8 November 2017

Emilie Tinne Lehmann-Jacobsen discusses her thesis with 1st opponent Professor Folker Hanusch from University of Vienna

Journalism in Southeast Asia

Emilie Tinne Lehmann-Jacobsen - Public Defence of PhD Thesis

On November 2nd, 2017, Emilie Lehmann-Jacobsen successfully defended her doctoral thesis on journalism in Southeast Asia.

With the ambition of mapping the journalistic fields of Singapore and Vietnam and through a comparative analysis discussing whether there exists such a thing as a Southeast Asian model of journalism, Emilie Lehmann-Jacobsen studied perceptions and roles of journalists from a bottom-up perspective in the two countries.

Through interviews with journalists and other media actors from the two countries, field research and extensive desk research, Lehmann-Jacobsen uncovered unique characteristics of the profession in the two countries.
Though she could not find evidence of a Southeast Asian model of journalism, she did find interesting parallels between the two countries – not only in the way journalists worked and perceived themselves but also in the structures surrounding the profession.

The state plays a significant role in both media environments yet it materializes in different manners. These differences in the states’ interference in the media industry (and the journalistic profession) are particularly important, Emilie Lehmann-Jacobsen concluded, if we are to understand exactly how the media system works in more repressive media environments.
To conclude that a country lacks press freedom is not enough. We need to understand exactly how the state operates and what the consequences are for the media and the journalists working within the industry.

Members of the assessment committee were Associate Professor Mette Mortensen, chair (University of Copenhagen), Professor Folker Hanusch (University of Vienna), and Associate Professor Poul Erik Nielsen (Aarhus University). The defence was moderated by Professor Hans-Jörg Trenz (University of Copenhagen). Thesis supervisor was Professor Stig Hjarvard (University of Copenhagen).

Short abstract of the thesis is available here