Jake Mason

Jake MasonJake began his studies with BA Modern Languages at the University of Sheffield, specialising in German, Dutch and Luxembourgish. For postgraduate study, he transferred to the University's Department of Journalism Studies to take MA International Political Communication. His MA thesis looked at the strategic communications role of the White Helmets in the Syrian Civil War.

Following on from his previous experience of language learning, Jake is currently enrolled in a Modern Standard Arabic course through the University's Doctoral Development Programme. He plans to use this additional language to expand the range of primary sources available to him on the Syrian Civil War.

Jake believes strongly that the pervasive, deceptive political propaganda of western societies can be effectively combatted through media literacy programmes. He has developed workshops to educate school pupils on how they can identify and understand 'fake news' as well as critically engage with the role of contemporary propaganda in western democracies. These workshops are available through the University of Sheffield's Widening Participation scheme.


Jake's doctoral research addresses the British government's use of strategic communication in the Syrian Civil War. He is using a mixed-method approach to identify the scope of the British government's strategic communication policy; the policy's relationship to the activities and interests of external actors; and the role of elite networks in the production of strategic communication.

The purpose of this is to use empirical data to map the scope of the British government's strategic communication policy and to conceptualise the relationship between elite networks and the policy's production.

PhD title

Spinning the Syrian Civil War: Elite networks and the British government's use of strategic communication


Primary supervisor: Piers Robinson

Secondary supervisor: John Steel


Book reviews

Mason, J. (2018). Stealth communications: the spectacular rise of public relations by Sue Curry Jansen. Information, Communication & Society. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1437207


'Syria Civil Defence and the Syrian Civil War: Understanding the Dutch government's role in the production of Anglo-American propaganda', 12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Low Countries Studies, 30 June 2018

'Strategic communication: What does it mean for Luxembourg Studies?', Language Identities and Multimodalities, 04 May 2018, University of Sheffield

'Persecution, Minorities and Sanctions: What Does the Iraq Inquiry Tell Us About British Propaganda?', SLC Postgraduate Research Colloquium 2017: Memory, Minorities and Repression