Journalism and media writing
Explore our research into journalism and media writing
The impact of journalism and media on society is growing. From 'fake news' to conversations around the influence of social media, the common understanding of politics, social justice, human rights and civic engagement is changing. And there's an increasing need to study, follow and understand the relationship between media, citizens and stakeholders.
Our research covers media, politics and society across analytical, theoretical and methodological approaches. Political groups use our research to understand how digital media can foster new relationships with citizens, news organisations use our research to learn about digital innovations in journalism, and policy makers and stakeholders use our research to understand mechanisms of soft-censorship in journalism practices.
Our research topics:
- Political communication
- Journalism and human rights
- Press freedom
- Digital news and new forms of storytelling
- Digital activism and citizenship
- News production, representation and reception
- Journalism education and pedagogy
We use quantitative research methods such as surveys, content and statistical analysis of new coverage in legacy media and social media platforms and audiences. Qualitative research techniques include ethnography, interviews, discourse and visual analysis, and framing analysis to explore the production and consumption of media. Our staff are also frequently invited to present their research to universities and professional bodies countrywide and overseas.
Collaborations and funders
We are active members of a number of professional academic associations, with extensive networks across journalism studies and political communication.
Among the researchers in this area, James Dennis is currently the Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group, the leading research group for the study of political communication in the UK, while Susana Sampaio-Dias has worked for a number of years as ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) administrator, and is a consultant for the Journalists Association of Guinea-Bissau.
Recent funders of our research include the British Council and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council), and the Born Free Foundation.
This article examines how the UK political organization Momentum uses social media within its campaigning. Drawing on a mixed-method research design, combining interviews with activists in Portsmouth and discourse analysis of content posted on Facebook and Twitter, this article tests whether the leadership provides meaningful influence for members.
By the time Rodrigo Duterte stepped down as President of the Philippines on June 30, 2022, his regime stood accused of undermining the nation’s constitution and destroying press freedom, as well as the arbitrary detention, persecution, and murder of tens of thousands of political adversaries and petty criminals. In their coverage of these events, journalists working for the Western legacy media have often reached for the clichés of orientalism and Western mass-culture.
The English seaside has long been seductive. Recently, many seaside towns have been pummelled by poverty and underinvestment – with predictable results. Brexit, COVID and the climate crisis have heightened tensions. Writer Tom Sykes and illustrator Louis Netter take you on a wild tour of 21 English coastal communities.
This collaborative project examined how online abuse is experienced and tackled by journalists in Portugal. The project explored how the deeply embedded structural and cultural mechanisms that generate and perpetuate inequality enable online harassment. The research addressed the prevalence of online harassment and violence against women journalists, self-reported incidents, effects, trust in safety mechanisms, and individual coping strategies.
This book examines British and American writing on the city of Manila, situating these representations within scholarship on empire, orientalism and US, Asian and European political history.
This project encompasses environment and conservation activities and training with journalists in Guinea-Bissau. This research project is supported by several organisations, including the Born Free Foundation, Chester Zoo and FCT.
This special issue examines the intricacies of journalism practices, policies and media regulation in contemporary Africa.
Against a backdrop of austerity, Brexit, and growing fears surrounding the spread of misinformation and polarisation on social media, this project analyses how young people in England who experience social inequality in their daily lives use social platforms to consume news.
‘Slaughterhouse cattle are treated better than this’: exploring the salience of everyday nationhood at British airports
This article presents an innovative methodology for investigating everyday nationhood at one of the nation’s key spatial edges – its international border. We created a social media dataset comprising of 1,083 ‘tweeted’ reflections made during UK airport border crossings, where nationhood might be expected to be particularly salient, especially during a sampling period that corresponded to frenzied political activity surrounding the post-referendum Brexit negotiations.
‘Tell the story as you'd tell it to your friends in a pub’: emotional storytelling in election reporting by BuzzFeed News and Vice News
This article analyses two digital-native news organisations, BuzzFeed News UK and Vice News (UK), and explores how they use emotional forms of storytelling in their election reporting.
“It comes with the job”: how journalists navigate experiences and perceptions of gendered online harassment
This article examines how online abuse is experienced and tackled by journalists in Portugal, and addresses the prevalence of online harassment and violence against women journalists and their perceptions of the issue.
Discover our areas of expertise
Journalism and media writing is one of our two areas of research expertise in Journalism, Communication and Creative Writing – explore the other area below.
Interested in a PhD in Journalism, Communication and Creative Writing?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Journalism, Communication and Creative Writing postgraduate research degrees page.