SCOM Doctoral Student Wins Brian Murphy Paper Award

School of Communication (SCOM) doctoral student Sunah Lee was recently awarded the Brian Murphy Student Paper Award by the Union for Democratic Communications (UDC) during the 2023 UDC Conference.

The Brian Murphy Student Paper Award honors Dr. Brian Murphy, who was a dedicated communications professor at Niagara University and an active journalist promoting social justice and concerns of the African continent. He was one of the pioneers of using international electronic networks for social justice in the pre-internet era.

Lee received this award based on her paper, “Manufacturing a Rogue State: A Political Economic and Critical Discourse Analysis of South Korean Broadcasters’ North Korean Nuclear Tests Coverage.” Her research used a critical political economy of communication methods to examine North Korean nuclear test coverage of KBS, a South Korean public broadcaster, and SBS, a South Korean private broadcaster. The findings suggest that both broadcasters have not been able to be liberated from political, economic, and societal constraints as a result of the complex historical and ideological context.

“The scholars at the conference were the ones who have been so influential to me and whom I want to work with in the future. It was one of the most meaningful moments for me since I started my graduate program,” said Lee. “But what is even more meaningful is that all the scholars there have a shared goal in their research agenda: a democratic communication system. I was inspired by all the activist academics I met at the conference and got excited to contribute to the work they had built so far.”

SCOM Professor Dr. Jennifer Proffit, doctoral candidate and student Oladoyin Abiona, and master’s students Hannah Fulk and Jihye Han presented at the UDC Conference as well. Lee is currently working with Proffitt to get her research published in an academic journal.