Why (my) research matters: Giuliander Carpes da Silva

By Gabriela Sanseverino

Our ESRs try to answer the hardest question that plagues a PhD: why their research matters. And mostly, why you should care about it. Today we look at work of Giuliander Carpes da Silva.

Giuliander Carpes da Silva joined the research team at LERASS at the University of Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, in the work package of Organisational Disruption, with the job of addressing the Impact of Infomediaries and Platforms on Journalism.

Masterfully – and after a great deal of reading, research, panicking, rethinking and rereading – he began to shine a light on the power imbalance between digital platforms and the media. Showcasing Latin America, more specifically Brazil, a peripheral media systems that is often overlook, his work provides deeper (“and hopefully new”) insights about their relationships in the overlooked realm of messaging applications, such as WhatsApp.

In a collaboration with fellow jolter, Enric Moreu, he launched a website were you can see preliminary results of his research, where they investigated WhatsAppening in the news (pun very much intended!), looking at how 14 Brazilian organizations are using WhatsApp to engage the audience and distribute news. Besides having a lot of cool visualizations, this partnership between the jolters showed the best of what the project has to offer, and how amazing results can arise when you put tech and social sciences to work together.

A snapshot of the data already collected in his research.

The collaboration also showed the potential of Giuliander’s work and how incredibly relevant it is the industry, as his “research can present to executives and editors at news organizations a perspective on the work being done by their counterparts in the front of news distribution and engagement on messaging applications, maybe inspire them to develop new products, services and approaches to these tools that are becoming more important for news consumption”.

All of this becomes more impressive if you know Giuliander packed his bags from Brazil for this opportunity, alongside his wife and his now four year old daughter. If the rest of us, unmarried and childless ESRs, have found it hard to putting out butts in the chair and actually writing the thesis, can you imagine doing with a four year old running around and asking you to join a dance party? But nonetheless, its thanks to his sweetheart of a daughter, Cora, that Giu can proudly say he knows the lyrics to the songs from Frozen (in multiple languages!) & can waltz much better than the prince from Beauty and the Beast. With his PhD, he will also be awarded a gold-star for unparalleled Disney knowledge.

Project Members


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This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie grant agreement No 765140