Niki Cheong

I am currently Lecturer in Media and Communication at Coventry University. My research interest sits at the intersection of media, politics and digital culture/internet studies. I completed my PhD at the University of Nottingham, which investigates cybertroopers and the online manipulation of political information in Malaysia.

Previously, I spent about a decade in journalism, including six years at Malaysia's largest English daily, The Star. As editor of its digital platform R.AGE, I spearheaded digital innovations in journalism and led the team to winning international awards.

My column The Bangsar Boy, featuring socio-cultural commentary about Malaysia, ran for almost 11 years, and in 2017, was published as a book by MPH Publishing titled Growing Up In KL: 10 Years of The Bangsar Boy.

What I'm up to

Journal Article

My latest co-authored journal article - and 11-country comparative media study of the newspaper coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games - has been published in Disability and Society. Click here to read the article.

Research

Currently, I am a co-investigator on a research project with the University of Huddersfield investigating Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party supporters with regards to the 2019 UK General Election. This article written by Professor Cornel Sandvoss, the lead investigator, offers a preliminary take on our research.

Journal Article

My journal article has been published (open access) in Social Media + Society. (Co-authored with Amelia Johns, May 2019) Feeling the Chill: Bersih 2.0, State Censorship, and “Networked Affect” on Malaysian Social Media 2012–2018. Click here to read the article.

Research

In 2019, colleagues and I started work on the project Decoding the Weaponisation of Popular Culture on Whatsapp in Singapore and Malaysia project, funded by the Facebook Integrity Foundational Research Award.

PhD

I completed my PhD studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2019. My thesis is titled Cybertroopers and the online manipulation of political communication: The Barisan Nasional years . View my university profile here .

Book

In 2017, to commemorate a decade of my column The Bangsar Boy, a book titled Growing Up in KL: 10 years of The Bangsar Boy was published by MPH Publishing. The book features a collection of my past articles, a couple of original pieces as well as commentary from a host of friends and colleagues responding to my work.

Research

Portfolio

Publications

2020
Peer-reviewed

Book Chapter

Cheong, N. (Forthcoming in 2020). "Malaysia: Disinformation as a response to the ‘opposition playground’". in Sinpeng, A. and Tapsell, R. (Eds), From Grassroots Activism to Disinformation: Social Media in Southeast Asia, ISEAS Publishing: Singapore

Peer-reviewed

Journal Article

Cheong, JPG., Khoo, S., Inoue, C., Surujlal, J., Cheong, N., Esfahani, M., Lin, P., Brooke, M., Li, Y., Chun, H., Alshahrany, A., Al-Shamli, A., and Razman, R. (2020). "An 11-country analysis of newspaper coverage of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games”. Disability and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2020.1756746

2019
Peer-reviewed

Journal Article

Johns, A., & Cheong, N. (2019). "Feeling the Chill: Bersih 2.0, State Censorship, and 'Networked Affect' on Malaysian Social Media 2012–2018". Social Media + Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118821801

2017
Professional

Book

Cheong, N. (2017). Growing Up In KL: 10 Years of The Bangsar Boy. Petaling Jaya, Selangor: MPH Group Publishing.

2016
Professional

Book Chapter

Cheong, N. (2016). “Propagate the idea of mutual respect”. In Soo, EJ. (Ed), Moderation (pp 22-27). Petaling Jaya, Selangor: Star Media Group.  

Research Projects

2019/2020

Experiences of Jeremy Corbyn Supporters in the 2019 General Election Campaign

Named researcher on a project based at the University of Huddersfield (PI: Professor Cornel Sandvoss)

2019

Decoding the Weaponisation of Popular Culture on WhatsApp in Singapore and Malaysia

Working alongside Dr. Crystal Abidin (Curtin University), Dr. Amelia Johns (University of Technology Sydney), Dr. Natalie Pang (National University of Singapore) and Associate Professor Joanne BY Lim (University of Nottingham Malaysia. Successfully awarded the the Facebook Integrity Foundational Research Award (US$50,000).

2016/2017

An 11-country analysis of newspaper coverage of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games

Led by Associate Professor Selina Khoo and Dr. Jadeera Cheong (University of Malaya), involving researchers in 11 countries. A journal article has been produced from this research and currently being reviewed.

2016

‘Digital citizenship’ policies and the digital networking practices of diaspora youth in Australia and Malaysia

Research Assistant for Dr. Amelia Johns (University of Technology Sydney. I was also involved in her follow-up fieldwork for the project titled: The Digital Citizenship Practices of Malaysian-Chinese Youth in the lead up to the 2018 General Election.

Affiliations

Association of Internet Researcher

2019 - present (member)

Digital Culture Research Network

2016-2019 (Founder)

The DCRN is an interdisciplinary network, affiliated to the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Nottingham. As founder, I initiated the DCRN Forum Series in 2017, bringing early-career researchers from across the UK, Europe and Australia to present their work. In 2018 and 2019, I had a leading role in organising the international conferences: Digital Culture 2018 and Digital Culture: Access respectively.

Talks

Guest Lectures | Conferences

Invited Talks/Guest Lectures

2019
University of Nottingham Malaysia

Demystifying cybertroopers

Guest lecture

2018
IACT College

Media Convergence in Journalism

Guest lecture

2017
University of Tampere, Finland

Weeding the grass: Social media astroturfing in Malaysia

Invited Speaker - Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication (COMET) Lecture Series

2015
RightsCon Manila

Lightning Talk - Cybertrooping

Rightscon Summit Manila, The Philippines

British High Commission in Malaysia

The Great Debate: Everything in Moderation

Panelist at the event co-organised by the Global Movement of Moderates

2013 & 2014
Monash University Malaysia

Issues in International Communication

Guest lecture

2012
Walter Conkrite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Social Media and Journalism

Guest talk for participants of the Conkrite Global study abroad session (in London) organised by Arizona State University’s Walter Conkrite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Conference Presentations

October 2019
Queensland University of Technology

Decoding the Weaponisation of Popular Culture on WhatsApp in Singapore and Malaysia

Association of Internet Researchers conference 2019 - #AoIR2019

June 2019
Facebook

Decoding the Weaponisation of Popular Culture on WhatsApp in Singapore and Malaysia

Facebook Integrity Research Academic Workshop

Nov 2018
University of Nottingham

Clouded by euphoria: Freedom to express following the 14th Malaysian General Election

Political Science Association’s Media and Politics Group Annual General Conference 2018

Oct 2018
Lugano, Switzerland

Of troops and turf: What can Malaysian cybertroopers tell us about political astroturfing disrupting democracy

ECREA 2018 – 7th European Communication Conference (Peer-reviewed conference)

Sep 2018
University of Oxford

Of Troops and (Astro)Turf: The Malaysian Case

The Internet, Policy & Politics Conference 2018

October 2017
University of Turku

From a ‘tsunami’ of hope to the flattening of hopelessness: Mapping networked affect in Malaysia’s Bersih 2.0 movement

Affective Politics of Social Media Symposium; Co-presented with Dr Amelia Johns (Australia)

May 2017
University of Amsterdam

Faking It: Astroturfing, Twitter and Political Communication

Public Lives/Private Platform: The Politics of Twitter conference

Dec 2016
London School of Economics

Beware the AstroTurf: Why we can’t trust social media in times of crisis

Political Science Association’s Media and Politics Group Annual General Conference (Honourable Mention)

Dec 2015
Monash University Malaysia

Power of Social Ties: Twitter, Trust and Troopers

Internet in Southeast Asia Symposium

Teaching

Tertiary Institutions
2020

Digital Communication and Media

2nd Year - BA International Media and Communication Studies

2019 - present
University of Nottingham, UK

Questioning Culture

1st Year - BA International Media and Communication Studies/BA Film and Television

2019

Issues and Challenges in Contemporary Media

MA-level module

Lecture on Discursive Power and Contestation

Communication and Technology

1st Year - BA International Media and Communication Studies

Lecture on Social Media: Resistance and Activism

2018 - present

Researching Culture, Film and Media

2nd Year - BA International Media and Communication Studies

I developed and run two workshops on research methods preparing undergraduates for their final year dissertation: 1) Newspaper research and 2) Temporal issues in internet research

2017 & 2018

Political Communication, Propaganda and Public Relations

2nd year - BA International Media and Communication Studies

2015 - Present
University of Nottingham Malaysia

Politics, Culture and Media in Southeast Asia

Module Convenor (International Summer School module)

2015

Communication, Politics and Media

Foundation in Arts and Education module

2015
Monash University Malaysia

Media, Power and Politics in Southeast Asia

2nd Year – Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (including module development)

2013 - 2015
KDU University College, Malaysia

Citizen Journalism & Participatory Culture

2nd Year – Bachelor of Communications

Creative Industries

3rd year - Bachelor of Communication (including module development)

Introduction to Creative Media

1st Year – Bachelor of Communications (including module development)

Newswriting for Electronic Media

1st Year – Dip. Communications and Media Studies

Writing and Reporting for Print Media

1st Year - Diploma in Communication and Media

2008 - 2011
Sunway University College, Malaysia

Career Management – Marketing and Media

2nd Year – Diploma in Performing Arts

2002
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia

Media, Society and Culture

1st Year – BA Mass Communication

Introduction to Marketing

1st Year – Diploma in Multimedia, Advertising and Broadcasting

Contact

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