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Professor Simon Cottle

Professor Simon Cottle

Professor of Media and Communication / Director of Communications, Human Security and Atrocity in Global Context Research Group

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 (0)29 208 74506
Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS



Simon Cottle is Professor of Media and Communications at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC) at Cardiff University where he was formerly Head of School (2013-2015) and Deputy Head of School (2008-2013). Previously he was Inaugural Chair and Head of the Media and Communications Program at the University of Melbourne and he holds honorary positions at various universities in other countries. He is currently Director of a new Research Group at Cardiff: ‘Communications, Human Security and Atrocity in Global Context.’

Simon is the author of 13 books on media, globalization and the communication of conflicts, crises and catastrophes. Most recently these include Mediatized Conflicts (2006), Global Crisis Reporting (2009), Transnational Protests and the Media (Ed. with L. Lester)(2011), Disasters and the Media (with M. Pantti and K. Wahl-Jorgensen) (2012), Humanitarianism, Communications and Change (Ed. with G. Cooper)(2015), and Reporting Dangeorously: Journalist Killings, Intimidation and Security (with Richard Sambrook and Nick Mosdell)(2016). Currently he is exploring the history of violence and communications and the possible leverage that global communications can help secure in contexts of human insecurity and imminent atrocity.

Global Crises and the Media Series

Simon is Series Editor of the Global Crises and the Media series published by Peter Lang - a series of 20 plus research monographs and edited volumes. The series aims to examine and theorize the complex roles and current performance of media and communications in some of the most profound challenges confronting the world today.

Series titles published, in press and contracted include the following:

1) Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives. (2009) (Eds.) S. Allan & E. Thorsen.

2) Terror Post 9/11 and the Media. (2009) D. Altheide.

3) Climate Change and the Media. (2009) (Eds.) J. Lewis & T. Boyce.

4) Transnational Protests and the Media. (2011) (Eds.) S. Cottle & L. Lester.

5) Migrations and the (2011) (Eds.) K. Moore, B. Gross & T. Threadgold.

6) Disasters and the Media. (2012) M. Pantti, K. Wahl-Jorgensen & S. Cottle.

7) Environmental Conflict and the Media (2013) (Eds.) L. Lester & B. Hutchins.

8) Global Journalism: Theory and Practice (2013) P. Berglez.

9) Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives, Volume II. (2014) (Eds.) E. Thorsen & S. Allan.

10) Pandemics and the Media (2015) M. Levina.

11) Patents, Pills and the Press: The Rise and Fall of the Global HIV/AIDS Medicines Crisis in the News. (2015) T. Owen.

12) Global News: Reporting Conflicts and Cosmopolitanism (2015) A. Robertson.

13) Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century. (2015) L.Dencik & P. Wilkin.

14) The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts. (2015) (Eds.) M. Eskjær, S. Hjarvard & M. Mortensen.

15) Humanitarianism, Communications, and Change. (2015) (Eds.) S. Cottle &  G. Cooper.

16) Human Rights and the Media. (2016) S. Dias

17) Climate Change and the Media, Volume II. (2016) (Ed.) J. Lewis & B.Brevini

18) Communication and Political Crisis: Media and Governance in a Globalized Public Sphere. (2016) B. McNair.

19) Media and the Ukraine Crisis: Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict, (2016)(Ed.) M. Pantti.

20) Mourning News: Reporting of Violent Death in the Global News. T. Morse.

Global Crises and the Media series flyer











  • Cottle, S. 2012. Mediatized disasters in the Global Age: on the ritualization of catastrophe. In: Alexander, J. C., Jacobs, R. and Smith, P. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology. Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 259-283.
  • Cottle, S. 2012. Series Editor's Preface. In: Moore, K., Gross, B. and Threadgold, T. R. eds. Migrations and the Media. Global Crises and the Media Vol. 6. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. ix-x.
  • Pantti, M., Wahl-Jorgensen, K. and Cottle, S. 2012. Disasters and the media. Global Crises and the Media Vol. 7. New York: Peter Lang.



  • Cottle, S. 2010. Global cries and world news ecology. In: Allan, S. ed. The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 473-484.
  • Cottle, S. 2010. Foreward. In: Matthews, J. ed. Producing Serious News for Citizen Children: A Study of the BBC’s Children’s Program 'Newsround'. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, pp. v-ix.
  • Cottle, S. 2010. Global crises and world news ecology. In: Allan, S. ed. The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 473-484.
  • Cottle, S. 2010. Forward. In: Samuel-Azran, T. ed. Al Jazeera and US War Coverage. New York: Peter Lang, pp. ix-xi.
  • Rai, M. and Cottle, S. 2010. Global news revisited: mapping the contemporary landscape of satellite television news. In: Cushion, S. and Lewis, J. M. W. eds. The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 51-79.








Simon currently teaches the following Masters degree modules:

  • MCT503 Mediatized Conflicts: The Politics of Conflict Reporting
  • MCT494 Global Crisis Reporting
  • Plus guest lectures, BA, MA and PhD supervision

Past and current PhD students include:

Ahmed Othman, ‘Disaster and Democratic Communications: A Case Study of Oman TV News Coverage of Natural             Disasters.’ JOMEC, Cardiff University (2015-2018)

Carlo Piccinini, ‘NGOs, Humanitarian Advocacy and Communications’, JOMEC, Cardiff University (2013-2016)

Dr. Idil Osman, ‘The Role of the Somali Media in Somalia’s Ongoing Civil War’, JOMEC, Cardiff University (2011-2015)

Dr. Susana Dampio Dias ‘Humanitarian Emergencies and Portuguese Television’ JOMEC, Cardiff University (2009-2014)

Dr. Phansasiri Kularb ‘Thai Journalism and the Reporting of Thailand’s Southern Conflict’ JOMEC, Cardiff University (2009-2013)

Dr. Jonathan Cable ‘Protest in Action: An Examination of the Production, Media Representation and Reflexivity of Protest Group             Communications Strategies and Protest Tactics' JOMEC, Cardiff University (2007-2012)

Dr. Max Pettigrew ‘The Oxygen of Publicity and the Suffocation of Censorship: British Newspaper Representations of the             Broadcasting Ban (1988-1994)’, JOMEC, Cardiff University (2010-2011)

Dr. Adeyinka Oduwole, ‘Publics, Policy-Making and Democracy in the European Union: Regulating the Audiovisual Media Services Sector’ JOMEC, Cardiff University (2006-2009)

Dr. Colleen Murrell, University of Melbourne, ‘Publicly Funded International Broadcasting in a New Age: Politics, Purposes and            Propaganda’ (2004 - 2006)

Dr. Mugdha Rai, University of Melbourne, ‘Media Representations of State Sovereignty: A Comparative Study of International            Law Debates in Australia, the US and India’ (2004 - 2006).

Dr. Tal Azran, University of Melbourne, ‘”Contra-Flow” in Global News: A Case Study of U.S. Media’s Re-presentation of Al-Jazeera’s News Material in the Wake of 9/11 (2002 - 2006).

Dr. Libby Lester, University of Melbourne, ‘Contesting Wilderness: Media, Movement and Environmental Conflict in Tasmania’ (2004 -2005).

Dr. Julian Matthews, Brunel University, ‘Childrens TV News: Production and Representations of Risk’ (Sept 1997 - 2001).

Simon's current research centres on the necessity to engage empirically and theoretically with the rise of global crises and the complex roles and responsibilities of media in their public constitution. His more recent books – Mediatized Conflicts (2006), Global Crisis Reporting (2009), Transnational Protests and the Media (2011), Disasters and the Media (2012) and Humanitarianism, Communications, and Change (2015) – as well as Series Editorship of the Global Crises and Media Series for Peter Lang Publishing (20 titles), for example, all address media performance and possibilities for transnational community under conditions of endemic global crises. His latest book is Reporting Dangerously: Journalist Killings and Security (2016), written with colleagues at the International News Safety Institute (INSI).

This research agenda around contemporary global crises and the parts played by global communications within them inform his understanding of how and when media and communications can become aligned to civil society and movements for change. In-depth study of disasters and the ‘injunction to care’ inscribed into news reporting by some correspondents (Cottle 2014a, b), the ‘beneficent embedding’ of correspondents when reporting the Egyptian revolution from Tahrir Square (Cottle 2011), and the ‘performative visualisation’ of climate change by many broadcasters in the wake of the 2006 International Panel on Climate Change report (Cottle 2009, Lester and Cottle 2009), as well as findings from his major six nation study of 56 plus news outlets and the complex ‘communicative architecture’ of TV news around the world (Cottle and Rai 2006), serve to better understand and theorise how media and communications can sometimes perform an important role in processes of cultural reflexivity and societal change.

From July 2016 -Augist 2017 Simon is on research leave and starting to prepare a major investigation. This sets out to re-visit and re-theorise the history of violence and communications, from the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia up to and including the role of media and communications in globalised ‘civil’ and ‘uncivil’ society.

Simon’s views on the unprecedented and catastrophic nature of global crises and their critical dependence on rapidly changing media and communications are found in his book Global Crisis Reporting: Journalism in the Global Age (Open University Press 2009) (Global Crisis Reporting flyer) and recent articles including: ‘Taking Global Crises in the News Seriously: Notes From the Dark Side of Globalization’, Global Media and Communication, (2011), 7(2): 77-95.