Professor Ellen Helsper has research leave during Michaelmas Term 2020 and will therefore not be able to respond to student queries until Lent Term 2021.
Ellen Helsper is Professor of Digital Inequalities in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, where she also serves as Programme Director for the MSc Media and Communications (Research). Her current research interests include the links between social and digital inequalities; mediated interpersonal communication; participatory immersive digital spaces (VR, ER); and quantitative and qualitative methodological developments in media and communications research.
The three main research projects she is involved in are the From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes; the Global Kids Online and the Connected Cities and Inclusive Growth projects. Other studies she has been involved in include the Impact of marketing through social media, online games and mobile applications on children's behaviour; the World Internet Project, Wisekids Wales; Youth at risks and ICTs; Social Impacts of ICT; Net Addiction; Me, My Spouse and the Internet; and Online Gambling.
Ellen holds positions as a Visiting Scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and the Centro Regional de Estudos para o Desenvolvimento da Sociedade da Informação Latino America (Cetic.br). She has held similar positions at Microsoft research in Boston, NYU Steinhardt’s department of Media, Culture and Communications, the University of Twente and the University of Oxford. Ellen consults widely for governments, the third and commercial sectors on issues to do with client and citizen engagement in increasingly digital societies. In addition, she has worked in Chile, Mexico and the US in commercial market and audience research.
Professor Helsper obtained an MSc in Media Psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1998. During the following 5 years she worked in Chile as an associate researcher for the Social Psychology and Media and Communications Departments at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC). She was involved in designing and analysing the first public opinion poll about the military coup in Chile and the effect of media framing on opinions towards the events on the day of the coup. Other projects she was involved in looked at the relation between fear of crime and media exposure in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the importance of news anchors in television viewers’ everyday lives and the introduction of cable television and broadband internet into Chilean society. Simultaneously she worked in the commercial sector for Adimark and OMD as a media research consultants working on projects in relation to image management of broadcast personalities and general media market research.
This was followed by a period of work in New York and Mexico for OMD USA as a Latin American Audience researcher, looking amongst other things at the distribution and popularity of sports viewing around the world. She joined the LSE as a doctoral researcher in 2003 and was involved in the UK Kids Online Project which examined at children’s and their parent’s internet use and attitudes. While she was working on her PhD she did consultancy work for OSSWatch (Oxford University), Ofcom, the BBC and Plan International. The outputs of this consultancy work ranged from reports on the impact of R18 rated and food advertising material on young people to the use of Open Source Software in higher education and the evaluation of journalist training programmes in post-conflict areas.
In 2007, Professor Helsper obtained a PhD from the Department of Media and Communications at LSE with a thesis bearing the title: ’Internet use amongst teenagers: Social inclusion, self-confidence and group identity’. This was followed by a position as Survey Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII, University of Oxford). There she managed and analysed the biennial Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), the UK partner in the World Internet Project. She was responsible for designing and analysing the 2007 and 2009 surveys. She also worked on developing a research framework and project on the role of the Internet in intimate relationships through the ‘Me, My Spouse and the Internet’ project.