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Seen and heard: Understanding how girls consume, create and share media in Aotearoa

Dr Kyra Clarke. Image: Laura Jean McKay

In today’s media, girls encounter high profile girl celebrities who they could potentially see as models of participating in online media, but they also encounter harassment and abuse – how do they navigate these contrasting experiences? Dr Kyra Clarke, from Massey University, aims to find out


Published on 3 Whiringa-ā-rangi November 2021


This question is made even more complicated when considering that girls don’t just consume media online, they also share and create media in several ways. Each online space allows for some forms of self-expression and engagement, while restricting others. Girls navigate these platforms, negotiating times and spaces where they feel comfortable, where they have a voice, and where they feel shut down. To some extent then, girls are simultaneously shaping the digital world and being shaped by it. How girls participate in their online worlds, and how they experience belonging in these spaces, raises questions around cultural citizenship that are increasingly important in a global media culture.

Young people

Image: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Seen and heard is the first in-depth study of the media teenage girls consume, create, and share in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this Marsden Fund Fast-Start project, Dr Clarke will seek to understand girls’ media practices in 14 to 15-year-old girls and gender diverse youth in Aotearoa, centring their perspectives. Digital diaries, focus groups, interviews, and creative workshops will be interwoven collaboratively with participation from girls, building a comprehensive picture of their perceptions of media participation. Finally, guidelines on how to create inclusive online spaces will be created.