Professor Martin Conboy

BA (Hons) (Durham), MA, PGCE, PhD (London), FRHistS

Department of Journalism Studies

Emeritus Professor of Journalism History

A profile photograph of Martin Conboy.
Profile

Martin read French and English at Durham University and received his MA and PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London. He lectured in the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Potsdam, Germany for five years before moving back to Britain to develop critical linguistic and historical approaches to journalism studies. He joined the Department of Journalism Studies in March 2005 and served as Professor of Journalism History, receiving emeritus status on his retirement in 2020.

He has acted as external examiner and validator for journalism degrees at 10 British universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and has acted as external examiner on over a dozen PhDs at home and abroad. He has been invited to give keynote lectures at universities around the world, from Argentina to Zurich. His research interests include historical aspects of journalism, national identity and the media, popular journalism and critical approaches to the language of journalism.

Widely published with over 60 pieces in refereed journals and edited volumes, he is the author of seven single-authored books: 

  • The Press and Popular Culture (2002)
  • Journalism: A Critical History (2004)
  • Tabloid Britain: Constructing a Community Through Language (2006)
  • The Language of the News (2007)
  • The Language of Newspapers: Socio-historical Perspectives (2010)
  • Journalism in Britain: A Historical Introduction (2011)
  • Journalism Studies: The Basics (2012)

Martin is also the co-author with Dr Adrian Bingham of Tabloid Century (2015), the editor of How Journalism Uses History (2013), and the co-editor of The Cato Street Conspiracy (2019, with Prof Jason McElligott) and The Routledge Companion to British Media History (2015, with Dr John Steel). He is the co-editor of a series of six books entitled Journalism Studies: Key Texts.

In September 2010 he became the principal investigator on the £38,000 AHRC-funded research project 'Exploring the language of the popular in Anglo-American newspapers 1833-1988'. From 2012 to 2015 he collaborated with Professor Marcel Broersma (Groningen) on a €40,000 project sponsored by the AHRC and the Dutch NWO which investigated changing role perceptions of journalists. With Dr Adrian Bingham of the Department of History he shared responsibility for the Centre for the Study of Journalism and History at the University of Sheffield. He was awarded €7,000 by Marsh's Library, Dublin to organise a conference and publication reflecting on the 200th anniversary of the Cato Street conspiracy.

Martin is a member of eight international editorial boards including the three main journals in the field: Journalism Studies; Media History; and Journalism: Theory Practice and Criticism. In addition, he is a regular contributor to broadcast debates on popular culture and tabloid journalism.

Publications

Books

Edited books

  • Conboy M & Steel J (Ed.) (2014) The Routledge Companion to British Media History. Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M & Steel J (Ed.) (2014) The Routledge Companion to British Media History. London: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M (Ed.) (2012) How Journalism Uses History. Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Conboy M (2019) Journalism history, The Handbook of Journalism Studies (pp. 21-37). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2017) British popular newspaper traditions: From the nineteenth century to the first tabloid In Palander-Collin M, Raita M & Taavitsainen I (Ed.), Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse (pp. 119-136). John Benjamins Publishing Company RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD & Eldridge II SA (2017) Journalism and public discourse: negotiating complexity In Cotter C & Perrin D (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Media (pp. 164-177). Abingdon, Oxon. UK: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M (2016) Janus and the Journalists: Discussions of British Journalism 1880-1900 In Steel J & Broersma M (Ed.), Redefining Journalism in the Era of the Mass Press, 1880-1920 (pp. 31-43). London: Routledge Taylor and Francis. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2016) Residual Radicalism as a Popular Commercial Strategy: Beginnings and Endings In Brake L, Kaul C & Turner M (Ed.), The News of the World and the British Press, 1843-2011 'Journalism for the Rich, Journalism for the Poor' (pp. 117-134). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2015) Journalism Studies and 'The Crisis' of Journalism In O'Brien M & Rafter K (Ed.), The State in Transition Essays in Honour of John Horgan (pp. 28-52). New Island Books RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J & conboy M (2015) Editors' Introduction: British media and mediations of the past In Conboy M & Steel J (Ed.), Routledge Companion to British Media History (pp. 1-6). Routledge View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J (2014) This Sporting 'Life-World': Mediating sport in Britain, The Routledge Companion to British Media History (pp. 147-159). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2014) Visual Aspects of British Tabloid Newspapers: 'Image Crowding Out Rational Analysis?' In Machin D (Ed.), Visual Communication (pp. 261-280). Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2014) Geoff Hurst's Ball: Popular Tabloids and Humour on the Dark Side In Korte B & Lechner D (Ed.), History and Humour British and American Perspectives (pp. 193-210). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2012) Celebridade Na Cultura Tabloida Britanica In ZÚQUETE JPEDROTORRES (Ed.), A Vida Como Um Filme: Fama e Celebridade no Século XXI (pp. 123-148). TEXTO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J & Conboy M (2009) The future of newspapers In Franklin B (Ed.), The future of newspapers Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M (2009) Writing and journalism: Politics, social movements, and the public sphere, Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text (pp. 249-268). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy MD (2008) A Tale of Two Battles: History in the Popular Press In Nicholas SH & O'Malley T (Ed.), Reconstructing the Past (pp. 137-152). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M () Chapter 7. British popular newspaper traditions, Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse (pp. 119-136). John Benjamins Publishing Company RIS download Bibtex download
  • () The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conboy M () Newspaper, History of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd RIS download Bibtex download
  • Jenkins S () New Media Language Routledge RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews

Conference proceedings papers

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J, Wragg P & Elliott-Harvey C (2018) Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. University of Nottingham, 8 November 2018 - 9 November 2018. RIS download Bibtex download

Working papers

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P (2018) DFoP: Scope and parameters of the project. Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Presentations

  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining freedom of the press in the 21st century: Interdisciplinary approaches and comparative perspectives. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Stakeholder workshops as a method for developing a grounded media ethics. University of Brighton. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Human dignity beyond boundaries: Revisiting global journalism ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Journalists' perceptions of press freedom in practice: Perspectives from the front-line. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining 'freedom of the press': A cross-national analysis of press council codes of ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Defining freedom of the press: A cross national examination of press ethics and regulation. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Steel J, Conboy M, Elliott-Harvey C, Firmstone J, Fox C, Mulderrig J, Saunders J & Wragg P Journalism and codes of ethics. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

Martin's teaching and research were more extensive than the title 'professor' might imply. Unusually for a professor, he is a qualified teacher (PGCE) and worked for over ten years in comprehensive schools in south London before developing a career as an academic. He even received an award for an aspect of his performance in one particular school but modesty prevents him revealing what precisely. Suffice to say he still has the certificate and is happy to reveal further details on request.

He qualified to teach English as a foreign language and has done so both at home and in Germany and Sudan. All his teaching emerged from his published work on the news media, especially his interests in national identity, language and tabloid and celebrity culture. In addition he is an active member of the Association of Journalism Education and has served on its committee.