Citizen journalism and its products are increasingly more prominent in the public eye. Hoda plans on combining her education in archival science, her expertise in user experience design, and her knowledge of journalism to design and develop tools to help authenticate these products and assess their trustworthiness.
My research explores how archival science’s knowledge in verifying the authenticity of records can help us infer the authenticity of citizen journalism videos captured during historically significant events.
What does being a Public Scholar mean to you?
It means to me, building relationships, communicating, and disseminating knowledge to communities and stakeholders that are involved in the ecology of my research, this includes those who impact or are impacted by my research or designs.
In what ways do you think the PhD experience can be re-imagined with the Public Scholars Initiative?
I’m a visual person, therefore, I think that the PSI can enhance the Ph.D. experience by encouraging the translation of researches findings to different modalities other than text so that findings are accessible and speak to a wider audience. This could be through: infographics that encapsulate some of the findings, designed prototypes (I like to call them provo-types, cause they're thought-provoking) that embody approaches to solve the research problem, or a speculative video, to let the audience imagine the future with us.
How do you envision connecting your PhD work with broader career possibilities?
My professional background is in user experience design, and I view my Ph.D. work as a way to redesign the experience of human-rights open-source investigators when verifying citizen journalism videos. I attempt to let these investigators re-visit their verification processes by combining their knowledge with the knowledge of archival science and diplomatics.
How does your research engage with the larger community and social partners?
My research follows a human-centred design approach. It places the people I'm designing and researching for at the heart of the research process. I have been adopting a variety of research and design methods to strengthen my ability to build empathy with various stakeholders–those who impact or are impacted by my research or designs. I have been carrying out these methods in my research and design work for over six years. And I plan to continue carrying out these ethnographic and collaborative methods in my research work to engage with my social partners.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I started researching and designing for eyewitnesses, and citizen journalism videos during my master studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. By the end of my master's degree, I realized that I still have unanswered questions and that more need to be done to better understand, and infer the authenticity of citizen journalism videos. For this reason, I thought–after taking a break from studies–that it is a good idea to revisit some of the research questions I had.
Why did you choose to come to British Columbia and study at UBC?
I have always seen that my work on citizen media videos involves an aspect that relates to the archival discipline. Actually, one of the early video prototypes I carried out when designing for citizen media videos was called the "living archive". When I found a good deal of interdisciplinarity among UBC's departments, I was encouraged to study at the school of information (iSchool).