School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Books Versus Screens: A Study of Australian Children’s Media Use During the COVID Pandemic
    Nolan, S ; Day, K ; Shin, W ; Wang, WY (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-01-01)
    Abstract As children’s use of screens increased during the COVID pandemic, their reading of traditional books was affected, a national survey of Australian parents shows. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne to compare young people’s use of screens and books in the pandemic. Their online survey of 513 primary caregivers of children aged seven to thirteen around Australia showed that tablet use flourished during the pandemic and that COVID lockdowns influenced book buying and library borrowing in consequential ways for publishing and literature. Many parents believed their children’s use of screens had come at the expense of book reading.
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    The Evolution of Public Sentiments During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Case Comparisons of India, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States
    Lwin, MO ; Sheldenkar, A ; Lu, J ; Schulz, PJ ; Shin, W ; Panchapakesan, C ; Gupta, RK ; Yang, Y (JMIR Publications Inc., 2022)
    Background: Public sentiments are an important indicator of crisis response, with the need to balance exigency without adding to panic or projecting overconfidence. Given the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have enacted various nationwide measures against the disease with social media platforms providing the previously unparalleled communication space for the global populations. Objective: This research aims to examine and provide a macro-level narrative of the evolution of public sentiments on social media at national levels, by comparing Twitter data from India, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States during the current pandemic. Methods: A total of 67,363,091 Twitter posts on COVID-19 from January 28, 2020, to April 28, 2021, were analyzed from the 5 countries with “wuhan,” “corona,” “nCov,” and “covid” as search keywords. Change in sentiments (“very negative,” “negative,” “neutral or mixed,” “positive,” “very positive”) were compared between countries in connection with disease milestones and public health directives. Results: Country-specific assessments show that negative sentiments were predominant across all 5 countries during the initial period of the global pandemic. However, positive sentiments encompassing hope, resilience, and support arose at differing intensities across the 5 countries, particularly in Asian countries. In the next stage of the pandemic, India, Singapore, and South Korea faced escalating waves of COVID-19 cases, resulting in negative sentiments, but positive sentiments appeared simultaneously. In contrast, although negative sentiments in the United Kingdom and the United States increased substantially after the declaration of a national public emergency, strong parallel positive sentiments were slow to surface. Conclusions: Our findings on sentiments across countries facing similar outbreak concerns suggest potential associations between government response actions both in terms of policy and communications, and public sentiment trends. Overall, a more concerted approach to government crisis communication appears to be associated with more stable and less volatile public sentiments over the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Parental mediation of children's digital media use in high digital penetration countries: perspectives from Singapore and Australia
    Shin, W ; Lwin, MO (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-01-19)
    This research examines how parents in two high digital penetration nations in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore and Australia, mediate children’s use of digital media and how parental mediation practices in each country are explained by parents’ media perception, digital literacy, and parental self-efficacy. We conducted surveys with parents residing in Singapore (N = 316) and Australia (N = 315). Results show that Australian parents are more actively engaged in all types of parental mediation as compared to Singaporean parents. In both countries, those who are concerned about risks associated with their children’s digital media use and those who feel confident in their parenting abilities are more likely to actively engage in all types of parental mediation. Findings also show that digitally literate parents are more prone to implement discussion-based mediation than control-based mediation.
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    What our survey found about effective COVID-19 communications in Asian Australian communities
    Shin, W ; Song, J (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-02-12)
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    South Korea and Australia: 60 years of diplomatic history, 110 years of human stories
    Song, J ; Gustafsson, R ; Choi, D ; Shin, W (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-11-05)
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    When Facebook Becomes a Part of the Self: How Do Motives for Using Facebook Influence Privacy Management?
    Kang, H ; Shin, W (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-12-16)
    This study examines how three different motivations for using an SNS (i.e., self-expression, belonging, and memory archiving) influence multi-facets of privacy boundary management on the platform mediated by self-extension to it. In recognition of the fact that information management on SNSs often goes beyond the "disclosure-withdrawal" dichotomy, the study investigates the relationships between the three SNS motives and privacy boundary management strategies (i.e., collective boundary and boundary turbulence management). An online survey with Facebook users (N = 305) finds that the three Facebook motivations are positively correlated to users' self-extension to Facebook. The motivations for using Facebook are positively associated with the management of different layers of privacy boundaries (i.e., basic, sensitive, and highly sensitive), when Facebook self-extension is mediated. In addition, the three motives have indirect associations with potential boundary turbulence management mediated by Facebook self-extension. Extending the classic idea that privacy is deeply rooted in the self, the study demonstrates that perceiving an SNS as part of the self-system constitutes a significant underlying psychological factor that explains the linkage between motives for using SNSs and privacy management.
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    What social media platforms can and should do to build young Asian Australians’ resilience against online racism
    Wang, WY ; Song, J ; Shin, W (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-11-29)
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    Global Sentiments Surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic on Twitter: Analysis of Twitter Trends.
    Lwin, MO ; Lu, J ; Sheldenkar, A ; Schulz, PJ ; Shin, W ; Gupta, R ; Yang, Y (JMIR Publications, 2020-05-22)
    BACKGROUND: With the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration and government-initiated actions against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sentiments surrounding COVID-19 have evolved rapidly. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine worldwide trends of four emotions-fear, anger, sadness, and joy-and the narratives underlying those emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Over 20 million social media twitter posts made during the early phases of the COVID-19 outbreak from January 28 to April 9, 2020, were collected using "wuhan," "corona," "nCov," and "covid" as search keywords. RESULTS: Public emotions shifted strongly from fear to anger over the course of the pandemic, while sadness and joy also surfaced. Findings from word clouds suggest that fears around shortages of COVID-19 tests and medical supplies became increasingly widespread discussion points. Anger shifted from xenophobia at the beginning of the pandemic to discourse around the stay-at-home notices. Sadness was highlighted by the topics of losing friends and family members, while topics related to joy included words of gratitude and good health. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, global COVID-19 sentiments have shown rapid evolutions within just the span of a few weeks. Findings suggest that emotion-driven collective issues around shared public distress experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic are developing and include large-scale social isolation and the loss of human lives. The steady rise of societal concerns indicated by negative emotions needs to be monitored and controlled by complementing regular crisis communication with strategic public health communication that aims to balance public psychological wellbeing.