Travel Scholarship Recipient – Cheong

by | Sep 14, 2016 | Awards, Conferences

Each year, through the generous donations of AoIR conference attendees, we are able to fund several travel scholarships for junior scholars to attend the conference. We want to recognize our scholarship recipients and share with you a little bit about them and their interests.

Cheong-headshotNiki Cheong

Who are you?

I’m Niki Cheong (@nikicheong on Twitter), a PhD researcher at The University of Nottingham, UK.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but currently based in Nottingham, UK.

What is your current area of study?

I am currently researching for a PhD in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.

Describe the research you will present at AoIR 2016.

At #AoIR2016, I will be participating in the Doctoral Colloquium. I am hoping to learn from the senior researchers and fellow participants, as well as to get some feedback on my current research.

Presently, I am about to begin the second year of my PhD programme, looking at social media communication in Malaysia’s political sphere. Specifically, I am looking at the possible practices of astroturfing involving political parties in Malaysia. I am working with data which includes emails and tweets, in an attempt to understand better how the Government and political parties in Malaysia use social media to propagate their messages and defend themselves from criticism.

Have you presented at AoIR in the past? If yes, what has been your experience? If #AoIR2016 Berlin is your first AoIR conference, what made you choose this conference?

#AoIR2016 will be my first AoIR conference. I am excited to have been offered a spot at the Doctoral Colloquium and am looking forward to enriching my knowledge from the many panels and talks at the main conference, but also to hopefully meet the many researchers who are working in the same field as I am.

I have been following AoIR since I was reading for my BA Internet Studies at Curtin University in Australia in 2000, under the supervision of former AoIR president Professor Matthew Allen. As an undergraduate student back then, I was not able to attend any of the early conferences.

Returning to academia after a decade-career in journalism has now given me the opportunity to attend and participate in AoIR after all these years. It’s been a long time coming and I’m grateful for the Travel Scholarship that has made this trip possible!