Eline Huiberts

Eline Huiberts

  • Eline.Huiberts@ugent.be
  • Ghent University
  • Faculty of Politicial and Social Sciences - Department of Communication Sciences
Participant in 2015
Work history February 2014 - Present:
PhD Student at Ghent University

October 2013 - February 2014:
Media analist at De Nederlandse Nieuwsmonitor in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

February 2012 - May 2012:
Ethnographic Fieldwork (as part of BA Thesis) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Online publication: http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/studenttheses/

April 2011 - July 2011:
Research assistant and cultural consultant at "Public International Law and Policy Group"

September 2010 - November 2010:
Research assistant at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Under supervision of Hanneke Posthumus (PhD Assistant).

Presented at the following conferences:
Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap (2014) in Wageningen, The Netherlands
MeCCSA PGN Conference (2014) in Leeds, UK
Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap (2015) in Antwerp, Belgium
Global Humanitarianism and Media Culture (2015), Brighton, UK

“Bring in the Audience!” Exploring an Interdisciplinary Approach to Investigating Audience Reactions to Mediated Distant Suffering - Eline Huiberts & Stijn Joye
Book Review by Eline Huiberts - "The Social Construction of Death" eds.: Van Brussel, L. & Carpentier, N.
Study history Sept 2012 – Aug 2013:
Master of Arts (MA) Media Studies (Media & Journalism)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Thesis: “Audience, distant suffering and moral responsibility in a globalizing society” (Grade: 8,5/10)

Sep 2009 – Jul 2012:
Bachelor of Science (BaSc) “Cultural Anthropology and Development
Sociology”, Utrecht University (Final GPA: 3,76)
Major: Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
Minor: Conflict Studies, Utrecht University
Thesis: ““I was not raised colour blind” – Poverty and Reconciliation in a white informal settlement in Johannesburg.” (Grade: 8.5/10)

Phd Projects


"Who cares?" Audiences and mediated distant suffering. A qualitative and quantitative interdisciplinary study of the Flemish audience in relation to mediated distant suffering.

This PhD project is mainly interested in obtaining more empirical data to support and expand current (mostly theoretical) knowledge about audiences in relation to mediated distant suffering. Mediation of suffering is an emerging subject of research within social sciences that has gained increasing attention over the last decade. Clearly answering recent calls, there has been a noticeable rise in the amount of empirical studies concerning audience in relation to mediated distant suffering these last years (cf. Engelhardt & Jansz 2014; Kyriakidou 2014; Ong 2014; Orgad & Seu 2014; Scott 2014; Scott forthcoming; Seu 2010). Still, empirical evidence on people’s reaction to mediation of suffering is rather scarce and scattered over different disciplines while much has been written and explored on a moral and theoretical level. By further inquiry into different disciplines and by a multi-methodological approach, I aim to obtain deeper and more structured evidence to ascertain how audiences perceive and relate to representations of distant suffering.
This PhD project intents to contribute to this growing body of empirical knowledge in several phases. During a first exploratory phase, in-depth interviews are being held with experts, both academic and practical experts (i.e. journalists, NGO practitioners) on the subject of audience and distant suffering to delineate and further refine questions pertaining to the audience. After this, a series of focus groups will be carried out with members of the general Flemish (Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) public to explore in more detail how the public think about and relate to mediated distant suffering. These two phases combined will result in an overview of opinions and perceptions concerning mediated distant suffering from three social pillars in society: academics, practitioners in the field of mediation and the public itself. Apart from the qualitative insights, these two phases will inform a quantitative survey that will be designed and tested to take into account these different points of view. The intention of this PhD project is to end with a valid design of a survey that can be used as a (academically) multi-deployable quantitative tool to further measure audience perceptions to the mediation of distant suffering.

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