a daily basis. In this podcast, we talk to Ph.D. Huan Shu about the downsides of phthalates. In her research, she has focused on phthalates in PVC flooring and their effects on human and especially children’s health. Listen to this podcast to learn more about what phthalates are, how they might trouble yours and your children’s respiratory system, and what could be done to prevent it.  You can also read more about Huan Shu’s research in her thesis “Phthalates, on the issue of sources for human uptake, time trends and health effects“.

31 – Environmentalism in fiction writing

The topic of this episode is environmental apocalypses in fiction writing. We discuss this with Marinette Grimbeek, who in her doctoral thesis investigates the environmentalism of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy. In fact, her research leads her out of the novels, as she finds that the MaddAddam Trilogy forms part of Atwood’s real-world environmental activism. In our conversation, Marinette describes how Atwood plays with the boundaries between fact and fiction, commercialism and activism, to promote an ecological understanding of the world. To read Marinette Grimbeek’s doctoral thesis follow this link: Margaret Atwood’s Environmentalism : Apocalypse and Satire in the MaddAddam Trilogy


26 – The crossroads of mediatization, activism and surveillance

We rely more and more on networked media technologies and online communication channels but are we aware that the digital traces we leave behind turn into data pieces about us – that others can use?

Ilkin Mehrabov has focused on this this type of surveillance in his thesis “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”. In this podcast he tells us about his interest to learn more about the intersection of the processes of increased global surveillance with the practices of transnational activism – and the role of the mediatization metaprocess within both.

Follow us on our journey in which Ilkin explains how he tried to entangle the complex relationships built by public state agencies with a number of local and global private information, entertainment and telecommunications companies in different countries.

We will also learn more about how various social movements and individual activists in Azerbaijan and Turkey are affected by this merger of public political and private economic surveillance practices.