Richard Stupart

Richard Stupart

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

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Research Topic

Bearing witness: The practice and discourse of journalist witnessing in South Sudan

Richard's research develops the idea of 'bearing witness', present in existing work on the concept of witnessing, as being both a discourse used to justify the ethics of journalists' presence in front of suffering and a practice requiring material and discursive resources to be enacted. Looking at the case of South Sudan, his project attempts to outline the form of this discourse and some of the resources that may enable or constrain its practice. I draw on the humanitarian literature around 'Peaceland'/'AidLand', as well as work on the changing nature of foreign correspondence and elements of journalistic identity as potential entry points to developing this approach.

SupervisorsProfessor Lilie Chouliaraki and Dr Wendy Willems


Richard has an academic/research interest in the intersection between narratives of 'Africa', conflict and development assistance. He holds an MA in Media Studies from Rhodes University analysing the understandings present in coverage of the 2011/12 Somalia famine and a Masters in Public Policy from the Willy Brandt School, Universitaet Erfurt, examining the validity, reliability, and legitimacy of conflict databases as research tools in memory/archive projects. Richard is currently studying at the LSE on a LSE PhD Studentship, and is an assistant editor for the Media@LSE working paper series. 


Expertise Details

bearing witness; witnessing; South Sudan; conflict; Africa; postcolonial studies


Stupart, R. (2015). Africa’s deadliest conflict: media coverage of the humanitarian disaster in the Congo and the United Nations response 1997–2008. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 33(3), 418-420. doi:10.1080/02589001.2015.1075939

Stupart, R., & Strelitz, L. (2016). Framing the Famine: An analysis of media coverage of the 2011 famine in Somalia. African Journalism Studies 33(1), 100-119, doi:10.1080/23743670.2015.1084586




Research design and Methods. Masters course at Universität Erfurt’s Willy Brandt school of public policy. April – July 2017 and April – July 2016.

Mediated solidarity: Compassion fatigue, the CNN effect and the representation of distant suffering. A paper presented as part of the Finding Africa Postcolonial African Studies seminar series at the University of York. 2016


Researching Africa Day at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, 4 March 2017. Presentation titled: Recording the War: The validity, reliability and political utility of Uganda’s National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre conflict dataset

Violent Conflictitions: Armed conflicts and competition for attention and legitimacy at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, 2 – 4 June 2016. Presentation titled: From Counting to Comprehending: A Methodological Approach to Making ‘Conflictition’Visible in the Case of Boko Haram