I am an assistant professor of Media Studies at Hamline University. My research interest lies at the intersection of technology, communication and storytelling. I also study non-profit public relations and the way social movements framed. To capture the diversity of my research interest, my scholarship revolves around a few core questions: How does the internet, and the individual platforms contained within it affect how communication occurs in an African political environment and the conditions under which content is produced and received? How do governments and activist groups use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to sway public opinion in their favor? What does the practice of journalism on social media look like in a non-democratic political environment? How do online networks blur journalism and activism?
In pursuit of such questions, I use vast amounts of data afforded by social media sources that are helpful to construct conflict media, map political ideology and polarization, and understand state censorship decisions. Much of my research is being conducted in African context with particular focus on Ethiopia. For instance, my dissertation focused on the media, power, and politics of Ethiopian immigrant community in the United States —the second largest African immigrant groups in the nation.
I also use digital media to promote civic engagement and public knowledge; recruiting volunteers, running awareness campaigns, holding authority to account, reflecting identity and giving communities a voice. In doing this, I have led diverse teams and worked at the frontier of developments in journalism and communication in African context – co-founding Ethiopia’s first blogging collective known as Zone9 and launching the Amharic version of Global Voices, my initiatives for digital inclusion. I also have published journalistic pieces on the Guardian and some of my works were featured on The Washington Post. I did a year and half stint as an editor for Sub-Saharan section of Global Voices.
You can find me on twitter as endalk2006
I have a brief profile on my university home page