Skip to main content

Research

We’re an international team of scholars who advance research in journalism, media and culture, through relationships with the global academic community, as well as collaborations with creative industries, policy-making bodies, charities and civil society groups.

We analyse media policy, representations and practices, with a focus on current and future challenges.

Our research clusters

Our research is organised around three over-lapping clusters supporting intellectual synergies, grant bids and impact activities.

Journalism and Democracy

This cluster addresses topics such as the impartiality of broadcast news, immigration coverage, and science reporting through the prism of journalism and its associated industries.

Digital Media and Society

This research cluster explores the uses of digital media within a range of social, political and cultural contexts.

Media, Culture and Creativity

This cluster brings together research expertise in music, photography, film and TV and collaborates with creative agencies.

In addition to our clusters, we host the Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media History, incorporating six major archives of print and broadcast journalism.

Interdisciplinary research

Our research benefits from interdisciplinary collaborations with disciplines such as health sciences, psychology, computer sciences, law and medicine.

We also work with other academic schools across Cardiff University to secure joint awards whilst also supporting projects led by other schools.

Research environment

Our research culture is derived from the cooperative approach of our staff and research students, where personal and professional development is fundamental to our collective success.

A key strength is the dialogue between research and practice-based staff, which helps us to deliver research impact in terms of practice and policy in the wider world.

Over a third of our staff come from outside the UK and this contributes to our local, national and international research activities.

Recent appointments have expanded the number and diversity of staff and introduced a wider range of expertise to our community, including in relation to distinct parts of the world such as Chile, Brazil, Russia and the Philippines.

Major projects

Our research clusters have provided the critical mass of expertise to launch several major projects.

Data Justice Lab

The Digital Media and Society cluster launched the Data Justice Lab in 2017 to investigate the relationships between datafication and social justice.

Co-directed by Professor Lina Dencik, Dr Arne Hintz, Dr Joanna Redden and Dr Emiliano Treré, the Lab won an investment of £1.5M from the European Commission and Open Society Foundation, enabling interventions in debates around data use in policing, management of refugees and local government.

Centre for Community Journalism

The Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) was founded in 2013 in response to research identifying the decline of local media and implications for the democratic deficit.

C4CJ has an action-research focus and supports community news publishers by facilitating recognition for hyperlocals from the National Union of Journalists and the BBC. It has delivered online training to 38,000 learners across 131 countries and has informed political strategy including prompting the Welsh Government to establish a £200,000 fund for hyperlocal start-ups.

Alternative Media and Disinformation

The focus is on exploring the rise of new online political sites and considering the challenges mainstream journalists face in countering dubious claims or misleading political statements.

It draws on over £1m in funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Council and the British Academy, and is led by Professor Stephen Cushion, Dr Maria Kyriakidou and Dr Richard Thomas from Swansea University.

By engaging with mainstream and alternative media editors, contributors and users, the aim is to explore the impact new political sites are having on the public and to identify where news platforms can enhance journalistic legitimacy in ways that better serve the democratic needs of citizens.

Clwstwr

The Media, Culture and Creativity cluster was originally the seedbed for the Creative Economy Unit, established in 2014 in response to research identifying challenges for regional creative enterprises and freelancers.

The Unit set up the Creative Cardiff network for creative industries, which now has a membership of over three and a half thousand, and won a Community Engagement Award in 2016 and two Civic Mission Awards in 2019.

The partnerships forged were the foundations for the subsequent successful bid, led by Professor Justin Lewis for Clwstwr, an £8M initiative via AHRC’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme.

Clwstwr is developing the concept and practice of R&D in the creative industries to make regional eco-systems more innovative and sustainable and has already curated over 60 projects.

REF 2014

Our research was ranked 2nd in the UK for quality and impact in the UK government's last assessment of research in higher education.

Since 2014, the School has built upon these strong foundations by retaining and developing staff and by welcoming over a dozen new Teaching and Research active colleagues.

This increase in research capacity has allowed us to develop award-winning impact initiatives and build significant new partnerships with the creative industries, broadcasting organisations and community journalists.

Doctoral and post-doctoral research

Our School is home to a diverse cohort of PGR students from the UK, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America and mainland Europe who benefit from institutional support through PhD scholarships tailored to international students and the resources of the Doctoral Academy.

Our overarching PhD/MPhil programme supervises a wide range of topics in Journalism, Media and Culture.