Cultural, Communication and Media Research Group
The cultural, communication and media research group (CCMRG) undertakes research in the conceptual, applied and practice-based aspects of cultural and media studies with a focus on established and new digital media.
Alongside our colleagues in the connected lives, diverse realities research group (CLDRG), based in the School of Health and Society, we contribute to the two core themes of cultural and media research at Salford: digital culture and heritage; and media industries and media systems.
Research in the CCM field at Salford dates back to 2001. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, a quarter of our research was judged to be world leading, with almost two thirds judged as internationally excellent or world leading. On a research power ranking CCM at Salford was ranked 21st in the UK.
CCM Research Group News…..
Award for CCM Doctoral Researcher at SPARC 2021
CCM PhD candidate Terry Hall has received the best presentation award in his session at the 2021 Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference. Terry’s research focuses on Changing Images of Disability in British Television Drama. Using the material gathered from interviews with practitioners, Terry argued that telefantasy programmes, like Doctor Who, once limited actors with disabilities only allowing them to appear as aliens, in order to further the genre’s representation of the unreal. Terry then compared this to a contemporary image of disability in Doctor Who. Here, Rachel Denning, an actor of restricted height, played scientist Erica in 2017. Erica was not an alien or a villain but rather a likeable human. Terry noted that it had taken thirty-two years for a disabled actor to appear in Doctor Who as a human and not an alien. Terry expects to complete his research early in 2022.
CCM’s Carole O’Reilly recently featured in The Guardian
Carole O’Reilly recently featured in an article by Guardian correspondent, Helen Pidd, entitled ‘Could the Guardian have resisted the magnetic pull of the metropolis?’ Helen’s piece focuses on the paper’s name change in 1959 which saw the word ‘Manchester’ dropped from the title. Carole recently produced a research paper exploring the significance of the name change in which she contends that the change was felt acutely by its readers, not just in Manchester but across the North more generally. Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/media/commentisfree/2021/may/06/guardian-200-magnetic-pull-metropolis
September 2021 – CCM’s Seamus Simpson at IAPMR2021 Conference
CCM’s Seamus Simpson participated as one of the Track Chairs at the 2021 International Association of Public Media Researchers conference. The conference, which was postponed from 2020 and took place online, brought together a host of researchers from Europe and beyond, alongside media industry practitioners, to discuss the central theme of the social value of Public Service Media. Seamus also presented his paper at the conference (co-authored with Dr Imir Rashid, Ravensbourne, London) on ‘Public Service Television on the Move? Public Service Media, Social Value and New Ways of Delivering Content Over the Airwaves in the 21stCentury’.
August- September 2021 – CCM’s Carole O’Reilly in the Media
CCM’s Carole O’Reilly recently filmed her appearance with comic and presenter Reginald D Hunter for a future History Channel TV show called Great British Obsessions. Carole’s episode examines newspapers and social class, one of her key research interests.
Carole also recently recorded a podcast with broadcaster and writer, Stephen Fry. In the third episode of Stephen’s Edwardian Secrets, Carole shares her expert knowledge of the popular press at the start of the 20th century. The podcast uncovers some of the startling and unexpected hidden histories of the Edwardians.
NOVEMBER 2021 – PhD Studentships in CCM as part of the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership for September 2022 entry
See full details of the call below in our research students section….
CCM’s Sharon Coen Publishes new book on the Psychology of Journalism with Oxford University Press.
Sharon Coen and Peter Bull (Eds) (2021) The Psychology of Journalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sharon’s book has already attracted praise from the following sources:
This book advances important new arguments about the power of emotion, subjectivity, identity, image and language in the production, consumption and impact of journalism, as well as providing a creative overview of a scattered literature. It will be a really key text for teaching, and a landmark title in the development of the field.
James Curran, Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London
This is an impressive academic text, which examines the myriad of ways in which
psychology theory and research can contribute to, and deepen, our understanding of both
journalistic practice and the process of sensemaking by media consumers. It will be an
invaluable resource for academics and students, as well as for practitioners. I recommend it
Owen Hargie, Emeritus Professor of Communication, School of Communication and Media,
This collection of twelve illuminating essays offers a vigorous debate about the role of news journalism in modern society by reviewing theories, research, and evidence in psychology, detailing psychological processes involved in the production, consumption and influence of journalism in a mediated environment. For anyone interested in exploring psychological approaches to news and journalism this book is indispensable.
Ofer Feldman, Professor of Political Psychology, Doshisha University, Kyoto, JapanThis timely book breaks the either/or choice between a psychology of framing and selection on the part of journalists and/or a psychology of message impact based on audience factors. Instead, the authors situate the relational dynamics of journalists and their audience along a layered field of psychological-social psychological processes operating within the broader terrain of culture and ideology. In doing so, this book charts a Lewinian-type landscape for journalism, one where journalists and audience are re-defined participants in the co-creation of meaning and society.
Regina M Tuma
Professor, Media Psychology PhD
Fielding Graduate University
July 2021 – Carole O’Reilly organises prestigious conference on Media Building supported by the Leverhulme Trust
With collaborator James West from Northumbria University, Carole organised this important and highly apposite conference on the significance of the media building. Drawing on the work of scholars such as Steffan Ericson and Kristina Riegert (Media Houses, 2010), Aurora Wallace (Media Capital, 2012), and Kimberley Peters (Sound, Space, and Society, 2017), this conference brought together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and media practitioners to discuss the relationship between media content, media production, and media space in more detail. From the spectacle of the CN Tower and Broadcasting House, to the production of prison zines and the material politics of the modern newsroom, the conference explored why the spaces inhabited by various media projects have and continue to matter.
Salford CCM Scholars at ICA2021….
This year, we were represented in two ICA divisions/interest groups. One of our PhD candidates, Lee Mcdougall, presented his work on resistance to heteronomativity in online gaming environments. As previously announced on these pages, Lee’s paper was awarded the best student paper prize by the LGBT Interest Group of the ICA.
Elsewhere, in the Communication Law and Policy division, Ade Apejoye (a recent CCM doctoral graduate) and Seamus Simpson presented a paper on the significance of online news commenting in Nigeria.
CCM Researcher Secures Prestigious Award…..
CCMRG doctoral candidate, Lee McDougall, was awarded the best student paper prize by the International Communication Association LBGT Interest Group for his work on LGBTQ+ resistance to heteronormative video game design and culture. Lee will present his work at the 2021 ICA conference, 27-31 May 2021. Lee also spoke about this research at the 2021 British Sociological Association Annual Conference in April 2021
Dr Carole O’Reilly to Speak at Major Research Conference on The Guardian
Carole O’Reilly will speak at a panel on Liberalism at ‘Liberalism Inc: 200 Years of the Guardian’ conference, 23-24 April 2021. The conference is organised by Goldsmiths Leverhulme Research Centre.
CCM’s Richard Hewett Publishes on Morecambe and Wise
One of Richard’s latest pieces sees him explore the comedic relationship between the legendary comedy duo Morecambe and Wise. Entitled, ‘Belittling Ern: The changing performance dynamic of Morecambe and Wise’, Richard’s article has recently been published online in the journal Comedy Studies (2021, vol 12, issue 2).
Our research foci
Our scholars in the CCMRG have the following specialisms:
- media frameworks; interactive and hybrid media (Prof Insook Choi)
- cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of exposure to media messages, with particular focus on the role played by media in affecting the public’s involvement in politics and citizenship-related issues (Dr Sharon Coen – School of Health and Society)
- the historical development of UK television performance; television aesthetics (Dr Richard Hewett)
- the philosophy of virtuality; cultural identity in the socially networked society (Dr David Kreps – Salford Business School)
- radio drama, audio, podcast, adaptation (Dr Leslie McMurtry)
- new media technologies and systems: drones, social media, esports (Prof Andy Miah – School of Science, Engineering and Environment)
- history of journalism; cultural history of public urban green spaces (Dr Carole O’Reilly)
- European and global media policy; Internet governance; public service media (Prof Seamus Simpson)
- media industries and their popular narratives (Dr Anthony Smith)
Recent books by CCMRG scholars
Richard Hewett (2017) The Changing Spaces of Television Acting: from Studio Realism to Location Realism in BBC Television Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press
David Kreps (2018) Against Nature – the Metaphysics of Information Systems, London: Routledge.
Andy Miah (2017) Sport 2.0: Transforming Sports for a Digital World, Cambridge MA. : MIT Press.
Andy Miah (2020) Drones: the Brilliant, the Bad and the Beautiful. : Bingley: Society Now, Emerald.
Leslie McMurtry (2019) Revolution in the Echo Chamber: Audio Drama’s Past, Present and Future. Bristol: Intellect.
Carole O’Reilly (2019) Greening the City: Urban Parks and Public Leisure 1840 – 1940. London and New York: Routledge.
Peter Humphreys and Seamus Simpson (2018) Regulation, Governance and Convergence in the Media, Cheltenham and Hershey PA: Edward Elgar.
Alison Harcourt, George Christou and Seamus Simpson (2020) Global Standard Setting in Internet Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Anthony Smith (2018) Storytelling Industries: Narrative Production in the 21st Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Some examples of our recent externally funded research
International Professional Fora: A study of Civil Society Organisation Participation in Internet Governance
Between 2015 and 2018 Seamus Simpson (Professor of Media Policy) undertook a three year ESRC funded research project on civil society participation in Internet governance. This was a collaborative project with Alison Harcourt (Project PI, Politics, University of Exeter) and George Christou (Project Co-I, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick). The project asked: does civil society participation in self-regulatory fora promote public interest goals in internet governance at the international level? The project lifted the lid on Internet governance at the international level and produced insights into a world which, although highly technical, very much affects the way in which citizens live and work on a daily basis.
Project Duration: September 2015-September 2018
Funder: Economic and Social Research Council
Project Value: £470,000
Project website: http://internetpolicystreams.com
Understanding Digital Events : A philosophical and sociological study of virtual experience in the everyday.
Dr David Kreps
British Academy Mid Career Fellowship 2018
In August 2017, David Kreps was awarded a British Academy Fellowship to undertake a research project which introduced an events-based approach to understanding digital experience. Focusing on the event-ontologies of Bergson and Whitehead’s process metaphysics, it explored subjective experience and objective reality as unified ‘events’ in the form of concrete slabs of existence. Such slabs are temporally defined by a term or period, in which all physical-chemical processes and personal subjective experience are included. Bringing together insights from a range of different specialisms, the research urges us to consider a science of nature that includes both physical and non-physical realities and, from this ontological position, draws on philosophy, media, and user experience practice to provide a new account of the technological or virtual world of today. An examination of the manner in which process philosophy may be applied to contemporary digital experience, the publications from this project addresses academic enquiry in philosophy, science and technology studies and information systems.
The funded project ran between 1st January and 31st December 2018.
Project website: https://concrescence.org.uk
Our PhD research student community
The CCM research group is interested in receiving high quality proposals for MPhil and doctoral research projects addressing the conceptual, applied and practice-based aspects of culture, media and communications, in their traditional and/or new forms.
Study for an AHRC Funded PhD at the University of Salford
Call for Expressions of Interest and Applications in Media and Cultural Studies
North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition for 2022-23 Entry
We invite expressions of interest and applications, to the Media and Cultural Studies Pathway, for +2/+3 full and part-time PhD studentships as part of the AHRC’s North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership studentship competition.
The studentship covers PhD fees, provides an annual stipend for the duration of your study (currently set at £15,609 and subject to review), and access to additional funding for field research and further training.
The University of Salford is a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP), which includes non-HE institutions such as the BBC, Home/Cornerhouse, Tate Liverpool, Opera North, FutureEverything, and FACT (Liverpool).
The School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology at the University of Salford has an international reputation for research, both theoretical and practice-based. The Cultural, Communication and Media research group at Salford undertakes research in the conceptual, applied and practice-based aspects of cultural and media studies and traditional and new digital media. CCM research has been established formally at the University of Salford since 2001.
Our media and cultural studies research environment is based at the heart of MediaCityUK, allowing for unique access to – and engagement with – media institutions like the BBC and ITV, reinforced by a rich programme of research events with both an industry and academic focus.
Areas of expertise of our academic staff include: Journalism studies; Media theory; Digital culture; Social media; Internet regulation and governance; Television studies; Media politics; Transnational media; Urban cultures; Creative industries; Popular culture; Cultural theory; Media policy.
How to Apply:
Prospective applicants who are interested in applying and eligible for funding should get in touch with us with an expression of interest by Wednesday 15 December 2021. Please contact the CCM Media and Cultural Studies Pathway Representatives at Salford:
Dr Leslie McMurtry (L.G.McMurtry@salford.ac.uk)
Dr Carole O’Reilly (C.OReilly@salford.ac.uk)
We would expect you to have a very good first degree, and a completed or current MA, or equivalent professional experience.
Following that, it will be necessary to complete a formal application for PhD study at the University of Salford by Friday 14 January 2022
and ultimately an application to the Northwest Consortium by Friday 4 February 2022
For further information including an application form and guidance notes, please see the NWC DTP site:
If you have further queries about the research specialisms in media and cultural studies in the School of Arts and Media, and the potential for working with our non-HE partners, please contact our CCM Research Group Lead, Professor Seamus Simpson (email@example.com).
Ring Fenced Studentships
The NWCDTP is committed to equality of opportunity and working to ensure our student cohort reflects the diverse community we serve. We have introduced a range of positive measures to assist in achieving these commitments, recognising in particular that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and disabled groups are currently underrepresented on our programmes and across the UK university sector. The introduction of these measures follows a review of our recruitment processes and forms part of a three-year plan we have developed to achieve greater diversity and better equality outcomes.
One of the steps we are taking as part of that plan is to introduce ring-fenced studentships. In 2022, we will guarantee two candidates from BAME backgrounds a studentship. Applicants from these groups will, of course, also be considered as part of our recruitment to all of the available studentships.
Applicants wishing to apply for one of the ring-fenced studentships will have the opportunity to identify themselves on the application form as wishing to be considered for these targeted studentships. Their applications will be considered as part of the standard award competition and will be subject to the same assessment criteria and schedule.
The NWC will be running online application workshops via Zoom for those who are interested in applying. Please find below dates, times and details on how to join our workshops :
- Tuesday 26th November 2021 – 10-11am (GMT) via Zoom
- Tuesday 11th January 2022 – 10-11am (GMT) via Zoom
If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact PGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk
Some of our recently supervised and current research degree topics are as follows:
- Online role play gaming, culture and resistance (Lee McDougall)
- Development communication in Ghanaian education projects (Francis Gbadago)
- Between friends and fans. Interpreting PR communication on Facebook : a focus on the written word (Ben Gust)
- Reinventing the rattling tin: explaining the dynamics of social networking site fundraising (Evie Lucas)
- Distribution and exhibition of documentaries in Columbia (Carolina Patino)
- Cyberactivism in a non-democratic context: social campaigning in Saudi Arabia (Abdullah Abalkhail)
- Public relations programs and diplomacy (Khalid Abdalla)
- The space building function of news content of television channels of the Middle East (Safiya Alabdalkarim)
- Professional obstacles of local press coverage (Ali Almania)
- An explorative study on the impacts of new media on Saudi women (Abdalhadi Almfleah)
- A framing and sentiment analysis of the representation of Saudi women in the British press from 2005-2013 (Nahid Bashatah)
- The role of psychological discourse (Lesley Blaker)
- Journalists in violent conflicts in Jos, Nigeria (Godfrey Danaan)
- Media and ethno-religious conflict in Plateau State, Nigeria (Andrew Danjuma Dewan)
- Mass media and female empowerment in Nigeria (Esa Ella)
- Robin Ellis How can installation be employed as a technique? (Robin Ellis)
- Made for TV monsters: the style, spectacle and production of TV horror (Stella Gaynor)
- Twitter and citizen journalism in Saudi Arabian media (Aljawhara Almutarie)
- Public relations and peace negotiations in the Niger Delta (Harvey Igben)
- Credibility of news: a comparative study of the credibility of TV news, newspaper news and internet news (Abdullah Maqbul)
- The role of Facebook and Twitter in generating social and political change during the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt (Mohammad Mesawa)
- Wind vision: towards a ‘cinemeteorology’ (Dalia Neis)
- The exploration of existing ways and origination of new methods to effectively present history for a young audience (Tanya Nelson)
- Media framing and audience perception of conflict (Taye Obateru)
- An exploratory study of new media adoption for participatory programming in SW Nigeria’s radio stations (Olawale Oni)
- Between narrative/semiotic structure and the moving body (Pavel Prokopic)
- Democratisation of media through online social media and its impact on democractic political institutions in India (MPhil) (Richa Yadav)
- Media use by civil society land rights organisations in Malaysia (Pao Sium Yap)
- The significance of news website commenting in Nigerian media (Ade Apejoye)
If you have further queries about the research specialisms in media and cultural studies in the School of Arts, Media an Creative Technology and the potential for working with our non-HE partners, please contact our CCM Research Group Lead, Professor Seamus Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact PGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk
CCM research seminars
CCMRG has a long established research seminar programme involving invited talks in a wide range of topics from external speakers. Our 2021-22 seminar programme will commence in the Autumn of 2021 – more details to follow soon……