Dr Mark Balnaves
Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Mark Balnaves joined the School of Arts & Social Sciences as Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries. Dr. Balnaves’ professional background is in print and TV journalism and strategic communication. His academic background is in social science and media. Dr. Balnaves is particularly interested in how contemporary audiences, citizens, viewers, readers, digital personae, are mobilised through social media and also, now, what is called 'big data'. This interest overlaps with his work on the Creative Industries, which is increasingly reliant on digital networks.
As an academic, Dr. Balnaves has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Courses include cultural studies, strategic communication, media research methodology, and media audiences.. He has obtained funding for postgraduate scholarships and has supervised a number of PhDs, Masters and Honours students, as well as examining at all levels.
Dr. Balnaves’s research interests include digital ethnography, the creative industries, the cultural history of media research, and media audiences. He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), the European Consortium of Communication Research (ECCR), and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). He has been the chief or lead investigator on grants totalling more than $3million, the majority from commercial sources plus ARC LIEF, Linkage and Discovery grants. He has published over 80 refereed papers, including book chapters, with leading journals and publishers in the field. He has published a number of books with Penguin, Sage, Bloomsbury Academic and Palgrave MacMillan. These include Mobilising the Audience (2002), Media Theories and Approaches: A Global Perspective (2008), A New Theory of Information and the Internet: Public Sphere Meets Protocol (2011) and Rating the Audience: The Business of Media (2011).
In 2011 he was invited as a ‘World Thinker’ to the annual Festival of Thinkers in the United Arab Emirates to debate and discuss media issues. His current media interviews with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Channel 9 in Australia have covered the dramatic rise of conspiratorial thinking in social media discourse, its extent and its effects.
- PhD (RMIT)
- BA Communication (University of Canberra)
- Graduate Diploma TESOL (University of Canberra)
Dr Balnaves’s work covers media audiences (all kinds), internet hypergiants, media measurement, the creative industries, and digital identity.
The Sovereign Citizen
This project investigates public social media conversations that highlight problems of misinformation and disinformation and the styles of reasoning behind them. This brings in, in particular, how digital identities are created and affected by these styles of reasoning and those that promote them. Sovereign Citizens or “Sov Citz” are famous in the United States for rejecting government authority. Its ideas and its language, however, have spread worldwide, used even when social media users are not, strictly, “Sov Citz”. The project is in collaboration with Associate Professor Daniel Baldino, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia, and uses Facebook’s CrowdTangle resources, among others.
Dr. Balnaves has an ongoing working interest in the role of super aggregators such as Google in shaping markets and audience behaviour. This includes everything from “ramp control” where aggregators slow services of users that represent a potential market threat to internet metrics that are not transparent.
Malaysia has an exciting future ahead in the creative industries. Dr. Balnaves has an extensive record on creative industries research, including a major study on the Hunter region in New South Wales, Australia. He will be undertaking research in Malaysia on the role of digital networks in promoting the creative industries.
Dr. Balnaves is a member of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, climate change advisory group and research node.
Dr.Balnaves has a PhD in social science and media and a professional background in print, TV and strategic communication He has taught in undergraduate and postgraduate courses and supervised Honours, Masters and PhD candidates. His teaching, below, has covered many of the professional media areas at theoretical and practical levels.
Gulf University of Science and Technology
University of Newcastle University
Advanced Public Relations
Writing for the Media
Edith Cowan University
Communication and Culture
Advanced Communication Research Methods
Publication: preparation, research and writing
Issues and Crisis Management
Introduction to Public Relations
Mass Communication II (journalism and public relations)
Media Planning (in conjunction with AIS Elliott Matthews)
Writing for the Media
University of Canberra
Media Research (UG, Honours and PG)
Writing for the Media
Power: its use and abuse
Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) journalism section
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA)
European Consortium of Communication Research (ECCR)
International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
Balnaves M, Wilson M, A new theory of information and the Internet: Public sphere meets protocol, Peter Lang Publishing, Bern, Switzerland, (2011)
Balnaves M, O'Regan T, Goldsmith B, Rating the audience: The business of media, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, United Kingdom, 224 (2011)
Balnaves M, Donald S, Shoesmith B, Media theories and approaches: A global perspective, Palgrave Macmaillan, London, United Kingdom, 339 (2008)
Journal and conference articles
O’Regan T, Balnaves, M Super aggregators and the media supply chain’ Media International Australia 180(1) (2021)
The Journalist as Digital Persona
Balnaves, M, ‘The Journalist as Digital Persona: incorporating the methodology of social media influencers’ in JCE curricula at the Journalism and Communication Education in the Context of Media Convergence, 3rd International Forum for Yuelu Media and Culture Development1st-3rd November in Changsha, China (2019)
Balnaves, M, ‘Super aggregators (hyper giants) and the media supply chain’, International Forum on Media Convergence in the Omnimedia Era, School of Languages and Media of Anhui University of Finance & Economics (2020).
Balnaves, M. ‘Digital economy planning in Kuwait’ 11th CMI International Conference: Prospects and Challenges Towards Developing a Digital Economy within the EU (2018)
Balnaves M, Kerrigan S, King E, McIntyre K, Williams C, 'Creative Industries Entrepreneurship: the Hunter', Refereed proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association conference: Creating Space in the Fifth Estate (2016)
Dean S, Williams C, Balnaves M, 'Living dolls and nurses without empathy', Journal of Advanced Nursing, (2016)
James MB, Balnaves M, Fulton J, 'Situational Theory of the Digital Persona: public relations for non-human internet agents', Refereed Proceedings of The ANZCA Conference 2015: Rethinking Communication, Place and Identity. (2016)
Kerrigan SM, Williams CL, Balnaves M, Hutchinson S, King E, McIntyre K, 'How creative, how industrial: Attitudes to the term creative industries in the Hunter Region', Refereed proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association conference: Creating Space in the Fifth Estate (2016)
Balnaves M, Holmes K, Wang Y, 'Red Bags and WeChat (Weixìn): Online collectivism during massive Chinese cultural events', Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, 9 (2015)
Dean S, Williams C, Balnaves M, 'Practising on plastic people: Can I really care?', Contemporary Nurse, 51 257-271 (2015)
Balnaves M, 'Domestication of Anglo-Saxon Conventions and Practices in Australia', Television Audiences Across the World: Deconstructing the Ratings Machine, Palgrave Macmillan, London 164-178 (2014)
Baldino, D, Balnaves M ‘Sticky ideologies and non-violent heterodox politics’ Routledge Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism (in press)
Balnaves M ‘A Return to the Good Old Days: Populism, Fake News, Yellow Journalism, and the Unparalleled Virtue of Business People’ In: Bowden B, McMurray A (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Management History. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. (2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62348-1_45-1
Balnaves, M, Willson, M, Leaver, T, Online money and fantasy games - an applied ethnographic study into the new entrepreneurial communities and their underlying designs. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage LP110200026 1/01/2011 – 31/12/2013 AU$120,000
Stratton, J, Balnaves, M, Lucy, N, $160,000 A cultural history of West Australian popular music, 1945 to 2010. Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery DP1201026781/01/2012 – 31/12/2017 AU$160,000
Hartz-Karp, J, Balnaves, M, Marinova, D $358,000. Transitions to a sustainable city - Geraldton WA: an applied study into co-creating sustainability through civic deliberation and social media. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage LP100200803. 1/01/2010 – 31/12/2010 AU $358,000
Mcintyre, P, Balnaves, M, Kerrigan, S, Creativity and cultural production in the Hunter: an applied ethnographic study of new entrepreneurial systems in the creative industries. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage LP130100348 AU$180,000
Balnaves, M, O’Regan, T, The emergence, development and transformation of media ratings conventions and methodologies in Australia, 1930-2008. Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery 1/01/2006 – 31/12/2006 AU $265,000
Green, L, Balnaves, M Australian responses to the images and discourses of terrorism and the other: establish a metric of fear. Australian Research Council (ARC) 1/01/2005 – 31/12/2005 AUD $146,000
Areas of Research & Supervision
Digital identities, creative industries, digital and media policy, media audiences
Postgraduate (Other Universities)
Social media interactions and Chinese identities: A comparative ethnographic study of Chinese youth and rural women’s identity constructions
University of Newcastle
2014 - 2018
Communication as aid: giving voice to refugees on the Thai-Burma border
University of Newcastle
2012 - 2016
Awards, Recent Keynotes and Media
Adjunct Research Fellow, University of Notre Dame, Australia
China Research Fellow, Wuhan University
Research Fellow. Centre for Research in Culture and Communication, Murdoch University
Hunan University, 2019, The Journalist as Digital Persona: incorporating the methodology of social media influencers’ in JCE curricula at the Journalism and Communication Education in the Context of Media Convergence, 3rd International Forum for Yuelu Media and Culture Development1st-3rd November in Changsha, China.
Anhui University of Finance and Economics (2020) ‘Super aggregators (hyper giants) and the media supply chain’, International Forum on Media Convergence in the Omnimedia Era, School of Languages and Media.
A Current Affair, Channel 9 Australia, How experts are separating COVID-19 facts from fiction.
6 Sept 2021
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) COVID-19 is accelerating the rise of conspiracy and sovereign citizens
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Don’t just focus on the things you want to hear
17 Nov 2020