Dr Preeti Raghunath (she/her)

Department of Sociological Studies

Lecturer in Digital Media and Society

Co-Lead, STeMiS Research Theme

International Officer, Digital Media and Society programmes

Fellow, Institute for Global Sustainable Development

Co-Lead, Interest Group on Data-driven Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Shef.AI

A photo of Preeti
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Full contact details

Dr Preeti Raghunath
Department of Sociological Studies
Floor C
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Preeti Raghunath joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2023 as a Lecturer in Digital Media and Society. Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, she was a Lecturer at Monash University, Malaysia. Preeti holds a PhD in Communication (2019) from the University of Hyderabad and a Masters in International Relations and Politics (2011) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, both in India. Before joining academia, Preeti worked as a journalist, in corporate communications and as a researcher.

Research interests

Preeti has conducted theoretical and empirical research in the field of global media policy over the last decade. She conducted an expansive policy ethnography from 2013 to 2017 on community radio policymaking in South Asia with diverse policy actors – communities and activists, ministries in national governments, and representatives of international organisations – in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. This was published as a book (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). From this research, she developed a grounded theoretical framework on deliberation in media policy and governance. She then studied AI policies, gender and the UN’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with researchers at the United Nations University. 

Preeti enjoys engaging with lived experiences of policy and practice as well as grounded theorising rooted in them. She has researched and written about critical and deliberative policy studies, critical policy ethnography as method, affect and communication, and sustainable media governance. 

Current Research: Preeti’s current research is on equity and sustainability in the Global Data Economy, along a temporal arc that traces its historical making, contemporary development and socio-ecological implications for the future. She is involved in an action research project on community data governance in Sri Lanka with colleagues at Monash University, Australia. Further, she is developing collaborative work in digital technologies and the neurological condition of myelopathy. 

Preeti maintains an active interest in theorising AI and Data, more specifically on critical and southern approaches to AI, data and its governance. 



  • Raghunath P (2020) Community Radio Policies in South Asia A Deliberative Policy Ecology Approach. Springer Nature. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Raghunath P & Rahman A (2024) Opening Up the Black Box of Communication Governance in South Asia: Critical Policy Ethnography as Methodology In Padovani C, Wavre V, Hintz A, Goggin G & Iosifidis P (Ed.), Global Communication Governance at the Crossroads Palgrave Macmillan RIS download Bibtex download
  • Raghunath P (2023) Deliberation as pedagogy: gender, intersectionality, and journalism Education in India In Mutsvairo B, Bebawi S & Borges-Rey E (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Journalism in the Global South (pp. 111-120). Routledge View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Raghunath P (2023) Deliberation as Pedagogy, The Routledge Companion to Journalism in the Global South (pp. 111-120). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Raghunath P (2022) Deliberative Policy Ecology Approach: Media Policy Studies from South Asia In Ganter SA & Badr H (Ed.), Media Governance A Cosmopolitan Critique Palgrave Macmillan RIS download Bibtex download


  • Raghunath P (2021) Translating experience into enunciation on conducting a policy ethnography in south asia: A researcher reflects on what it means to translate policy ethnography into action.. Economic and Political Weekly, 56(22), 63-64. RIS download Bibtex download


Research group

Preeti co-leads the STeMiS research theme at the Department. Preeti convenes a reading group on the Digital and Data Economy at the Digital Society Network at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She is a Fellow with the Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD) and Co-Lead of the interest group on Data-driven Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Shef.AI, convened by the Centre for Machine Intelligence at the University.

Postgraduate Supervision

Preeti supervises BA and MA dissertations on digital media and society. She is interested in supervising PGR research exploring Data and AI through critical, deliberative and sustainability lenses in diverse contexts.


Preeti has secured grants and consultancies with entities like UN University in Macau (for research projects funded by ITU and UN Women), Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and sub-grants from the Open Society Foundation (OSF), Ford Foundation and Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She has received travel grants from scholarly associations like IAMCR and IPPA to present papers at their annual conferences. She was the recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Communication Technology and Policy section at IAMCR 2018. Here are details of funded research projects she has pursued after her PhD:

  • Co-Investigator – Industry SEED Project with Action Lab, Monash University, Australia - Volunteer-driven governance of community platforms in Sri Lanka (2023-24)
  • Researcher – United Nations University, Macau for two projects: Gender and AI in Southeast Asia, funded by ITU and Government of Australia; and AI and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in Southeast Asia, funded by UN Women (2022-2023)
  • Country Expert, India – Bottom-up Initiatives and Anti-Corruption Technologies: How Citizens use ICTs to Fight Corruption (BIT-ACT), University of Bologna, Italy (2021-2023) 
  • PI – ‘Hated Speech’ and the Costs of Freedom in India, Grant by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (2021-2022)
Teaching activities

Preeti teaches the following modules for the academic year 2023-24: 

  • SCS6078 Perspectives on Digital Society (MA DMS)
  • SCS3040 Digital Media Work Placement (BA DMS)
  • SCS21002 Social Research Design and Methods (BA DMS)

She is developing an optional module for BA year 3 on the Global Data Industries. She has received support from the Teaching and Learning Enhancement budget towards developing this module.

Professional activities and memberships

Preeti is Co-Editor of the Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business book series (2024-2028).

She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Digital Media and Policy (Intellect).

Preeti serves as a Vice-Chair of the Global Media Policy Working Group of the IAMCR (2020-2024).

Partnerships, engagement and impact

Preeti is associated as a member of the newly formed Southeast Asia Research Centre for Digital Technologies and Society (SEADS) at Monash University, Malaysia.

Previously, she was instrumental in securing inter-institutional partnerships for research cooperation between Monash University, Malaysia and United Nations University, Macau. Her research report titled ‘Hated Speech and the Costs of Freedom in India’ funded by APC, is part of Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression curriculum. She was part of a national consultation with the Government of India on media policy in 2017.

She welcomes collaborations in areas of common interest.