The University of Sheffield
Department of Journalism Studies

Tony HarcupTony Harcup

Senior Lecturer

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 2502


Tony Harcup has more than 30 years' experience as a staff and freelance journalist on media ranging from small local weekly publications to national newspapers and magazines, both alternative and mainstream. This first-hand experience informs his teaching, supervision and research at the University of Sheffield, where he has worked as a senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism Studies since 2005.

Tony's books have been designated essential reading for journalism students throughout the UK and in many other countries, with his Journalism: Principles and Practice being translated into several languages including Chinese, Korean, and Polish. Similarly, his research on topics ranging from ethics to alternative journalism is widely cited by scholars around the world. A study of news values co-written with Deirdre O'Neill is the most read article in the history of leading journal Journalism Studies.

Research and scholarship feed directly into Tony's teaching, which spans everything from first-year undergraduate introductory modules to PhD supervision and assessment. Subject matter focuses on the ethics of journalism, alternative forms of journalism, and the essentials of reporting news accurately and fairly. Tony has passed on to students lessons gained from his own use of the Freedom of Information Act, and introduced a blogging element to students' reporting from their different 'patches' within Sheffield.

Tony spent four years as the department's Director of Teaching, during which time he served on the department's executive in addition to playing a full role in research activity. Beyond the University, he has served on the national committee of the Association for Journalism Education (AJE) and on the Professional Training Committee of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). With the help of a small AJE grant, he conducted a major survey of journalists who have become journalism educators. This study was published in three parts in peer-reviewed journals in 2011 and 2012 (see list of publications for details), and has since been replicated in Australia and New Zealand.

Holding a masters degree in Cultural Studies (Leeds Metropolitan University) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Open University), Tony is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2008 he was awarded the NUJ Gold Badge in recognition of his work for journalists and journalism students.

Tony's comments are frequently sought by media outlets on stories ranging from tabloid phone hacking to the role of the local Green 'Un sports newspaper, and in 2012 he presented evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press. He is currently compiling the first ever Oxford Dictionary of Journalism, due for publication by Oxford University Press in 2014.

Selected publications

Alternative journalism: an Audioboo interview with Tony