Department of Media and Communications
London School of Economics & Political Science
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News 2017


Dr Wendy Willems features on Al Jazeera programme on ‘Mugabe’s Media Legacy’

Dr Wendy Willems, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, was featured in Al Jazeera’s ‘The Listening Post’ on 3 September to discuss ‘Mugabe’s Media Legacy’. Dr Willems was invited to participate as a result of her research on media and the ‘Zimbabwe crisis’. See more here.


Dr Alison Powell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, will be leading a ‘data walkshop’ in the vicinity of the Royal Geographical Society on Friday 25 August. Explore and discuss the data surveillance processes at play, and their effects on trade and exchange.  Alison and the group will be working through a process of rapid group ethnography that Alison has developed with the Museum of Contemporary Commodities and other projects to investigate data mediations and their effects. Book a place here. See more about Alison’s innovative research proecess of ‘data walking’ here


Professor Sonia Livingstone interviewed about Child Exploitation Online

Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE has spent years talking to tech companies about how they should tackle the growing problem of online child abuse. The question is: do they want to? Professor Livingstone is interviewed on this and more by Thomas Fox-Brewster of Forbes. More here.


Dr Shani Orgad presents research to Cabinet Office

On 17 July, Dr Shani Orgad (Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications) gave an opening presentation to the Women Returners Project Sprint, organised by the Policy Lab at the Cabinet Office. Dr Orgad’s presentation drew upon her research into women who have left paid employment, entitled Heading Home: Cultural Representations and Lived Experience of Women, Work and Family. Click here for more on this project.


Dr Shakuntala Banaji comments on UK General Election 2017

Dr Shakuntala Banaji, Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, has contributed a piece to Election Analysis about young people and propaganda in the wake of the 2017 general election. Dr Banaji comments "The election result is a resounding confirmation that young voters, socialist values, alternative leftwing media and grassroots work on doorsteps can challenge mainstream media."  Click here for more information.


Professor Sonia Livingstone contributes to Governmental report

Professor Sonia Livingstone has contributed to a report for the Lords Select Communications Committee, Growing up with the Internet. The Committee called on the Government to establish a Children’s Digital Champion to ensure coordinated and sustained action from Ministers across all departments and to present robust advocacy on behalf of children to industry. More here.


New publication by PhD Researcher

Doctoral researcher César Jiménez-Martínez published the article 'Making Chile visible: purposes, operationalisation and audiences from the perspective of nation branding practitioners', in the journal Geopolitics. The article is part of an special issue focussed on nation branding. 


Professor Sonia Livingstone speaks to the International Institute of Communications' Policy

Watch Professor Sonia Livingstone speaking about her role as an advocate of children's rights online and her 'edit' of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to include the challenges of the digital environment. Read more here.


PhD Researcher wins prestigious Canadian award

Brooks DeCillia, doctoral researcher in the Department of Media and Communications was selected as 2017 recipient of Canada’s Dalton Camp Award for ‘Best Essay by a Post-Secondary Student’  The Dalton Camp Award, presented by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, is an essay competition which focuses on the link between democracy and the media in Canada. Brooks’ award-winning essay ‘In Defense of CBC’ is available to read here


New special issue co-edited by Prof Sonia Livingstone

‘Children’s and Young People’s Rights in the Digital Age’ is an important and timely special issue of New Media & Society which focuses attention on rights-based approaches towards balancing children’s need for protection online with their capacity to maximize the opportunities and benefits of connectivity. Guest edited by Sonia Livingstone (LSE) and Amanda Third (Western Sydney University), this special issue offers a collection of papers which draw out the wider tensions and dilemmas driving the emerging agenda for children’s rights in the digital age.


New Report from Visiting Prof Jim Macnamara

The Department of Media and Communications, along with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) are proud to jointly publish Creating a 'Democracy for Everyone' Strategies for increasing listening and engagement by government, a report of a two-year, three-country research study by Visiting Professor Jim Macnamara of how, and how well governments, corporations, and other types of organisations listen to their stakeholders and publics. In the wake of Brexit, the shock election of Donald Trump, the rise of the Alt-right in Europe and other countries, and ‘hung’ parliaments in Australia in recent years, the findings send a warning signal to governments and all types of organisations.


Dr Myria Georgiou in new videos on migration and media

Myria Georgiou contributes to online learning resources for refugees and non-refugees by discussing media narratives on the “migration crisis” in Europe. This e-learning resource is produced by Migration Matters and the curriculum is developed in collaboration with Sharing Perspectives Foundation (an EU-funded organisation that conducts virtual exchanges with refugees and non-refugees to promote mutual understanding and dialogue on contemporary themes). Myria’s video is available here.


PhD Researcher César Jiménez-Martínez presents at UK conference

On 6th April, PhD researcher César Jiménez-Martínez presented a paper called 'Replacement, adjustment and reappropriation: Examining the role of the media during the June 2013 protests in Brazil', during the annual conference of the Society of Latin American Studies, at the University of Glasgow.


Public event given by Dr Wendy Willems

On 23 February, Dr Wendy Willems spoke at the Oxford Internet Institute. Her talk,  Spatializing Publics engaged in issues around mobile social media, urban sociability and the materiality of civic engagement.

NC-Mediated construction of reality

New book co-authored by Prof Nick Couldry

The German Communication Association (DGPuK) has awarded its 2017 Theory Prize to The Mediated Construction of Reality (2016, Polity) by Nick Couldry (LSE) and Andreas Hepp (University of Bremen). The book innovatively and originally builds on existing theories and develops a basis for an understanding of a society that is shaped by media, digitalization and datafication. In their monograph, Couldry and Hepp discuss the question of the profound role digital media play in shaping and changing the social world, the consequences which can arise from that, but also what this means normatively for human coexistence

“A profound and illuminating attempt to bring core traditions of social theory into the study of media in the digital age. An excellent and pathbreaking book”  ­ - Anthony Giddens


Media and Communications comes #1 in UK and #3 globally

LSE's Department of Media and Communications has been rated #1 in the UK and #3 globally in the  2017 QS World University Rankings, with USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication again rated #1 in the world. The two institutions collaborate on a double degree in  MSc/MA Global Media and Communications, as well as joining forces to research the profound implications of media and communications technologies for our shared futures. See more  here.


New book co-edited by Dr Shani Orgad

Caring in Crisis? Humanitarianism, the Public and NGOs

By Irene Bruna Seu and Shani Orgad

With commentaries from Alison Carlman, Leigh Dayness, Paul Hoggett, Monika Krause, Sonia Livingstone, Glen Tarman

Drawing on an original UK-wide study of public responses to humanitarian issues and how NGOs communicate them, this timely book provides the first evidence-based psychosocial account of how and why people respond or not to messages about distant suffering. The book highlights what NGOs seek to achieve in their communications and explores how their approach and hopes match or don’t match what the public wants, thinks and feels about distant suffering.

Irene Bruna Seu is Reader in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, and a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist.

Shani Orgad is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

“This volume presents cutting edge multi-method research which will contribute greatly to our understanding of strategies that can successfully motivate bystanders, NGOS, and governments to act in positive ways about humanitarian issues. This carefully-designed volume offers a careful, incisive analysis and impressively includes essays by both influential academics and advocates. A first-rate book!”

- Alison Dundes Renteln, Professor of Political Science, University of Southern California, USA)

Click here for a review from Paul Vanags, Head of Public Fundraising, Oxfam GB, UK


The Culture Secretary has commissioned Professor Sonia Livingstone, Professor Joanne Davidson and Dr Jo Bryce to provide up to date evidence of how young people use the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe. The report will contribute to the Internet Safety Strategy aimed at making Britain the safest country in the world for children and young people to be online. The new cross-Government drive is being led by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley MP on behalf of the Prime Minister with a green paper expected in summer 2017.

The report will be an updated version of this 2012 literature review produced for the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Children's Online Activities: Risks and Safety.

Professor Livingstone commented:

“It’s really important that the UK’s new Internet Safety Strategy is grounded in solid evidence about children’s online risks and safety. We are now reviewing all the latest studies we can find, to counter some of the panicky headlines, put the risks into perspective, and guide the optimal mix of actions from government, industry, schools and parents.”


We are delighted to announce the Rankin Frost Scholarship for the MSc in Strategic Communications. The scholarship will fully cover the tuition fees for a student on the MSc in Strategic Communications.


The recipient of the scholarship will be selected among candidates for the programme. Priority will be given to students from Sub-Saharan Africa, India and the UK.

How to apply

Once you have submitted your application for admission to LSE you will be emailed with a link to the LSE Graduate Financial Support Application form online. The deadline for completing the form is 26 April 2017, although we recommend you apply as soon as possible after receiving the link.

Please visit the Graduate Admissions website for information on how to apply.


On Friday 27 January, Professor Sonia Livingstone will speak at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection 2017 conference ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines’.

Professor Livingstone will participate in a panel which discusses how best to protect the privacy & welfare of children & teens – so called digital natives – who are increasingly targeted by companies across their devices and online activities. She will bring insight from her work with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety Evidence Group to examine how and when children’s commercial media literacy develops, necessitating protection from regulation, parents and media education.


In the LSE Values in Practice (VIP) awards, Nicole Garnier, MSc Programmes Manager, was nominated in all three individual categories  and highly commended  in the LSE Citizenship Individual award. James Deeley, Departmental Research Manager was nominated in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category. Well done, Nicole and James! We are proud of you!


The Department of Media and Communications is delighted to announce that Sarah Banet-Weiser will be joining us as full Professor of Media and Communications from 2018.

Sarah is currently Director of the USC Annenberg School of Communication, Los Angeles, and will become our Head of Department from 1 September 2018.  

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @SBanetWeiser.


"After everything that happened in politics in 2016 is there anyone left in the world who doesn’t think that journalism matters to democracy?" On 6 January, Charlie Beckett published a piece in the New Statesman on the relationship between journalism and politics. The article, Did the press create post-fact politics? also features on the Polis blog.