On Friday, November 18 the College of Communications at NCCU hosted a media, technologies, and identity workshop. The conference featured distinguished guests visiting from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. Both students and professors from IMICS were invited to attend along with members from the schools of communications and journalism. This forum was an excellent opportunity for NCCU students to experience how a professional, academic seminar was held.
The workshop started with Professor Shuzo Yamakoshi of Keio University presenting his paper titled “Journalism and Identity Politics in Post- Fukushima Japan.” He proclaimed that the discrepancies over nuclear energy policies caused a shift in identity politics. Since 2011, major shifts in media have caused alternative methods of journalism to emerge. Professor Yamakoshi analyzed the dynamics of identity politics, and he demonstrated Japan’s struggle over defining meanings as new media emerged.
The second lecture came from NCCU’S Professor Chiung-Wen Hsu on her paper, “Are We at Risk? The Comparative Study of Disaster Apps and The Reasons of Users’ Adaption and Dropout between Taipei and Japan.” In this presentation, she examined the user experience, user interfaces, understandability, accessibility, and usability of popular disaster management web services and mobile applications. Professor Hsu gave an in-depth depiction of her research methods, and went into extensive detail on the responses given during in-depth interviews with the users of these services. It was fascinating to see the different responses between Japan and Taiwan’s users. By considering and adopting her research, Taiwan can hopefully adapt more successful disaster applications.
Professor Pai-Lin Chen from NCCU wrapped up the first half of presentations with his speech on the paper titled, “Tweetering the Airplane Crash: A Case Study on TransAsia Airways Flight GE232.” During his presentation, Professor Chen effectively exhibited how social media has become essential in disseminating information in acute events such as natural disasters. He used the case study of the airplane crash of TransAsia Airways Flight GE232 to analyze the responses on Twitter that were circulating around this event. Professor Chen’s presentation was quite helpful and informative to any students hoping to use a mixed method approach when examining social media phenomena.
A brief question and answering session followed after the first three presentations. This gave students and other professors a chance to comment and inquire about the topics being discussed. This was especially valuable for the students, because they were able to observe the dialogue between these astute professionals.
After the break, Professor Yamamoto from Keio University gave a lecture on his paper titled, “Die Hard: The Case of an Indonesian Radical.” This was a captivating speech about Indonesia’s media coverage of the hunt and capture of their most wanted and illusive terrorist suspect, Santoso. Professor Yamamoto demonstrated how the media inadvertently created the mythical status of Santosos and the MIT. There were many instances in which the Indonesian media prematurely reported the death of this fugitive. In turn, this caused skepticism of the media in the public’s eye. Due to this mistrust in the media, a DNA test was necessary to finally confirm the death of Santoso after a major operation on July 18, 2016. Professor Yamamoto’s in depth analysis of this recent news story demonstrated that traditional media needs to uphold their responsibility in accurate reporting.
Professor Hsui-Hui Sun and Professor I-Fen Chen of NCCU gave the fifth speech of the workshop on their paper titled, “War As a Sign in The Advertisements During Japanese Occupation of Taiwan: Taking Taiwan Jih Jih Hsin Pao 1937-1944 As An Example.” In their presentation, the professors showed how advertisement was used as a tool for propaganda in addition to a method for selling popular items. Professor Sun and Professor Chen gave a thorough depiction of how product advertisements in Taiwan Jih Jih Hsin Pao (Taiwan Daily News) fabricated images of war from 1937-1944.
Professor Kwangho Lee of Keio University gave the sixth presentation of the forum. His paper titled, “Multilingual Experiences, Media Consumption, and Diasporic Identity among Korean-Chinese in Japan,” discussed the relationship between language, identity, and media consumption in Korean-Chinese people living in Japan. He portrayed how the reception of South Korean broadcasting lead to significant changes in language in the Korean-Chinese community living in Japan. Professor Kwangho Lee conducted extensive interviews and analyzed posts written on ethnic portal sites by Korean-Chinese students to discover how their language had been affected. By demonstrating his research methods and results, students of NCCU were able to witness a profound explanation on how to conduct research on identity relates issues.
NCCU’s Professor Chang-De Liu gave the final presentation on the paper titled, “Re-Inventing a National Tradition: Kano, ‘Japanophile,’ and The Hegemonic Struggle of National Identities in Taiwan.” Professor Liu was the coauthor of this paper along with Professor Shih-Che Tang of National Chung Cheng University. This article was written in response to the Taiwanese film, Kano, which portrays the story a mixed-race high school baseball team from the colonial era in Taiwan. Some critics accuse the filmmakers of whitewashing the brutal nature of Japanese occupation. On the other hand, pro-independence advocates justify the tale as a third way to envision Taiwan’s national identity “out of the deadlock contradiction between Chinese nationalism and Japanese colonialism.” Professor Liu gave a comprehensive analysis of these opposing perspectives.
This workshop was an incredible opportunity for academics to come together and discuss significant topics revolving around new technologies, modern media, and the resolutions to identity crises. Students in the IMICS department were able to gain a first hand perspective on how an academic forum is conducted. We were able to see how these distinguished professors conducted their research, presented their papers in a timely fashion, and how they developed their questions and hypotheses.
I had the opportunity to interview a few of the IMICS first year students to see what they though about attending this special event. Winiber Gonzalez, from Panama, stated:
“As students from the department of communication we should be well informed about recent studies and investigations related to journalism, media technologies, among others. This workshop, its agenda and presenters definitely caught my attention”
Helena Oviedo, from Honduras, gave further insights in her comment:
“I think it is helpful seeing actual instructors and current researchers in regards to our own future endeavors. They are an example of who we could become. Also observing their presentation style and their research methods will be very helpful now and in the future.”
This workshop was a memorable experience for everyone in attendance. On behalf of the students and faculty of NCCU, we would like to give a special thanks to our distinguished guests from Keio University. It was an honor to be able to engage in dialogue together.