Academic Visitor: Prof. Yu-li Liu

Prof. Yu-li Liu  is a Distinguished Professor of Communications at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan. She was the former VP for Research and Development of NCCU. She also served as the Director of International Master’s Program in International Communication Studies (IMICS) of NCCU from 2010 to 2013 and chairperson of the Radio and TV Department of NCCU from 1994 to 1996.

Prof. Liu earned her Ph.D. degree in telecommunications at Indiana University in 1992. She has been teaching at NCCU for 26 years. In addition to teaching, Prof. Liu had experiences of working for the government and the media. She served as one of the first-term Commissioners of the National Communications Commission (equivalent to the Federal Communications Commission in the United States) from 2006 to 2008. She was a Fulbright scholar and Visiting Professor of the Graduate Telecommunications Program of George Washington University, School of Journalism of Fudan University (Shanghai, China), School of Journalism of Renmin University (Beijing, China), Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Keio University (Japan), Department of Media and Communication of City University of Hong Kong, College of Communications of Boston University, and Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of University of Oxford.

Since 2013, Prof. Liu has been awarded the Distinguished Research Award by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) every year. In 2013, she earned the Excellent Research Award by NCCU. In 2014, she earned the Best Service Award by NCCU. In 2014 and 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Professor Position by NCCU (2014-2017)(2017-2020). Prof. Liu has received grants from U.S. Fulbright Foundation, Interchange Association of Japan, and Taiwan’s MOST (former name is National Science Council) for research projects in the areas of convergence, broadband networks, digital TV, telecommunications policy, OTT business model and regulation, and big data and consumer privacy in Taiwan.

Prof. Liu served as President of Chinese Communication Association (a worldwide communication association) for two years (2014-2016). Prof. Liu also served as the President of Taiwan Communication Society. She is also a board member of the International Telecommunication Society (ITS). She also served as a member of the editorial board at three SSCI journals (Telecommunications Policy, Asian Journal of Communication, and Chinese Journal of Communications) and International Journal of Digital TV. Prof. Liu’s research interests include digital broadcasting, broadband communications, telecom and media law and regulation, IPTV and mobile TV, OTT TV, convergence, big data, telecommunications and media management.  She has published numerous books such as Policy and Marketing Strategy for Digital Media (co-edited with Robert Picard, published by Routledge), Big Data and Future Communication (in Chinese), OTT TV’s Innovative Services, Business Model, and Law & Policy (in Chinese), Multi-channel TV and Audience (in Chinese), Cable TV Management and Programming Strategy (in Chinese), Cable TV Programming and Policy in China (in Chinese), Radio and TV, Telecommunications (in Chinese), etc.

Prof. Liu also served as a member of the Consumer Protection Commission of the Executive Yuan. Before she was the NCC Commissioner, she served as one of the Commissioners of Cable TV Rate Commission of Taipei City Government for seven years.  She also served as the consultant for different government agencies for different task forces such as Telecommunication Advisory Board of Directorate General of Telecommunication, Ministry of Transportation and Communication and TV Program Evaluation Commission of the Government Information Office. In 1997, she was the author of White Paper of Culture–Radio and Television for Council of Cultural Affairs in Taiwan.

Prof. Liu also had working experiences in the media.  She was an English reporter of the Overseas Department of the Broadcasting Corporation of China (1983-1987) and executive producer, editor and reporter of Chinese Television System (CTS, 1987-1989). She was appointed as a Board Member of the Radio Taiwan International. Currently, she is a member of the Media Ethics Commission of CTS, TVBS, and Eastern TV Channel.

ConflictNET website launched

ConflictNET has launched its project website. Nicole Stremlau, head of the PCMLP, has received a 1.5 million euro European Research Council grant to fund and lead ConflictNET. The project examines how social media affect the balance between peace-building efforts and attempts to perpetuate violence in conflict-affected communities. Geographically, ConflictNET focuses on conflict related to religion and politics in Eastern Africa as an entry point to understand the complex relationship between social media and conflict.

The project will also establish the Social Media, Conflict and Migration Observatory as a unique platform to develop public and policy engagement and debate on critical issues related to social media, conflict, governance, and migration.

On the website, you will find more information about the research questions and the project team. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please feel free to send the project team a message.

New Position: Postdoc in Media Law and Policy

We are delighted to announce a new and exciting opportunity to join the PCMLP and CSLS as a postdoc in media law and policy.  This research fellowship is an outstanding opportunity for early career researchers to pursue a research project and contribute to the Programme. Further details are available here.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.  Interviews are to be held on Tuesday, 21 August 2018.

Internet Shutdowns in Africa Workshop

In June 2018 we convened a workshop on internet shutdowns in Africa with the University of Johannesburg’s School of Communication. This workshop brought together scholars from across the continent to discuss internet shutdowns in comparative perspective. Elections, the role of civil society groups, and the political motivations for shutdowns were discussed in depth. A report of the workshop will be available soon. The agenda is available here.

Research Assistants for ERC ConflictNet project

Nicole Stremlau currently seeking two research assistants to join the project ConflictNet. This is a new 5-year project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) that examines the role of social media in conflict in Africa.  The project will focus on questions social media and migration away from conflict; of online hate speech and the perpetuation of violence; and the efforts by companies, governments and individuals to shape and extend the internet in Africa.  We will shortly be launching a new website for the project but in the meantime a summary is available here.

Further details about the Research Assistant positions please visit:

Deadline date for applications is Thursday 26th April 2018.


An-Ox Media Policy Summer Institute

The Annenberg-Oxford Summer Institute is open for applications! Come join us for our 20th year anniversary.  To find out more and apply please visit this page.

CFP: Internet Shutdowns in Africa Workshop

Workshop to be held from June 7-8, 2018 at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa

DEADLINE for CFP: March 15, 2018

The Internet Shutdowns in Africa conference is a two-day programme aimed at sparking in-depth and productive conversations about the rise of internet shutdowns on the continent. It is organized by the ERC-funded ConflictNet programme at the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, and the Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg’s School of Communication.  The conference is convened by Nicole Stremlau and Eleanor Marchant.

There has been a dramatic increase in internet shutdowns in Africa. In 2016, the number of shutdowns doubled from the previous year, affecting citizens in 11 countries on the continent. And while the number of shutdowns declined slightly in 2017, governments that resorted to disrupting the internet did so more frequently and for longer periods of time. From anti-government protests to Cameroon, to exam cheating in Ethiopia, concerns of election related violence in Uganda, and quelling social unrest in Zimbabwe, the justifications are diverse.

Read more

New book published: Speech and Society in Turbulent Times

We are pleased to announce the publication of Speech and Society in Turbulent Times: Freedom of Expression in Comparative Perspective, edited by Monroe Price and Nicole Stremlau, and published by Cambridge University Press.  This volume brings together an exciting group of authors to examine how societies are addressing challenging questions about the relationship between expression, traditional and society values, and the transformations introduced by new information communications technologies.  It adopts an eclectic approach, identifying alternative approaches to the role of speech and expression, examining how societies or communities have drawn on the ideas of philosophers, religious leaders or politicians, both historical and contemporary, that have addressed questions of speech, government, order and freedoms.  The goal is to both unpack the ‘normative’ internet and free expression debate and to deepen understanding about why certain policies and models are being pursued in very different local or national contexts, as well as on a global level.  The chapters and contributors are below.

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PCMLP Panels at the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa

PCMLP will have a strong presence at the upcoming Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa to be hosted in Johannesburg, September 26-28th.  We will be organizing panels on Innovation in Somalia, participating on Internet policymaking panels, and Dr Gagliardone will have a book launch for his recent publication The Politics of Technology in Africa, published by CUP. Tickets are free and available here:

Nicole Stremlau awarded an ERC grant for ConflictNet

Nicole Stremlau has been awarded a 1.5 million euro grant from the European Research Council for research on the Politics and Practice of Social Media in Conflict. This project starts in August 2017 and will run for 5 years.  A brief summary follows:

Over the next five years an unprecedented number of initiatives will coalesce, contributing to an extension of the reach of the Internet to the world’s most remote regions. While previous efforts to expand Internet access have focused on urban areas, current initiatives are leveraging new technologies from drones to satellites to provide affordable access to the worlds poorest, many of whom are in Africa and live in regions where the state is weak and there is protracted violent conflict. Current debates have largely focused on technical issues of improving access, or assumed ways that technology will help ‘liberate’ populations or improve governance. This project focuses on a key puzzle that is often overlooked: How does increased access to social media affect the balance between peace-building efforts and attempts perpetuate violence in conflict-affected communities?

With a focus on Africa (and particularly on religious and political violence in Eastern Africa), this project will investigate the relationship between social media and conflict through three research questions at the macro, meso and micro level: how are social media altering the transnational dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding? How are public authorities reacting to, and appropriating, social media to either encourage violence or promote peace? And in what ways are social media changing the way people experience, participate in, or respond to violent conflict? It will examine these questions in the context of dangerous speech online; the exit and entry of individuals to conflict; the tactics and strategies actors adopt to shape the Internet; and how governance actors are leveraging social media in conflict-affected communities.