Journalism, communication and democracy

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This research theme comprises work in the following areas:

  • Journalism and free speech protection
  • Risk to and violation of journalistic freedoms in diverse settings
  • Different media regulatory regimes and legal frameworks
  • The civil power of the factual media
  • Media pluralism and the role of public service communication in Europe
  • Political communication, campaigns and elections
  • Data protection and the 'right to be forgotten'
  • Ethics and regulation of journalism
  • News values
  • The role of alternative media/journalism

Current and recent work

Defining Freedom of the Press (DFoP)

Led by Dr John Steel, this major project compares media regulation across 13 European countries. Its findings could benefit multiple groups, including individual journalists, free expression campaigners and the general public.

Defining Freedom of the Press is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Read more about DFoP

View the project website

Follow the project on Twitter

Key researchers


PhD students

Current and recent PhD students working in this area include:

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Research Excellence Framework 2021 results

The results demonstrate our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and confirm that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.