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 REF2021 exercise, 82% of the research submitted by Salford in the CCM field was graded internationally excellent or world leading.
Apply for an AHRC funded PhD in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Salford to start in September 2024
Call for Expressions of Interest and Applications in Media and Cultural Studies
North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition for 2024-25 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 £18,622 (or part-time pro rata) 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-Higher Education 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.
In the 2021 UK Research Excellence Framework exercise, 82% of the research we submitted in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies was graded internationally excellent or world leading.
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 newer digital media. CCM research has been established formally at 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 history; Media theory; Digital culture; Social media; Internet regulation and governance; Television studies; Media politics; Transnational media; Creative industries; Cultural theory; Media policy.
How to Apply:
We advise prospective applicants who are interested in applying and eligible for funding to get in touch with us with an expression of interest by Wednesday 13 December 2023.
Please contact the Media and Cultural Studies Pathway Representative at Salford:
Dr Rania Kosmidou – firstname.lastname@example.org
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 12 January 2024. See:
and ultimately an application to the Northwest Consortium by Friday 2 February 2024 (17.00 GMT)
For further information including an NWC 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, Media and Creative Technology, 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 cohort of postgraduate researchers reflects the diverse community we serve. We have introduced a range of positive measures to assist in achieving these commitments, recognising in particular that postgraduate researchers from Global Majority, Disabled, and Socioeconomically Unequal communities 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.
In the 2023/24 round, we will recruit directly to the following Named Studentships:
Global Majority or Global Majority heritage studentship – recognising that our PGR cohort does not reflect the diversity of the UK population, this studentship is open to a Global Majority or Global Majority heritage candidate. This studentship is available for Home and International candidates.
Broken Pipeline studentship – recognising the clear inequality within the HE sector this studentship is for a UK-domiciled candidate from an underrepresented group or background. This studentship is for candidates who feel that they are from groups or backgrounds that are underrepresented within UK Higher Education and experience barriers to access and participation. Many of these groups or backgrounds intersect and overlap and can pose barriers to equality of opportunity.
We 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 :
- 27 Oct 2023, 10 – 11am (GMT): https://zoom.us/j/99387595337
- 8 Jan 2024, 3 – 4pm (GMT): https://zoom.us/j/98057198832
If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact PGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk
CCM Research Group News…..
Cultural, Communication and Media Research Seminar Programme 2023-24
Seamus Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5 December 2023 (16.00-17.00) MediaCity 310
Transmedia/Genre: Rethinking Genre in a Multiplatform Culture
Anthony Smith – University of Salford
In this presentation, Anthony offers an overview of his latest monograph, Transmedia/Genre: Rethinking Genre in a Multiplatform Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023), which he co-authored with Matthew Freeman (Bath Spa University). The book brings genre back to the forefront of the current transmedia trend. Genres are perhaps the most innately transmedial of media constructs, formed as they are from all kinds of industrial, technological and discursive phenomena. Yet few have considered how genre works in a multiplatform context. This book does precisely that, making a uniquely transmedial contribution to the study of genre in the age of media convergence. The book interrogates how industrial, technological and participatory transformations of digital platforms and emerging technologies reshape workings of genre. It considers franchises such as Star Wars, streaming platforms such as Netflix, catch-up services such as ITV Hub, creative technologies such as virtual reality, and beyond. In setting the stage for the revival of genre theory in contemporary transmedia scholarship, this book pushes forward understandings of not just multiplatform media, but of the emerging form and function of genre across contemporary culture
21 November 2023 (14.00-15.00) Online
Jonathan Ilan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)
News Production and The People of Silence: Non-Professional WhatsApp News Groups and Digital Prodnewsers in the Era of News Mobility
In a world where life has become more and more liquefied (Bauman, 2005), mobile devices have been playing an instrumental role. These are strongly embedded into contemporary social life and are giving rise to various forms of coordination and social networking (see Ling, 2004; Westlund, 2013; Ling and Campbell, 2011). Mobile technology is nowadays part and parcel of the world of journalism, perhaps to the degree that it is hard to imagine news without digital mobile networks (Duffy and Westlund, 2022). Such technology impacted, for example, the platforms whereby news is being produced, distributed and consumed, but also the array of actors that are nowadays involved in its manufacturing, illustrating news as an ongoing information construction process in which professionals and other participants are joining hands (see e.g., Ilan, 2022; Cervi, Pérez Tornero & Tejedor, 2020; Belair-Gagnon and Holton, 2018; Ahva, 2017; Chadwick, 2011; Goggin, 2010).
This talk addresses mobile technology’s impact on the news by focusing on three leading Israeli non-professional WhatsApp news groups (“People of Silence”, “Field Security” and “Reports from the Ground”) and the daily supply of materials delivered via these groups by its non-professional members – the “prodnewsers”. These materials are eventually received by traditional news organizations and contribute to, and sometimes even end up as, news items. Based on a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with the groups’ founders supported by the groups’ materials and messages data, findings show how these groups perform as a unique hybrid form that falls between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ news-making.
Dr Jonathan Ilan is Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication, Bar-Ilan University (Israel). Ilan focuses his work on the fields of cultural production and visual culture, and particularly in the ways these intersect with news media (e.g., international news, news organizations, news production, news technologies, mobile news). Ilan has published his work in various leading international peer-reviewed journals, and in 2018 published a book titled “The International Photojournalism Industry: Cultural Production and the Making and Selling of News Pictures” (Routledge)
7 November 2023 (16.00-17.00) MediaCity 307
Lada Price (University of Sheffield)
Building Resilience Through Trauma Literacy in Journalism Schools
Publications on the emotional/psychological challenges of doing journalism have appeared in the field of psychology for the past two decades, but there is a lack of studies that stretch the analysis to the role of j-schools and journalism educators in addressing the lack of trauma literacy teaching. This paper explores what educators can do to help students cope with trauma that they are likely to experience during their studies and in their future practice. The paper is based on semi-structured interviews with 20 journalism educators from 13 different countries who talk candidly about the challenges they face in the classroom, “gung-ho macho mentality,”, helping students deal with grief and shock in real life situations, and being mindful of their mental health. It explores their own ups and downs in teaching difficult and /sensitive topics that can trigger a wide range of emotional responses in students but also bring back memories and experiences from their own professional practice as former journalists
Dr Lada Price is Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield. Prior to academia, Lada worked as journalist for several years, reporting for Bulgarian National Radio, and for the Bulgarian sections of BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle. In 2020 she launched and lead the international Journalism Education Trauma Research Group (JETREG) together with Dr. Ola Ogunyemi from the University of Lincoln. As a former journalist, Lada has witnessed the harsh reality of working as a journalist in a hostile environment that requires reporters to be aware of issues related to physical and psychological safety. This includes violence, attacks, threats and online harassment aimed at diminishing journalists’ right to freedom of expression. The starting point for her leadership in research and education is that keeping journalists safe starts in the classroom, not when they are already working in the field.
Some of recent CCM events…..
Prof Andy Willis curated and toured Look Who’s Back: The Hollywood Renaissance and the Blacklist At Cinema Rediscovered, Bristol July 2023, as well as: HOME (Manchester); BFI Southbank (London); Irish Film Institute (Dublin); Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast); Glasgow Film Theatre (Glasgow); Storyhouse (Chester); Riverside (London); Crouch End Arthouse (London); Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee); Science + Media Museum (Bradford); Ultimate Picture Palace (Oxford); Depot (Lewes); Curzon (Clevedon); Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Aberystwyth); Phoenix Cinema (Falmouth); Savoy Cinema (Penzance); Showroom Cinema (Sheffield); Southsea Community Cinema & Arts Centre (Portsmouth); Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle upon Tyne); and King Street Cinema (Ipswich)
Dr Carole O’Reilly and Prof Seamus Simpson co-organised the Post Pandemic Journalism symposium, 29 June 2023 at MediaCityUK, Salford
Pavel Prokopic exhibited the ‘Nested Cinema installation’ in MediaCityUK, Salford, June 2023
Pavel Prokopic organised the ‘Experimental Fiction Filmmaking’ symposium, July 2023, MediaCityUK, Salford
Some recent presentations from our staff…..
Pere Beedles delivered a co-authored paper (with Dr Rowan Aust from Huddersfield University)- on ‘The Conception of value in Television Production Management work’ at The Critical Studies in Television (CST) conference. July 2023
Helen Johnston presented papers at the Association of Journalism Educators conference in June and the MeCSSA conference in September where she discussed her PhD research work on The Discursive Construction of ‘News’: An Analysis of Journalism Educators’ Discourse.
Pavel Prokopic presented a paper at MeCCSA in September 2023, entitled “Nested Cinematic Reality: cinema as a connected multi-media immersive experience for the living room of the future”
Seamus Simpson presented a paper on citizen perspectives on privacy in smart cities at the 2023 MeCCSA conference, Glasgow (Sept 2023)
Leslie McMurtry presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference in San Antonio TX in April 2023 and was funded by School QR money.
Leslie McMurtry co-organised the Sound Symposium at MCUK on 30 June 2023.
Anthony Smith presented a paper at the Critical Studies in Television Conference at Edge Hill University in the summer, titled ‘”That was a good episode”: Examining the narrative properties of episodicity in US television drama in the post-network era’.
Other CCM work…..
2nd November 2021.
CCM’s Manuel Hernández Pérez together with other scholars and aficionados, talked about anime genres and tropes and examined this medium in comparison to other traditions in animation. Interview for the TV Show “Hekayat Al Cinema” – Tales of Cinema Weekly show produced by Al-Araby TV (Broadcast on 2 November 2021).
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 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.
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:
- 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)
- 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
Anthony Smith (2023) Transmedia/Genre: Rethinking Genre in a Multiplatform Culture London: Palgrave Macmillan
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com).
If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact PGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk