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Susana Sampaio Dias

Susana Sampaio Dias

MSc, PG Dip Human Rights, PG Dip Democratization and Communication Law (All, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Position: PhD Student


Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688

Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building

PhD Research

Journalism, Human Rights and the Global Public Sphere

Although human rights are a recent addition to ethical discourse – it was not until World War II that the term entered common usage – the concept of human rights is itself multifaceted and contested in academic debates. This concept, however, is also under constant (re)definition in everyday practices. It would not be naïve to assume that media discourses play a crucial role in that process, contributing to both awareness and debate, most likely in and through the news.

Amongst all media genres, journalism in particular plays a crucial role in informing citizens about the world they live in, and hence the importance of comprehending how journalists are covering human rights, why do they do it and the implications that such journalistic choices have upon human rights and their enforcement in day-to-day life. Drawing on an ethnographic research, observing journalists in the newsroom and in the field, my research aims to focus on professional journalists’ understandings of human rights as a concept and as a practical set of rights, their implications for citizens, and their perceptions about the role journalism professionals should play with regard to human rights.

At the same time, my research addresses the extent to which journalists bear human rights in mind on their daily practices, and how they respond to the complex of constrains and limitations that shape the media output, helping us to understand how human rights are to be identified, ignored, or even misrepresented in the news.


BA Teaching Assistant: Understanding Journalism and an MA guest lecturer.


Susana is currently on leave from the Portuguese public service television and radio (RTP), where she has worked since 2004.

Since 2010 Susana has been collaborating with the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), as administrator.