Job title: Professor of Media and Culture
Phone: 0131 455 2660
I studied as a classicist at Edinburgh University and worked as a translator of Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin texts. Following postgraduate training in Leeds, I worked as a librarian in the public, private and educational sectors. I joined Napier as Science Librarian in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Library Association in 1995. I obtained my PhD from Napier in 1999 with a study of the British alternative press. I also hold an MA in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester. I have been a music critic and performer for twenty years, specialising in electronic, improvised and traditional music. I joined the School in 1998 and gained my readership in 2003. I was appointed a professor in 2008.
My research focuses on alternative media, that is, media that bypass the usual channels of distribution (the newsagent, the bookshop) and that are most often organised and produced by ‘ordinary’ people, local communities and communities of interest. My interest in these is broad and encompasses questions of democratic access to the media; the social value of participatory media; the types of cultures that use them; and how meaning is made and remade through such media.
I have studied the media of new social movements, community media, radical newspapers and fanzines, as well as Internet sites such as Indymedia and the British National Party. Related research interests include the use of the Internet for cultural and political communication, and issues of censorship and social exclusion in the media.
My research interests also include popular music, the creative economy, and teaching and learning in higher education. I am currently supervising PhD students in journalism and media, popular music and creative industries management.
Key publications include four books:
Alternative Literature (Gower, 1996)
Alternative Media (Sage, 2002)
An Alternative Internet (Edinburgh University Press, 2004)
Alternative Journalism (Sage, 2008, with James F. Hamilton)
I have also published widely in journals and edited collections. The following is a representative sample:
Selected Journal Articles
`Writing about Listening: Alternative Discourses in Rock Journalism', Popular Music 28(1), 2009:53-67.
`Current Issues in Alternative Media Research', Sociology Compass, 1(1), 2007: 17-27.
`Far-right Media on the Internet: Culture, Discourse and Power’, New Media and Society 8(4), 2006: 573-587
‘Sourcing Routines and Representation in Alternative Journalism: A Case Study Approach’, Journalism Studies 6(3), 2005: 347-359 (with Emma Wickenden)
‘Reshaping Social Movement Media for a New Millennium’, Social Movement Studies 2(1), 2003: 3-15
‘Towards a Cultural Study of Alternative Media on the Internet’, Southern Review: Communication, Politics and Culture 35(3), 2002: 52-62
‘News Cultures and New Social Movements: Radical Journalism and the Mainstream Media’, Journalism Studies 3(4), November 2002: 491-505
‘Theorizing Anglo-American Alternative Media: Toward a Contextual History and Analysis of US and UK Scholarship’ Media History 7(2), 2001: 119-135 (with James Hamilton)
‘Living in the Past?: Value Discourses in Progressive Rock Fanzines’, Popular Music 20 (1), January 2001: 29-46
‘The Mundane and its Reproduction in Alternative Media.’ Journal of Mundane Behavior 2.1, (Special Issue: Media/Mundania) February 2001. http://www.mundanebehavior.org/index.htm
‘Green Anarchist: A Case Study in Radical Media’, Anarchist Studies 7(1), March 1999, 25-49
'A Re-assessment of the Alternative Press', Media, Culture and Society, 21(1), January 1999, 51-76
Selected Book Chapters
‘Keeping the Peace: Media Representations of the Anti-Gulf War Movement in the British Press’, in Richard Keeble, Sarah Maltby and Frank Webster (eds), Communicating War: Memory, Media and Military. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007
‘Football Fanzines as Local News’, in Bob Franklin (ed), Local Journalism and Local Media: Making the Local News. London: Routledge, 2006
‘Infoshops in the Shadow of the State’, in Nick Couldry and James Curran (eds), Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003
‘Organization and Production in Alternative Media’, in Simon Cottle (ed), Media Organisation and Production. London: Sage, 2003
‘Indymedia and “Enduring Freedom”: An Exploration of Sources, Perspectives and News in an Alternative Internet Project’, in Naren Chitty, Ramona R. Rush and Mehdi Semati (eds), Studies in Terrorism: Media Scholarship and the Enigma of Terror. Penang: Southbound Press, 2003