media@lse

Media@LSE

Promoting critical research into the role of media and communications in contemporary society

Our concern is with inequalities, discrimination, representation, voice and violence in an unevenly media-saturated society.

Media@LSE aims to encourage informed and insightful discussion around the vital role of media and communications in contemporary society, bringing the research and expertise of LSE’s Department of Media and Communications to a wider audience that includes fellow academics, civil society, policy makers, journalists, the broader media industry, and other stakeholders.

Our mission

Through the Media@LSE blog and annual research theme, the Department seeks to contribute to a better-informed public debate. We aim to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and understanding between experts within and outside academia, and to promote contemporary academic research into media and communications in order to increase its perception and impact. We also seek to achieve a better understanding of how changes in media and communications shape, and are shaped by, social, cultural, political, economic and historical developments.

Media@LSE content broadly focuses on the Department’s key research themes:

Blog contributions and re-posting

Contributing

The central role of the Media@LSE blog, along with all LSE blogs, is to enhance knowledge exchange. We actively seek contributions (up to 1000 words) relating to media and communications research. 

If you would like to pitch an idea for a blog post, please read the Guidelines for Contributors and email Emma Goodman, Managing Editor.

Re-posting

All Media@LSE blog content is free and we encourage reuse of content through Creative Commons licensing. 

Key staff

Co-Directors: Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser and  Professor Myria Georgiou

Media@LSE Blog Managing Editor: Emma Goodman

Professional services staff contacts: Leo Beattie and Lwam Tesfay 

Editorial Assistance: Ruhi Khan, Silas Scott, Emily Cousins

2020-21 Research theme and Projects

We have just launched our annual departmental theme COVID-19: A Communication Crisis – Ethics, Privacy, Inequalities. This is a research theme that brings together faculty, PhD researchers and Masters’ students into comparative and cross-national research collaborations.

The core project is a cross-national media analysis of the representations of COVID-19 inequalities from an intersectional perspective. Specifically, the project interrogates how mainstream media reaffirm and/or contest the intensification of inequalities in the context of a pandemic. We address this question through a dual lens, focussing on both the narrative representations (in news reporting), and the visual representations (in data visualisations) of the pandemic in mainstream media. 

We will analyse data from across the world in order to understand how inequalities - especially those relating to gender, class and race - are reaffirmed and/or contested in mainstream media. Our key hypothesis is that COVID-related news representations are located within an axis with economic life at the one end of the spectrum and socio-cultural life (including wellbeing) on the other. We want to understand how news is positioned between the two extremes across various times and spaces.

We are concentrating on three time periods in the pandemic that represent key points in the formation of global debates on COVID-19. These are:

(1) April 2020 (the debate on COVID as a global concern emerges);

(2) October 2020 (the rising second wave or concerns of a second wave ,and interconnected transnational debates on measures, including travel bans, etc);

(3) January 2021 (the path to “resolution” with vaccines becoming globally debated and rolled out). 

We are examining media in different countries, noting that these are understood as distinct national mediascapes (though we assume certain fluidity within and across them).

We look forward to sharing our findings over the course of the year, stay up-to-date with the latest department news through our mailing list and Twitter

Media@LSE Virtual Exhibition 

Explore the groundbreaking research of faculty, doctoral researchers and students in the Department of Media and Communications, LSE, by gaining a hands-on virtual experience of their work through interactive videos, posters, and visualizations of their work on through our virtual exhibition space, created in collaboration with interactive platform Artsteps. The exhibition includes work from Professor Sonia Livingstone, Dr Mariya Stoilova, Ruhi Khan, Jessica Su, Professor Shakuntala Banaji and Rob Sharp.

View the exhibition online 

Past themes and projects 

2019 - 2020 | Media City London

Media City London sought to support and enhance public engagement and knowledge exchange within the context of the Media@LSE research platform. “Media City London” is a broadly interpreted framework for research which touches on a wide range of themes, including social movements, London identities, migration, and media and digital industries.

Projects funded as part of Media City London include:


2019 - 2020 | Creating and visualizing digital city London

Directed by Myria Georgiou and Alison Powell with the participation of MSc students.

This project explores, documents and intervenes in the visual geographies of digital city London. More particularly, the project visually records how ‘the digital’, as lived and as represented in the city, shapes urban public space. In collaboration with MSc students who produced original projects, we visually examine how digital technologies, digital and material intersections, and digital datafication are experienced and represented in urban public space. The project’s overarching aim was to map out digital articulations of publicness and privacy; and identity and consumption. 

Read more here.


2019 - 2020 | Urban Futures with 5G 

Produced for British Press Reporting by Robin Mansell and Jean-Chrisophe Plantin

Fifth Generation mobile technology – or 5G – is at the centre of multiple controversies. Huawei, as a Chinese 5G equipment manufacturer is being implicated in international trade wars and there are suspicions of foreign interventions in domestic affairs. 5G is also linked to long-standing concerns about potential health hazards of electromagnetic frequencies. This controversy gained momentum in early 2020 when conspiracy theories conflated the global spread of Covid-19 with China and 5G networks.

New infrastructure projects are always accompanied by conflicting visions or imaginaries and political and economic interests. We set out to study how the main British broadsheet and tabloid newspapers represented 5G deployments from January 2017 to early March 2020. What has the media deemed worthy of coverage and which controversies did they signpost in the lead up to and during the early implementation of 5G?

Read the full report here.


 

2015 - 2017 | Migration and the media

The “migration crisis” , which peaked in 2015-16, posed a fundamental challenge to European states, their alliance, and to the ethico-political frames that drive public political discourse and acts within nation-states and the European Union as a whole. At the moment of “crisis”, media were full with images of migrants fleeing war, suffering, or losing their lives during their journey.

The research builds on the Department’s earlier work on migration and the media, and on the consequences of media’s role in shaping imaginaries and policies of migration.

More information on the project including the final report is available here