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Journalism and democracy

Our Journalism and democracy cluster researches the swiftly evolving ecology of news across all forms of journalism by investigating emerging platforms, new technologies and changing consumer behaviours.

Academic staff from this cluster research and engage with pressing social issues and collaborate with media organisations, government actors, charities and policy organisations to deliver timely outputs and recommendations that directly impact both policy and practice.

Topics of research include the impartiality of broadcast news, Brexit, immigration and election coverage, war and science reporting.

National and international research

Our research is reflected in Dr Mike Berry, Dr Kerry Moore and Dr Inaki Garcia-Blanco's ongoing work on refugee issues, Dr Mike Berry and Matt Walsh’s research on austerity and the financial crisis and Dr Cindy Carter’s work on gender and children in the news.

Our research is also applied across both local and global contexts with Dr Kerry Moore’s reporting of poverty in Wales, Dr Galina Miazhevich’s analysys of sexualities in Eastern Europe, Dr Jimenez-Martinez's on nationalism in Latin America and Dr Maria Kyriakidou’s work on mediated suffering in global contexts.

During the early days of the pandemic, Professor Stephen Cushion’s 2019 project ‘Enhancing the accuracy and impartiality of journalism: reshaping broadcasters’ editorial guidelines and practices’ played an important role by helping to inform broadcasters' reporting of policy developments across the UK, where Health, a devolved issue for the UK, meant national variations in policy and implementation.

Action-research centres

The cluster served as a seedbed for the Centre for Community Journalism, founded in 2013, in response to research identifying the potential of community and hyperlocal journalism. The centre combines traditional research, action-oriented research, training and outreach to develop new models of local news production. (Link to Impact case study)

It has also supported major strands of interdisciplinary work such as the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre – originally established to look at representation and public understanding of vegetative and minimally conscious states. It has now expanded into interdisciplinary collaborations with law, medicine, neurosciences and philosophy to address the legal, clinical, ethical and scientific practices and public profile of ‘consciousness’ and complex end-of-life decision-making.