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Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Director of Research Development and Environment

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 (0)29 208 79414
Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

I have written five books; Emotions, Media and Politics (Polity Press, 2018),  Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society (Polity Press, 2018, co-authored with Arne Hintz and Lina Dencik). Disasters and the Media (Peter Lang, 2012; co-authored with Mervi Pantti and Simon Cottle), Journalists and the Public (Hampton Press, 2007) and Citizens or Consumers? (Open University Press, 2005; co-authored with Justin Lewis and Sanna Inthorn)

I have edited three books, including Handbook of Journalism Studies (Routledge 2009, with Thomas Hanitzsch - second edition in 2019) and Mediated Citizenship (Routledge, 2007). I have published close to 100 journal articles and book chapters. I am also a frequent media commentator on topics relating to citizenship and the media, and have written extensively for The Conversation.

I am currently Chair of the Outstanding Article of the Year Award in the Journalism Studies Division of the International Communication Association, and was Board Member at Large for the association from 2012 to 2014. I serve on the editorial boards of journals including Journal of Communication; International Journal of Press/Politics; Communication Theory; Journalism; Journalism Studies; Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Digital Journalism; Social Media & Society; Communications: European Journal of Communication; Journalism and Discourse Studies; and Annals of the International Communication Association. I previously served as associate editor of Communication Theory

Since 2012, I have been subject chair for the indexing and abstracting database SCOPUS, in the areas of Languages, Linguistics, Communication, Media, and Journalism, and also serve on the Content Selection Advisory Board for SCOPUS.

My research has been funded by the ESRC, the European Commission, the AHRC, the BBC Trust and the British Academy, among other organisations. In 2012-2013, I led the content analysis research for the BBC Trust's impartiality review on Breadth of Opinion. More recently, I have been co-Investigator on the ESRC-funded "Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society" project, and principal UK investigator on the Helsingin Sanomat-funded project, “The NSA Files: Surveillance, Leaks and the New Landscape of Legitimacy.” Previously, I was Principal UK Investigator on a €4 million European Commission funded project on the European Public Sphere (EUROSPHERE) and have carried out research for the charity Public Concern at Work on the media representation of whistleblowers.

I am Director of the Journalism and Democracy research group.

Recent Keynotes 

  • Breaking Boundaries Conference, Cardiff University, March 19, 2019.
  •  European Communication Research and Education Association Journalism Studies Section Conference, University of Vienna, February 14-15, 2019.
  • ‘From Ivory Tower Twitter: Rethinking the Cultural Critic in Contemporary Media Culture’ conference, University of Copenhagen, November 22-23, 2018.
  • European Sociological Assocation and British Sociological Assocation Joint Conference on the Sociology of Emotions, Edinburgh, August 28-30, 2018.
  • "Comparative Media Studies in Today's World” Conference, St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia, April 17-18, 2018.
  • “It’s Not the End of the World” conference, Media and Politics Group, Political Studies Association, Hull, November 15-17, 2017.
  • Conference on Emotion and News Reporting, University of Adelaide, Australia, September 5-6, 2017.
  • Colombian Association of Communication Deans and Researchers, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, March 29, 2017.
  • Conference on Journalism and Storytelling, Monash University, February 9-10, 2017.

Other Roles

Director of Research Development and Environment in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

For further information: Visit Dr Wahl-Jorgensen’s site


  • 2000: PhD (Communication), Stanford University, USA
  • 1995: BA, double major in Communication Studies and Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, USA


















I teach on the undergraduate module "Media and Democracy" and the MA module "Introduction to Journalism Studies" as well as on the school’s PhD seminars.

I have supervised more than ten PhD students to completion, and welcome PhD applications in areas relating to emotions, media and democracy, including projects on populism and the media.

My research focuses on the relationship between citizenship, media and emotion - and how it is affected by rapid technological change and innovation. I am developing new research projects on right-wing populist media, "deep fakes" and hyperlocal journalism. 

I have carried out extensive work on how citizens are represented in and participate through news forms and genres, including vox pop interviews, letters to the editor, disaster coverage and user-generated content. I am now turning to investigating how journalists experience and adapt to dramatic transformations in their profession, and how these experiences and adaptations are shaped by organisational cultures and resources.

Links to Research Projects

I have supervised more than ten PhD students to completion, and welcome PhD applications in areas relating to emotions, media and democracy.