Spring 2017

The Department of Media & Communications began 2017 with the exciting news of three new members of academic faculty: Sarah Banet-Weiser, Lee Edwards and Omar Al-Ghazzi. Our current faculty continue their impactful research, with the news that Sonia Livingstone will make an important contribution to the UK Government's Internet Safety Strategy, while Ellen Helsper's work with The Prince's Trust is providing vital insight into UK digital inequality. Together with new research funding, exciting upcoming events, publications in important journals and two recently published books by myself and Shakuntala Banaji, 2017 is already shaping up to be an outstanding year for the Department.

Professor Nick Couldry
Head of Department
The Department of Media and Communications is delighted to announce three new members of academic staff.

Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser (centre) will join LSE in September 2018 from USC Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication as Professor and Head of Department. Dr Lee Edwards (left) will join LSE in September 2017 from The University of Leeds as Associate Professor and Director of the MSc in Strategic Communications. Dr Omar Al-Ghazzi (right) will join LSE in September 2017 from The University of Sheffield as Assistant Professor.
The Culture Secretary has commissioned Professor Sonia Livingstone, Professor Joanne Davidson and Dr Jo Bryce to provide up to date evidence of how young people use the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe. The report, on behalf of the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Evidence Group, will contribute to the Internet Safety Strategy aimed at making Britain the safest country in the world for children and young people to be online. The new cross-Government drive is led by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley MP on behalf of the Prime Minister with a green paper expected in summer 2017. More here>>
New LSE research commissioned by The Prince’s Trust, in conjunction with Samsung, reveals the disadvantages young people face offline are preventing them from making the most of the online world. Slipping through the Net, produced by Dr Ellen Helsper reveals a clear distrust by Britain’s most disadvantaged young people of online interactions, which is a major obstacle to using the digital world to improve their situation. More here>>

The Global Kids Online project, launched on 2 November at the Children’s Lives in the Digital Age seminar held at UNICEF Headquarters in New York, aims to build a global network of researchers investigating the risks and opportunities of child internet use. The Global Kids Online website makes high quality, flexible research tools freely available worldwide. Professor Sonia Livingstone wrote a piece in The Conversation about the project. More here>> 

Professor Nick Coudry has recently produced two widely-read commentaries for The Conversation as part of their Democracy Futures series. On 6 February, Professor Couldry focused on Donald Trump's use of Twitter as a reinvention of the royal fiat by novel means: the rule-by-tweet, or “twiat”, which needs to be resisted. On 28 November, Professor Couldry wrote (with Clemencia Rodríguez) about surveillance capitalism and its contribution to escalating global inequalities. More here>>


On 18 November, Dr Damian Tambini gave a keynote address at the 2016 Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights in Brussels. The colloquium theme was Media Pluralism and Democracy and Dr Tambini’s talk focused on protecting pluralism and media freedom and the free flow of opinions and ideas within and outside the EU. More here>>

Dr Bart Cammaerts was in Sweden on 29 October to present a paper entitled Self-mediation practices of the anti-austerity movement. A dialectic between the symbolic and the material’ at a colloquium on Communication, Material and Discursive Power Dynamics, co-organised by Uppsala University and DESIRE, the Centre for the study of Democracy. More here>>

On Safer Internet Day 2017 (Febraury 7), Professor Sonia Livingstone was in Strasbourg to attend the meeting of a Council of Europe drafting group of experts tasked with the elaboration of guidelines for member States to empower, protect and support children's safe access to their rights on the internet. Professor Livingstone acts as consultant to the group, which includes government authorities, data protection authorities, academia, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. More here>>

Professor Clemencia Rodríguez will join us on Tuesday 14 March for a public talk on Media, War and Peacebuilding. Through a series of examples from Professor Rodríguez's fieldwork in Colombia, the talk will illustrate the complex and multidimensional roles citizens’ media have in contexts of armed violence. With Dr Shakuntala Banaji as respondent. Free entry. All welcome. More here>>
Dr Ruth Garland will chair a one-day symposium organised by Public Policy Exchange on 7 March aimed at public sector communicators on The Future of Local Government and Public Sector Communications: Embedding a Strategic Approach to the Use of Digital and Social Media. She will also give a paper at the event entitled Local government communications: between the devil and the deep blue sea? More here>>
The Department's 2017 PhD Symposium will feature presentations around the topic of Media and Politics: alienation, engagement and resistance. This interdisciplinary symposium ties together the fields of politics, media and cultural studies and is particularly geared towards PhD students in the early stages of their research. Abstracts are welcomed until the deadline of 15 March. More here>>
Podcast blast from the past...

From a Culture of Connectivity to a Platform Society

Professor José van Dijck, Professor Sonia Livingstone, Professor Andrew Murray

Recorded on 7 March 2016.

Online platforms are penetrating the organisation of societies, disrupting private and public sectors. What is their impact on the governance of public life and social order? Listen here>>
  • Anstead, Nick (2016) A different beast? Televised election debates in parliamentary democracies. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 21 (4). pp. 508-526. More here>>
  • Beckett, Charlie (2017) Did the press create post-fact politics? New Statesman, 6 Jan. More here>>
  • Chouliaraki, Lilie (2017) Digital footage from conflict zones: the politics of authenticity. In: Franklin, Bob and Eldridge II, Scott , (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies. Routledge, London, UK. More here>>
  • Couldry, Nick (2017) Media in modernity: a nice derangement of institutions. Revue Internationale de Philosophie. More here>>
Children and Media in India:
Narratives of Class, Agency and Social Change

By Shakuntala Banaji

An authoritative overview of theories and discussions about childhood, agency, social class, caste and gender in India is followed by an analysis of films and television representations of childhood informed by qualitative interview data collected between 2005 and 2015 in urban, small-town and rural contexts with children aged nine to 17. More here>>
  • Mansell, Robin (2017) Recognizing ‘ourselves’ in media and communications research. International Communication Gazette, 78 (7). pp. 716-721.  More here>>
  • Ottovordemgentschenfelde, Svenja (2017) 'Organizational, professional, personal’: an exploratory study of political journalists and their hybrid brand on Twitter. Journalism, 18 (1). pp. 64-80. More here>>
  • Orgad, Shani (2017) The cruel optimism of The Good Wife: the fantastic working mother on the fantastical treadmill. Television and New Media, 18 (2). pp. 165-183. More here>>
The Mediated Construction of Reality
By Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp

Social theory needs to be completely rethought in a world of digital media and social media platforms driven by data processes. Fifty years after Berger and Luckmann published their classic text The Social Construction of Reality, Couldry and Hepp, revisit the question of how social theory can understand the processes through which an everyday world is constructed in and through media. More here>>
  • Orgad, Shani and Meng, Bingchun (2017) The maternal in the city: outdoor advertising representations in Shanghai and London. Communication, Culture & Critique. More here>>
  • Willems, Wendy and Mano, Winston (2016) Decolonizing and provincializing audience and internet studies: contextual approaches from African vantage points. In: Willems, Wendy and Mano, Winston, (eds.) Everyday media culture in Africa: audiences and users. Routledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies. Routledge, London. More here>>
Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan has been awarded funds from Open Society Foundations for her project Justice, Equity and Technology, which explores the intersection between policy and practice within the realm of automated discrimination. More here>> 

Dr Gangadharan has also received funds from New America for Our Data Bodies, a three-year, mixed method, participatory research project exploring the nature and experience of digital privacy and “data rights” of adult low-income people in the United States. More here>>
Dr Myria Georgiou and Dr Lukasz Szulc have been awarded funds through the European Commission for a 24-month Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to study Identity Management on Social Media by Diasporic LGBTQs (FACELOOK)

The project will use a mixed-methods research approach to investigate diasporic LGBTQs and their use of social media, focusing on the relationship between the internet and identity, as well as what opportunities and difficulties social media create to a group that faces different challenges of exclusion and discrimination. More here>>
Dr Alison Powell has been awarded funds through the European Commission's Horizon 2020 initiative for her participation in the project VirtEU: Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe.

The project includes five European research partners besides LSE: IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Open Rights Group (UK), Uppsala University (Sweden), Politechnico di Torino (Italy) and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (Denmark). The goal of the project is to analyse and map the ethical practices of European hardware and software entrepreneurs, maker and hacker spaces, and community innovators. More here>> 
Polis, directed by Professor Charlie Beckett is LSE’s media think-tank, aimed at working journalists, people in public life and students in the UK and around the world. Polis is the place where journalists and the wider world can examine and discuss the media and its impact on society. More here>>
The Media Policy Project, directed by Dr Damian Tambini promotes media policy communication between academics, civil society, media professionals and policy makers. MPP works to engage the policy community with research on the policy making process itself. Additionally, MPP provides tools for anyone looking to stay up-to-date on media policy issues, though briefings, event calendars, dossiers, and lists of on-going consultations. More here>>
Parenting for a Digital Future, directed by Professor Sonia Livingstone explores the task of parenting for a digital future – both in the UK and internationally. It is part of a research project examining a host of linked questions currently absorbing parents and the wider public, as they reflect on and manage their daily lives, as well as policy-makers trying to shape the digital future and social scientists keen to track key trends. More here>>
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