La Trobe academic appointed Oxford Fellowship

Congratulations to Professor Andrea Carson, who will soon be heading over to the UK to undertake a prestigious research fellowship based at the University of Oxford in the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

In her three-month Visiting Fellowship, taking place from April to June, Professor Carson will be investigating the role of mainstream news and social media in spreading and tackling electoral disinformation and mechanisms to preserve trust in election integrity.

“I’m interested in media trust, political trust, and how electoral authorities such as the Australian Electoral Commission use trustworthy sources to protect from mis- and dis-information,” said Professor Carson.

Professor Carson is particularly interested in comparing and contrasting the Australian and UK experiences and attitudes, as she says there are close synergies in media trust. Part of her research will involve surveying the voting public and measuring their baseline trust in electoral coverage and processes, as well as conducting expert interviews with electoral commission representatives.

“While offering different voting systems, the Australian and UK Electoral Commissions have a close relationship and share and discuss measures to preserve public trust in election processes,” she explained.

The Reuters Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for journalism and communications research. In addition to its other activities, including leadership development programmes and its Journalist Fellowship Programme, it also accepts a small number of Visiting Fellows each year from academia or the news industry.

“Throughout this Fellowship opportunity, I’m excited to broaden my understanding of drivers of political and media trust and a more detailed view of the UK electoral system,” said Professor Carson.

About Professor Andrea Carson

Andrea Carson is a Professor of Political Communication in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University. She is a political scientist and journalism scholar who brings 15 years’ experience in print journalism (The Age, Melbourne) TV and radio (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Andrea examines the news media’s role in politics. She researches media trust, political communication, digital campaigning and elections, digital platform regulation and media business models. Her studies focus on information quality (both high and low) with special interests in investigative journalism (evidence-based information) and mis- and disinformation (low quality information). She does comparative work on the regulatory environments of digital platforms and mitigation measures to tackle mis- and disinformation. She uses experimental methods to study fact-checking. Her work is published in top-tier journalism and communications journals and recent books include Investigative Journalism, Democracy and the Digital Age (2020), Undercover Reporting, Deception, and Betrayal in Journalism (2023, co-edited with Denis Muller). She co-edited Australian Politics in the Twenty-First Century: Old Institutions, New Challenges (2018).

In 2023, Andrea was awarded La Trobe University’s Vice Chancellor’s overall research excellence award. She was also named a finalist in the ’emerging leader’ category of the Financial Review’s 2023 Higher Education awards. She is the recipient of three competitive Australian Research Council grants researching media trust, female political participation, and the media’s role in public policy. She holds several industry grants, including with Meta to study mis and disinformation, and digital journalism. She advises governments, think tanks and other stakeholders on mis- and disinformation. She is also a research fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia Research (WLIA) researching women’s participation in politics.

She was awarded a PhD in Political Science and an MA in International Politics from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She teaches courses on political communication, media and politics, and campaigns and elections.

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