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Department news


Department Lecturer Develops an iPhone App

Shelley Bartlette, senior lecturer in Digital Design, has researched, designed and built an iPhone app for parents with young children to raise awareness of Tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise.

Shelley started researching noise-induced hearing loss after developing tinnitus in October 2011. She was shocked to discover that loud noise could have such a permanent impact on hearing, and that tinnitus caused by loud noise was considered almost entirely preventable.

Shelley said "it is hoped my app will go someway to helping parents understand how to prevent their child developing tinnitus in the future". The app provides useful information and a fun and interactive sound meter that engages both parent and child in measuring and understanding noise levels. The app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store|. Read More about the project »|

Dr Chris Pallant to serve as Treasurer

Dr Chris Pallant has been invited to join the British Fulbright Scholars Association to serve as Treasurer for the next year.

Graduate shortlisted for Turner Contemporary Platform

Hannah Allison-Finucane (BA Fine and Applied Art Graduate, 2013) was one of the two candidates from Kent shortlisted for the Turner Contemporary Platform Graduate Award, which is contested by fine art graduates from universities across the South East. Unfortunately she didn’t win.

Department Lecturer on Jeremy Vine show


Kate McLean, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design who is also a Smell Map Designer, was interviewed briefly on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC2 on January 23, 2013 about the smell that drifted all the way to the south-east of the UK from France. The smell originated from a mercaptan factory in Rouen (mercaptan is the smell added to odourless Natural Gas so that we are aware of it’s presence). The smell caused quite a sensation.

University research reveals more than a ¼ of journalists “can’t work without social media”

More than a quarter of UK journalists are unable to work without social media despite an increasing number of concerns about productivity, privacy and the future of journalism, according to the 2012 social journalist study results...  read more about the research » |

Department of Media, Art and Design’s partnership with Animate and Create wins Canterbury Cultural Award


Dan Richards, former FRTV student and creative director of Animate & Create .  See our past student stories | for more detail.

At a special award ceremony held in Augustine House on Friday June 22, Whitstable based animation house Animate and Create, which organises the city's annual animation festival Anifest , won the commercial collaboration award along with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Creative director Dan Richards said: "We were so thrilled to win the award on the same night as Peter Firmin won his." Dan added: "Working with Canterbury Christ Church University has been amazing."

Dan is a former student of the Film, Radio and Television Studies programme and his company employs a number of recent animation graduates. The Department also provide specialist animation spaces for Animate and Create for a series of summer workshops involving children from local primary and secondary schools.

Partnership produces Culture Award nomination

A partnership between Canterbury Christ Church University and Whitstable animation studio, Animate & Create, has received a nomination for one of this year's prestigious Culture Awards.

The partnership has been nominated for the Commercial Collaboration Award, for ‘showing a mutually beneficial and productive partnership’ between organisations. read more » |

Lecturer Agnes Gulyas is published by Media Guardian

One of the departments Media Lecturers Agnes Gulyas has had her chapter on 'local newspaper industry' covered on the Media Guardian blog | .

This article examines the current challenges in the local newspaper sector and explores what strategies companies have developed to adapt to the new market environment.  The article argues that the crisis of local newspapers is a revenue problem and not a readership problem and that the biggest challenge for local newspaper firms has been to find a new business model. 

Companies have introduced a number of different adaptation strategies. Many local news firms have streamlined their operations, moved towards to become more flexible organisations, diversified their portfolios putting more emphasis on online content and are attempting to diversify their financial models including third revenue streams. However, although the traditional business model has been modified, a new business model remains elusive and with that the economic future of local newspaper organisations remains uncertain.

Book details: ' Changing Business Models and Adaptation Strategies of Local Newspapers | ' in John Mair, Neil Fowler, Ian Reeves (eds by) What Do We Mean By Local?, 2012, Arima Publishing,  ISBN: 9781845495404 |

Research into how communities in Kent communicate revealed

The findings of a new research project to explore how people in Kent communicate in their local communities has been released.

‘Neighbours Online’ a project led by Dr Agnes Gulyas from the Department of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University focussed on how new technologies, such as social media are affecting and shaping local communication.

Results show a growing gap between how different generations communicate within their communities.

Findings from the study revealed that almost 70 per cent (68%) of older people (70+) talked to people in their local community daily, compared to fewer than 40 per cent (39%) of 18-29 year olds. The evidence pointing to the emergence and greater use of new communication tools, such as social media channels as one of the reasons for the disparity.

The results also show how communities get their information, with over fifty per cent (50.3%) of people talking face-to-face. The survey revealed the local newspaper as the most popular way for people to get their information with over sixty five per cent of people finding out local information that way (65.8%). Community newsletters also fared well with 37.2 per cent.

Surprisingly, social networking recorded only 12% as a way for people to get community information, despite over 40% (42.9%) of 18-29 year olds using social media in the last 12 months to communicate about community issues. The opposite can be said for the older generation with 36.1% contributing to a community newsletter and only 2.8% using social media.

Dr Agnes Gulyas, said: “It’s really encouraging to see people still have a positive view of their local communities in Kent, especially the older generation and those living in more rural locations. What’s important is to ensure that this community outlook does not disappear with technological developments and new tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, hold communities together, rather than widen a gap between generations or urban and rural areas.

“The ways people communicate in their local communities are changing. In our survey 48.9% of respondents reported that they use online tools more compared to three years ago. But our results also show that there is a digital divide in local communication according to particular socio-demographic features, especially age and where people live. It is important that this aspect is taken into account and reflected upon in local communities and by local organisations and politicians in their communication strategies. If not, there is a danger that sections of their communities are left behind and excluded from the buzz of community life." 

The survey also revealed that how people communicate locally is influenced by whether they have children or not. People with children tended to use more traditional forms of media to communicate about local issues, alongside face-to-face communication to get information about local community issues and events. Over 30% (30.3%) of people with children contributed to a community newsletter in the last year, whereas only 15.7% of people without children did. The latter, however, are more likely to use social media tools.

Interestingly, the location of a community also had a significant impact on the communication’s activity and tools that people used. People living in rural areas were almost over four times more likely (38.8% vs 9.4%) to write a piece in a local community newsletter, compared to their urban counterparts. Whilst people in urban areas would also choose to communicate via social media about community issues, compared to people living in rural areas (40% vs 14.1%).

Similarly, the perceptions of a community feel where people did things together was reflected more positively by people living in rural areas (46.3% thought people helped each other) compared to those living in urban areas (4.7%).

The research findings are the first part of a wider research project, funded by a Knowledge Exchange HEIF grant, and is calling for local groups to participate in the next phase of the study. Groups will be provided with a social media toolkit to help them enhance their communication and improve the cohesion of their local communities.  

Any local community groups or organisations who are interested in developing their social media presence should contact Dr Gulyas via | .


Notes to Editor

About the study

A questionnaire survey and focus groups were carried out in May-August 2011 in different parts of Kent. The questionnaire was conducted via face-to-face on high streets and farmers markets using random stratified sampling in seven locations in Kent: Canterbury, Elham, Maidstone, Chartham, Ramsgate, Cliftonville and Horsmonden. A total of 325 people completed the survey.

A copy of the summary document from the report is available on request.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


Leverhume Visiting fellow 2011/2012: Dr Ferenc Hammer


Ferenc Hammer, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest. He teaches and conducts research in the fields of media representations of inequalities and conflict, on cultural history areas such as consumption and outfit in communism, or on content use modalities in the digital environment. He teaches at the  Doctoral Programme in Film, Media and Contemporary Culture | , a new centre of research in contemporary culture at ELTE University.

At Canterbury Christ Church University’s  Department of Media, Art and Design |  under the Visiting Fellowship scheme of The Leverhulme Trust, he conducts research on public service content provision in the digital context. In 2006 he was a research fellow at Birkbeck College in the Cultures of Consumption Programme, funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK.

In 2002/3 he was a fellow at the International Policy Fellowship of the Center for Policy Studies and the Open Society Institute in Budapest conducting research on policy implications of media portrayals of social inequalities. Some of his recent publications include:

UK journalists use social media despite fears of impact on quality

The biggest social media survey of journalists in the UK has confirmed that members of the press regularly use social media sites to source articles, despite significant numbers expressing concern about the implications for the quality of their work.

According to a major new survey by Canterbury Christ Church University | and Cision, the leading provider of PR software | and services, 90% of journalists regularly use social media, but most of those surveyed were worried about its accuracy and reliability, with more than half of respondents agreeing that social media encourages softer, more opinion-oriented news.

Dr Agnes Gulyas, Principal Lecturer, Department of Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “The survey suggests that social media is having a dramatic impact on the industry where journalists now have access to a range of sources to help them research, verify, monitor and most of all publish their work. What is interesting is that social media sites are being used to supplement existing contacts and PR professionals, but is not supplanting them. It's likely that whilst concerns over accuracy and reliability remain, social media will be part of the journalists’ tool kit rather than their only tool.” read more » |