Journalism and Democracy Research Group
This group conducts research analysing the professional practices of journalism within the media and communications industries.
We conduct research into the swiftly changing practices of journalism at a time of uncertainty and profound technological transformations. We examine the news media’s role in relation to politics, democracy and citizenship in local, national and international settings, as well as developing cutting edge, practice-based research. Our research draws on a wide range of methods, including content analysis, ethnographic work, in-depth interviews, focus groups and discourse analysis.
Our group aims to engage with a range of research questions relating to journalism and democracy, including but not limited to:
- What are the economic, practical, ethical and technological challenges and opportunities confronting journalists and the media industries?
- How have the emergence of social media and the rise of user-generated content changed what it means to be a journalist?
- How have the media performed when reporting elections and political crises?
- What is the role of journalism in a democracy?
- How do the media report on and reflect social diversity?
- How do citizens engage through the news media, and how does technological change shape their ability to do so?
- What are the main dangers facing journalists around the world?
Major funded research topics include:
- the impartiality of BBC coverage
- the reporting of general elections
- digital storytelling
- listener online engagement
- reporting of the Welsh Assembly elections.
Funding bodies include the BBC, the ESRC, the AHRC, the European Commission and ITC and Broadcasting Standards Commission. In addition, members of the group are involved in major projects focused on issues such as the reporting of war, immigration and scientific controversies.
In addition to major funded research projects, members of the group have served as research consultants and advisers to significant public inquiries into different areas of journalists’ work, including the Phillis inquiry into public trust in media and government, the Neil inquiry concerning journalists’ professional practices following the Hutton inquiry and the Hansard Society study of the reporting of Parliament and strategies for raising the media profile of the House
JOMEC has a large community of postgraduate students exploring topics such as: 'Television policy and the future of television in the digital age' (Rakesh Kaushal); 'The history of magazine journalism' (Tim Holmes); 'Audience responses to 24-hour rolling news services' (Sally Reardon); 'The role of the press in the Thai general election' (Sopark Panichpapiboon); 'Media discourse and European identity' (Bernhard Gross); 'Readers’ Letters in the Arab press post 9/11' (Kholood Alqahtani); 'News media coverage of youth citizenship' (Stephen Cushion); 'The Public Sphere and Popular Journalism in Taiwan' (Yu-Hsien Tai). Other students are addressing issues around the reporting of science and health, racism and asylum, or war and conflict (see our other research groups).