Research, Teaching & Impact Updates

2022 Updates:

× 28 December, 2022: A new paper ("¿Se acumula capital social en Asia oriental con el uso de las redes sociales? Inferencia causal estadística con datos del Asian Barometer Survey") that I wrote with Tetsuro Kobayashi, at City University of Hong Kong, has been published Open Access in Revista Internacional de Sociología.
× 13 December, 2022: The journal Online Media and Global Communication just published the article "How effective are Chinese media in shaping audiences’ attitudes towards China? A survey analysis in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa" that I co-wrote with Herman Wasserman. The article is freely available here.
× 29 November, 2022: A comparative study on online political engagement and misinformation that I worked on with Saif Ahmed and Melissa Tully is now published in Online Information Review.
× 30 November, 2022: The Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield hosted the launch of my latest co-edited volume, Disinformation in the Global South. The recording of the launch is on YouTube
× 15 November, 2022: I was recently invited to join the Editorial Board of the academic journal Annals of the International Communication Association, focused on publishing literature reviews and essays.
× 6 October, 2022: At the University of Sheffield, I presented some preliminary findings on my ongoing project with Africa Check to develop misinformation literacy materials for South African high schoolers. A recording of the rountable discussion is available here.
× 1 October, 2022: I had the opportunity to share some thoughts on the influence of China on Sub-Saharan African media at an event organized by Wilton Park, an agency of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The slides of my talk are here.
× 16 September, 2022: The Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University invited me as Bonnier Visiting Professor last week. During my time at the Deparment, I delivered a lecture on Afro-Chinese media relations, and a seminar on global media flows.
× 11 September, 2022: My latest collaboration with Herman Wasserman, a book chapter titled "The Messenger, the Message, and the Receiver: South African Government Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic" just got published online. A working paper version of this chapter is available here.
× 22 August, 2022: I discussed with SABC News, South Africa's national broadcaster, the findings of a recent needs assessment of South African school's educators for the project 'Becoming a Responsible Media Consumer'.
× 4 August, 2022: At the 105th Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), we presented a poster from the ongoing research project about misinformation on WhatsApp in Kenya and Senegal.
× 27 July, 2022: I spoke about Chinese and Russian influence operations in Africa with Sasha Fegan at the Lowy Institute for their "Rules Based Audio" podcast. The recording is available here.
× 7 July, 2022: The Journal of Information Technology & Politics just published my latest co-authored paper with Saif Ahmed and Melissa Tully, "Social media, misinformation, and age inequality in online political engagement". A pre-print of the article is available here.
× 29 June, 2022: Alongside Herman Wasserman, at the University of Cape Town, we completed a needs assessment of media literacy training in South Africa. The full report is available from the website of Africa Check, who commissioned the research report. A shorter version was published in The Conversation.
× 2 June, 2022: It was a busy ICA (International Communication Association) Conference this year. I presented work on China's public diplomacy (video), representation of women in international broadcasting (poster) and countering COVID-19 misinformation on WhatsApp (video).
× 20 May, 2022: My research on China's StarTimes' investment in the African pay TV sector was featured in a The Economist Special Report on China-Africa. I also spoke to GRID about China's communication of the war in Ukraine to African media.
× 24 March, 2022: I spoke to students at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore about conducting Text Analysis with R. The slides of my workshop are available here. I also offered a short workshop on how to use quanteda. The materials are here.
× 20 March, 2022: Very excited to be joining the editorial board of African Journalism Studies, the leading academic publication in the study journalism and the news media in Africa.
× 24 February, 2022: Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) invited me to speak to the Central Bank of Nigeria about how social media text data can be used to gather insights on consumers of financial institutions. The slides from my talk are here, and a recording of the session can be accessed on YouTube.
× 10 January, 2022: Late last year, I joined a fact-checking workshop organized by Casa África and the Kenya Media Council in Nairobi. I was asked about my views on the current state of fact-checking in Kenya and the relevance of Kenya-Spain cooperation in this area. My thoughts on this are on this YouTube playlist (in Spanish), with comments from other Kenyan and Spanish experts and practitioners.

2021 Updates:

× 9 December, 2021: I spoke to Radio Euskadi about the outcomes of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that took place in Dakar earlier this month. A recording of my contribution is availble (in Spanish) here. My views were also featured in this article by China Digital Times.
× 5 December, 2021: I presented my work with Herman Wasserman on the reception of disinformation about China and COVID-19 in Kenya and South Africa at the 2021 International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) Regional Workshop. The slides I used for the presentation are available here.
× 2 December, 2021: Casa África invited me to share some of the findings of my ongoing work on disinformation in Sub-Saharan Africa with a group of Kenyan journalists at the 3rd Spain-Africa Journalists Meeting in Nairobi, which this year focused on fact-checking. The slides I used for my talk can be downloaded from here.
× 30 November, 2021: I presented, virtually, my work on the historical continuities of Africa-China media relations at the annual conference of APAD (Association for the anthropology of social change and development) that took place in Lomé, Togo. My presentation updates some of the findings based on work with archival material from the US National Archives.
× 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.

2020 Updates:

× 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.

2019 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.

2018 Updates:

× 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.
× 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.

Older updates:

× 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.
× 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.
× 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.
× 10 March 2017: Course materials for my class "Crisis Communication and Management" at City University of Hong Kong uploaded. Browse them 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.