Home > Department of Media and Communications > Research > Digital Literacies and Mediated Public Spaces

Digital Literacies and Mediated Public Spaces

Social movements and democratic debate: communication as participation.

Research Activities

Our research examines how people engage with media as audiences and as active participants, and how this relates to their broader participation in society. Recently, we have conducted several comparative research projects examining young people’s internet-based participation, including a focus on online risks and opportunities, and several interrelated projects on ICT-related skills in the UK and abroad.

Current and recent studies in this field include: ‘Youth Participation in Democratic Life’, research commissioned by the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency and the Youth Policy Unit of the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the EU Commission – 2011/2012 (250.000€) and Media & Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union, funded by the EU.

EU Kids Online monitors the experiences of children and parents in 33 countries in relation to the internet and mobile technologies. Funded by the EC’s Safer Internet Programme, this project reports on what children are doing online, and what they and also what their parents are worried about. The aim is to understand the contexts and consequences of internet use so as to produce evidence that can guide policy making.

Building on our ESRC Seminar Series, The Educational and Social Impact of New Technologies on Young People in Britain, and as part of the MacArthur Foundation-funded ‘Connected Learning Research Network’, The Class is an ethnographic project exploring the relations between digital, social and learning networks among a class of 13-14 year olds inside and outside school.

Research conducted in the department for the EU-funded project Media & Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union has provided unique insights into television consumption of Arabic-speaking audiences across Europe. Leading research in three countries, the LSE team analysed the ways in which the meaning of citizenship is constructed among Arabic-speaking people.

Mediated Humanitarian Knowledge investigates humanitarian communication and the British public’s responses. Conducted jointly with Birkbeck College and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the study aims to explain what guides NGOs in communicating their messages in the current media environment and how public responses to distant suffering are informed by media and cultural and political discourses, and shaped by people’s identities and psychological factors. This research will inform policy on charitable and development aid donation in response to suffering and provide NGOs dealing with development, human rights and humanitarian aid agencies with evidence to inform decisions about their communication strategies and choices related to representing those they seek to support.

We participate in a variety of networks including the COST-funded Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies,Family Platform: Social platform on research for families and family policy, and the World Internet Project, as well as the department’s HEIF-Funded Media Policy Project.


Anstead, Nick and O'Loughlin, B. (2011) The emerging viewertariat and BBC Question Time: television debate and real-time commenting online. The International Journal of Press/Politics 16(4): 440-62. 16(4): 440-62.

Anstead, Nick and Chadwick, Andrew (2009) Parties, election campaigning, and the Internet: toward a comparative institutional approach. In: Andrew Chadwick, and Philip Howard (eds) Routledge handbook of Internet politics. London: Routledge, pp. 56-71. London: Routledge, pp. 56-71.

Anstead, Nick and Straw, Will (eds) (2009) The Change we need: what Britain can learn from Obama's victory. London: Fabian Society. London: Fabian Society.

Anstead, Nick (2008) Internet and campaign finance in the US and the UK: an institutional comparison. Journal of Information Technology & Politics 5(3): 285-302. 5(3): 285-302.

Banaji, S. and Buckingham, D. (forthcoming) The Civic Web: Young People, the Internet and Civic Participation in Europe. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Banaji, S. (2011) ‘Disempowering by Assumption: How the Rhetoric of 'Digital Natives' Affects Young People and Influences Civic Organisations Working with Them’, in Michael Thomas (ed.) Deconstructing Digital Natives. New York: Routledge.. New York: Routledge.

Banaji, S. (2010) "'Adverts make me want to break the television': children's responses to the audiovisual media environment in India" in Banaji, S. (ed.) South Asian Media Cultures: Representations, Contexts and Audiences, London UK and New York, USA: Anthem Press., London UK and New York, USA: Anthem Press.

Cammaerts, Bart (2012) Protest Logics and the Mediation Opportunity Structure. European Journal of Communication 27(2): 117-134. 27(2): 117-134.

Cammaerts, Bart (2012) Networked Resistance: The Case of WikiLeaks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 17(4): forthcoming. 17(4): forthcoming.

Cammaerts, Bart, Matoni, Alice and McCurdy, Patrick (eds.) (2012) Mediation and Protest Movements. Bristol: Intellect.. Bristol: Intellect.

Cammaerts, Bart (2009) Community Radio in the West: A Legacy of Struggle for Survival in a State and Capitalist Controlled Media Environment. International Communication Gazette 71(8): 1-20. 71(8): 1-20.

Cammaerts, Bart and Carpentier, Nico (2009) Blogging the 2003 Iraq War: Challenging the Ideological Model of War and Mainstream Journalism?, Observatorio 3(2): http://www.obs.obercom.pt/ 3(2):

Cammaerts, B. (2008) Critiques on the Participatory Potentials of Web 2.0, Communication, Culture & Critique 1(3): 358-76. 1(3): 358-76.

Georgiou, M. (2011) Watching soap opera in the diaspora: Cultural proximity or critical proximity?’ In Ethnic and Racial Studies, iFirst.

Georgiou, M. (2012) ‘Between strategic nostalgia and banal nomadism: Explorations of Transnational Subjectivity among Arab Audiences’. International Journal of Cultural Studies.

Georgiou, M. (2011) ‘Networked Diaspora: Practicing Citizenship in Transnational Spaces’, in M.Christensen, A.Jansson and C.Christensen (eds.) Online Territories. New York and Berlin: Peter Lang. . New York and Berlin: Peter Lang.

Helsper, E.J. & Gerber, M. (in press). Patterns of digital engagement: The validity of cross-cultural comparisons. The Information Society: An International Journal, 28(2) http://www.indiana.edu/~tisj/inpress/2/ab-helsper.html(2)

Helsper, E.J. (2010). Gendered internet use across generations and life stages. Communication Research, 37(3), 352-374. (3), 352-374.

Helsper, E.J. & Eynon, R. (2010). Digital natives: Where is the evidence? British Educational Research Journal, 36(3), 503 – 520.(3), 503 – 520.

Livingstone, S. (2011) Digital learning and participation among youth. International Journal of Learning and Media, 2(2-3): 1-13. , 2(2-3): 1-13.

Livingstone, S., and Das, R. (in press)The End of Audiences? Theoretical echoes of reception amidst the uncertainties of use. In J. Hartley, J. Burgess and A. Bruns (Eds.) Blackwell Companion to New Media Dynamics. Oxford: Blackwell.. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lunt, P., and Livingstone, S. (2012) Media Literacy. Chapter 6 in Media Regulation: Governance and the interests of citizens and consumers. London: Sage.London: Sage.

Orgad, S. (2012). Media Representation and the Global Imagination. Cambridge: Polity.   . Cambridge: Polity.  

Orgad, S. and Vella, C. (2012). Challenges and opportunities in communicating distant suffering: A snapshot of NGOs’ views. LSE Polis report.  . LSE Polis report. 

Tambini, D. (2009) Transformation of the Public Sphere: Law, Policy and the Boundaries of Publicness. Chapter in: Harrison, J. and Wessels, B. (eds.) Mediating Europe. New Media, Mass Communication and the European Public Sphere, Oxford: Berghahn Books.  Oxford: Berghahn Books. 

Tambini, D. (2009) Fare la differenza. In: Il servizio pubblico radiotelevisivo nel panorama mediatico europeo.  In Christian Nissen, (ed) Roma, EBU.  In Christian Nissen, (ed) Roma, EBU.

Tambini, D. (2009) A Common Information Space? The Media Use of EU Movers.  Damian Tambini and Nina Rother. In: Pioneers Of  European Integration: Citizenship and Mobility in the EU. Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell, eds. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.  Damian Tambini and Nina Rother In: . Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell, eds. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

Tambini, Damian (2011). 2012 Consumer Representation in UK Communications Policy and Regulation. INFO. Vol 14(2) March 2012.

Tambini, Damian (2011). Reforming Consumer Representation in UK Communications. LSE Media Policy Brief #4.