Dr Omar Al-Ghazzi
Lecturer in Journalism, Politics and Public Communication
BA (Lebanese American), MA (American), PhD (Pennsylvania)
Omar joined the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield in September 2015. His academic career began at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, where he received a BA with distinction in communication arts, with an emphasis on radio, TV and film, and a minor in political science. After his graduation in 2003 he started working for the Al-Hayat Arabic daily website.
In 2004 Omar received a Fulbright scholarship to obtain an MA in international communication from the School of International Service at American University in Washington DC. After completing the MA, he worked as a reporter for Al-Hayat at its United Nations/New York bureau. In 2007 he moved to the UK, where he worked as a media analyst at BBC Monitoring, reporting on Arabic-language media.
Omar moved back to the US in late 2010 to begin a PhD in communication with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation, 'Communicating history: The mnemonic battles of the 2011 Arab uprisings', examined the role that history, as a narrative trope, played in mediated activism and contention.
Omar's expertise is in global communication and comparative journalism as well as in collective memory and digital activism studies. His research focuses on questions about media, politics and identity in the contemporary Middle East.
In Omar's research the immense political changes sweeping the Middle East since the 2011 uprisings serve as a context to engage with pressing research questions in the field of communication. For instance, he has analysed citizen journalism videos in Syria and questioned the difference between digital media narratives and practices. Omar continues to be interested in researching how digital media are used and discussed in times of conflict and revolution, in addition to how definitions and understandings of journalism are shifting with the proliferation and advancement of digital technologies.
He has also researched the role of television series in Arab and Middle Eastern politics – examining how nationalist sentiments or international relations are represented in and voiced in debates about popular culture.
Omar's work has appeared in journals such as Communication Theory; Media, Culture & Society; the International Journal of Communication; and Popular Communication.
Omar's teaching interests lie in the areas of international political communication and global journalism. His teaching and research are informed by his interest in non-normative issues within journalism, such as engaging with the following questions: what role does journalism play in different political systems, particularly in authoritarian contexts? What is the relation of journalism with political conflict and violence? And how do new technologies impact our understanding of the role of journalism in society?
He is module leader for two MA modules: