Dani Madrid-Morales
Assistant Professor, University of Houston

Media and communication scholar with a background in broadcast journalism and East Asian studies currently working in academia. I am an Assistant Professor of Journalism the the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. Previously, I spent four and half years at City University of Hong Kong as a Ph.D Fellow. Before entering academia, I worked for over ten years as a scriptwriter and editor at Televisió de Catalunya, and I taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).

I study global political communication with an emphasis on State-sponsored news, misinformation and foreign public opinion. My work often crosses over disciplines including media and area studies, international politics, digital humanities and computational social sciences. Geographically, I focus communication processes in East Asia, where I lived for several years, and Sub-Saharan Africa, which is at the centre of my current research program. I am a firm believer in mixed methods research: from in-depth interviews to online experiments, and from computational text analysis to newsroom ethnography.


Most recent updates:

× 19 October, 2021: I was invited to present my research on the influence of Chinese global media in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa at the "China's 'Soft' Cooperation with Africa" virtual conference jointly organized by the University of Notre Dame and Shanghai International Studies University. The slides from my talk are available here.
× 3 October, 2021: Disinformation in the Global South, the book I co-edited with Herman Wasserman for Wiley, can now be pre-ordered online. It features thirteen chapters, with cases representing multiple areas in the Global South. It also includes a chapter by me where I reflect on some of the methodological challenges of researching disinformation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
× 24 September, 2021: Digital Journalism just published online the latest outcome from the research project "A Cross-national Study on Misinformation Sharing Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa" that I lead. The paper, titled "Who is Responsible for Stopping the Spread of Misinformation? Examining Audience Perceptions of Responsibilities and Responses in Six Sub-Saharan African Countries", can be downloaded from here.
× 28 July, 2021: Last year, I received funding from Villanova University and the University of Houston for a project that looks for strategies to counter misinformation on WhatsApp in Kenya and Senegal. In this project, that is co-led with Melissa Tully at the University of Iowa, we have conducted 100 in-depth interviews, and fielded a two-week experiment on WhatsApp. More details about the project are available here and here.
× 21 July, 2021: I finished teaching a new edition of the courses Quantitative Text Analysis I and Quantitative Text Analysis II at the 10th IPSA-NUS Methods School. I have some sample teaching materials from this course here and here. For details on next year's edition of the course can be found on the Methods School's website.
× 15 July, 2021: In early 2020, I took a group of students to Kenya to film a documentary about the changes brough about by digital media in Kenya. This week, we "premiered" the film, which was co-produced by my colleague Sahar Hamzah, at the 2021 IAMCR conference in Nairobi. A slightly longer cut (40 minutes) of the film can be found here.
× 14 July, 2021: Earlier this month, we published a summary of the findings of our project "Trust in Institutions, COVID-19 Related Information Seeking and Vaccination Messaging in South Africa" in an article in The Conversation. The story has now been translated to Afrikaans by Netweerk24, and my co-author, Herman Wasserman, discussed our findings in an interview with South Africa's leading private news network, eNCA.
× 16 June, 2021: For the past few weeks, I've been working with Herman Wasserman, at the University of Cape Town, on a working paper that looks at the relationship between trust in institutional messangers, COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and messaging strategies. A summary of our findings can be found here.
× May 27 2021: The 2021 International Communication Association Annual Conference starts today. I have three presentations at the conference this year. I recorded videos for two of them and published them on my YouTube channel. Both of them look at China's narrative on COVID-19 in Africa, one on televion and and another one in print.
× May 25 2021: A short piece based on my recent paper in International Journal of Communication on users' motivations for sharing disinformation was published in The Conversation.
× 20 May 2021: At the University of Cape Town Summer School, I presented the findings from my study with Herman Wasserman on what motivates people to share misinformation about China and COVID-19. Here are the slides from my presentation, there's a recording of the whole session featuring other papers about the media and COVID-19.
× 18 May 2021: I will be presenting three research projects at the 2021 International Communication Association Annual Conference, which will be (again) online. I have uploaded the slides for my talks on methods for comparative research on audiences and disinformation, China's global TV narrative on COVID-19 and a computational study of China's influence on African narratives of COVID-19.
× 13 May 2021: I was invited to introduce the African Digital News (adn) corpus to faculty and students at Rhodes University in South Africa. The slides from my presentation, titled "Old Questions, Big Data: Using the African Digital News (adn) Corpus to Study News Flows", are available here.
× 13 May 2021: My study on the influence of Chinese media --particularly Xinhua-- on the news content of African media during the COVID-19 pandemic just came out in Global Media and China. The full text (Open Access) is available from the publisher's website. The replication code and data for this study is on GitHub.
× 26 April 2021: Kioko Ireri and I co-edited a Special Issue of the Journal of African and Media Studies featuring six papers on the disruptions and transformations of digital media in Africa. A pre-print version of the Introduction we co-wrote is available here.
× 19 April 2021: I was invited to present some details about the "adn: African digital news" project at the DH@UH: Building Connections event at the University of Houston. The slides from my presentation are available here.
× 14 April 2021: The Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology recently published the paper "Why are Politically Active People Avoided in Countries with Collectivistic Culture? A Cross-Cultural Experiment" of which I am a co-author. The full paper can be accessed (behind a paywall) from the publisher's website. A news article about the findings was published in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper (in Japanese).
× 6 April 2021: Publication of a working paper on social media users' motivations for sharing disinformation around COVID-19 and China. The latest version of the manuscript, forthcoming in an edited volume, is available here. I also published with Herman Wasserman a shorter piece in The Conversation about the main findings.
× 12 March 2021: Release of V3.0 of the "Corpus of African Digital News" that I have been working on for the last year. It includes content from 200,000 news articles published by 600 African digital media platforms in December 2020. The data can be downloaded for free. There's more information about this project here.
× 5 March 2021: I'll be presenting with Herman Wasserman some preliminary findings of our ongoing study on misinformation about COVID-19 and China at the Centre of the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania. The slides for this talk are here.
× 16 February 2021: I shared my experience using web scrpaing techniques to study African digital news content at the "New Tools for ‘Distanced’ Anthropological Research: Webscraping and Ethnography of Digital Cultures in/of Africa" webinar at Yale University. My slides are here.
× 10 February 2021: The International Journal of Communication published a Special Issue on comparative approaches to study misinformation that includes the six-country study I led with data from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Read more about the project here.
× 17 December 2020: Information, Communication & Society published online the paper "Is it Still a Man’s World? Social Media News Use and Gender Inequality in Online Political Engagement" that I co-authored with Saif Ahmed from NTU. It is part of a Special Issue on Afrocentric Attributes to Digitalization.
× 5 December 2020: With classes moving online this semester, I recorded video lectures for some of my courses. I compiled those for "COMM3317 Multimedia Journalism" as a YouTube playlist. There's more information about the course in the teaching section of the website. Examples of student work can be found on the course's Medium page: Valenti Voices.

Other updates:

× 4 October 2019 Presented some preliminary findings of a multi-country study on dis- and mis-information sharing in Sub-Saharan Africa at the Comparative Approaches to Disinformation Workshop at Harvard University. The slides are available here.
× 10 November 2018: Earlier this month, I attended the second edition of ICA's Africa regional conference in Accra, Ghana. The slides for the two papers I presented there are now available in the Research section of the website.
× 18 October 2018: My research with Herman Wasserman about Chinese media in Kenya and South Africa is featured in this week's edition of The Economist in an article titled "Soft power and censorship". The online version is accessible through a (porous) paywall.
× 16 October 2018: I co-wrote an opinion piece, with Herman Wasserman, on the limits of Chinese interference in the African media landscape for the Asia Dialogue blog, curated by the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute.
× 1 October 2018: I sat down with student reporters at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication to chat about my new position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston. Read the interview if you want to know... how I get inspired every morning.
× 19 September 2018: I provided commentary on the ongoing situation in the Korean Peninsula for RT (in Spanish), and on the trade war that President Donald Trump has initiated against China for HispanTV (Spanish).
× 3 September 2018: The newsmap R package, a semi-supervised model for geographical document classification, to which I contributed is now available on CRAN.
× XX July 2018: Invited lecture at the University of Barcelona.
× 15 May 2018: The International Journal of Communication published my latest collaboration with Herman Wasserman on the impact of Chinese media on future media professionals in Kenya and South Africa. The article is available open access from the journal's website.
× 14 May 2018: Afrika Heute, a German website dedicated to Africa-related news has published a German translation of my Africa is a Country piece. Follow this link for the German version.
× 28 April 2018: I wrote a short piece on the expansion of StarTimes across Africa for Africa is a Country. The original piece can be found here and I published an extended version on my blog.
× 10 March 2018: A new article written with Lauren Gorfinkel on the documentary series Faces of Africa has been published in the Journal of African and Asian Studies. A pre-print version is available here.
× 26 February 2018: The Conversation published an op-ed I wrote on the controversy over the offensive skit about Africa-China relations that CCTV included in this year's Spring Gala Festival. The article is here.
× 15 December 2017: We presented the book Comunicación y poder en Asia orientla in Barcelona and Madrid. Check the media coverage or listen to the presentation (in Catalan) here.
× 29 September 2017: I talked about Japan's upcoming elections on Radio France Internationale Espagnol (in Spanish). Listen to my contribution here.
× 6 September 2017: I shared my views on the 2017 BRICS Summit on a live interview for RT (in Spanish). The full interview is here.
× 26 August 2017: I appeared on the "China in Africa podcast" to discuss StarTimes operations in Africa. Listen to the full podcast here.
× 20 August 2017: A new blog entry about some of the teaching innovations that were presented at AEJMC 2017 is available. You can read the new post here.
× 10 August 2017: I was recently quoted in a Los Angeles Times report on China's StarTimes operations in Kenya. Read the article by Jonathan Kaiman here.
× 29 July 2017: A new open access journal article based on my fieldwork at CGTN Africa, in Spanish, has been published in Communication Papers. Download a copy here.
× 29 May 2017: The slides from my two ICA 2017 presentations are now online. Download them here.
× 19 May 2017: Earlier this year I was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Innovation Award for Research Degree students. I was invited to give a talk about my experience. Watch the talk here.
× 6 May 2017: New blog post on Chinese media's struggle with finding an audience in Africa. Read it here.
× 1 May 2017: My new edited book Comunicación y poder en Asia oriental published by Editorial UOC is (finally) out. Get a copy from here.
× 21 August 2017: Live interviews on RT and HispanTV in which I analyze the situation in the Korean Peninsula and the conflicting narratives in North Korea and the US (in Spanish) Watch the interviews here.
× 20 April 2017: Live interview on RT (in Spanish) on the political situation in the Korean Peninsula. Watch it here.
× 15 April 2017: New blog post discussing my online crisis simulation project for COM5403 at City University of Hong Kong. Read it here or have a look at the simulation here.
× 6 April 2017: Commentary for RT (in Spanish) on the first meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Watch it here.
× 10 March 2017: Course materials for my class "Crisis Communication and Management" at City University of Hong Kong uploaded. Browse them here.
× 13 February 2017: Commentary for RT on Trump's Asia policy and the US-Japan alliance. Watch it here.
× 25 January 2017: New blog entry (in Spanish) on recent changes in North Korean media system. Read it here.
× 31 December 2016: New blog post on the rebranding of CCTV into CGTN. Read it here.
× 26 November 2016: New paper accepted in Journalism Studies with Herman Wasserman. Read the latest draft.
× 20 November 2016: Uploaded materials for the course "Video Production" that I taught at City University of Hong kong. See them here.