ComCult – Statement of Interest

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I thought it might be interesting to post my Statement of Interest for the Ryerson-York ComCult program, as it allows me to make the document more interactive then a hardcopy submission permitted.

January 7, 2011

Dear Admissions Committee:

Information and communication technologies’ (ICT) impact on political, economic and social development has long been a passion of mine. Majoring in political science, my term papers often had a strong communications focus. For a human security course, I used the 2006 Asian Tsunami as a case study to explore how user-generated content and citizen journalism were influencing mainstream media. I also investigated how India and Pakistan’s mobile telecommunication sectors contributed to political and economic development in South Asia for a comparative studies class. This increasing passion culminated in my BA Honours Thesis, where I examined how ICT was impacting political systems in authoritarian, transitional and democratic states.

While conducting self-directed studies into ICT infrastructure policy, Dr. Catherine Middleton’s research in fixed and wireless broadband networks identified new sources for investigation. Reading Dr. David Ellis’ blog on technology and policy further demonstrated the strength of the program. I also had the opportunity to attend a program event this past November and meet some of the faculty and current students. The multi-disciplinary network and depth of knowledge of the faculty cemented Ryerson-York as my choice for graduate studies.

If accepted into the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture, my desire is to conduct research on the political economy of regulatory and policy regimes for Internet and mobile telecommunications infrastructure. My intended methodology will consist of a critical review of relevant literature to enhance foundational understanding of the industry from a theoretical and international perspective. I will then review Canadian-specific development and use the upcoming 700Mhz spectrum auction as a case study, supplementing secondary research with primary document review. While not my intention at this time, interviews with stakeholder representatives may further add insight and analysis of policy developments.

The current Canadian Digital Economy and Telecom Strategies consultation, potential changes to foreign ownership rules in the telecommunication sector, shifts in the way Canadian’s are consuming media and upcoming (and future) spectrum allocations are just a few examples of the importance of this topic.

By pursuing my MA on a part-time basis, I intend to fully self-fund my studies. Further, having completed a 50-page thesis for my BA Honours and gained several years of work experience while narrowing my research interests, I am confident in my ability to complete the program in a timely manner. Professionally, I have contributed various critical reports to my employer, and my presentation skills and research have resulted in my becoming a thought leader [pdf] in the use of social media in the BC non-profit career development field, as noted on the attached resume.

Continuing to do self-directed studies on the subject before starting the program, as documented in part on a blog (www.paulgoodrick.com), will help me to be further prepared. An example of this is a recent post discussing spectrum governance models. Upon entrance into the program, this forum will serve as a place to share knowledge and interact with other scholars and professionals in the field. In this way, I can contribute to my own and others’ knowledge of ICT policy and showcase Ryerson-York and the program.

I am extremely excited about the prospect of joining one of Canada’s leading institutions for communication studies. With its outstanding network of professors, peers and alumni, the opportunity to study at Ryerson University is the chance of a lifetime. Thank you for your time and consideration of my application to the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.

Best regards,
Paul Goodrick

Candidate for Graduate Studies in Communication and Culture