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Governing Mediated Environments

Technologies, structures and processes of media and communication nationally and internationally

Examples of Research Activities

Our research in this area focuses on the structures and processes of governance in the media and communication field.  The results of our research are informing policy debate, design and implementation across a wide range of topics and in the UK, in the European Union, and internationally. Our research examines assumptions about the changing political economy of the media and communication industries and assesses the implications of innovative developments in digital technologies and networks for policy makers, industry, the third sector and citizens.

Sonia Livingstone’s |research has examined the responsiveness of Ofcom’s regulatory processes and decisions across a range of issues related to citizen interests. Her research on children and young people’s online lives across Europe and in the UK with Leslie Haddon|, Ellen Helsper |and others, is providing a basis for recommendations for policy.

Ellen Helsper’s |research is highlighting the importance of focusing on the social conditions of internet use rather than mainly on access to internet in policy measures designed to get the excluded and disadvantaged online.

Alison Powell’s |research has examined community and municipal responses to the opportunities offered by WiFi to create and sustain new publics and the policy measures required to extend these possibilities.

Research on copyright provides a focal point for research in the Department. In response to the UK Digital Economy Act 2010, Robin Mansell’s |research on copyright legislation and its enforcement provided the basis for participation in the Judicial Review of the Act. 

Research on copyright and changing social norms for online participation informed work by Bart Cammaerts| and Bingchun Meng |that critically assessed claims of the creative industries about the damage they experience as a result of copyright infringement.

Bingchun Meng’s |work has examined the changing political economy of the media industries in China especially with respect to copyright enforcement.

Other research by Alison Powell|, Robin Mansell|, and Damian Tambini |examined different facets of the responses by formal and informal governance institutions to the challenges created by in internet for traditional media industries including broadcasting and the press and social media companies, e.g.  network neutrality, media plurality and content regulation.

Damian Tambini’s| research on the ethics of journalism and press regulation provided a basis for major contributions to the Leveson Inquiry| (including media coverage of the Inquiry). This work was supported by the Department’s Media Policy Project|. International approaches to the regulation of media ownership and pluralism and press councils have been studied by Tambini working with the ‘Mapping Digital Media’ project|, a 60 country comparative study by the Open Society Foundations (OSF)|.

Tambini’s work as well as Charlie Beckett’s| on WikiLeaks has provided insights into how governments, companies, and third sector organisations are responding to the issues raised for the right to freedom of expression, privacy, and state security, giving particular attention to the legal and ethical issues.

Robin Mansell’s |research on the policies promoted by intergovernmental agencies for information/knowledge societies provided a basis for contributions to UNESCO’s review of progress towards sustainable and peaceful knowledge societies in the run up to the review of World Summit on the Information Society and the Millennium Goals.

Paolo Dini |and Robin Mansell| have examined the methodologies employed by researchers funded by the European Commission to assess the impacts of innovative technologies in the SEQUOIA – Socio-Economic Impact Assessment for Research Projects|.


We are active participants in the European Network of Excellence on Internet Science|, a European Commission Framework 7 project focusing on open-source movements and the future of Internet governance. Our own LSE Media Policy Project|, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF 5), provides a platform and network for distribution of the Department’s policy relevant work.

Selected Publications|