Research

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Journalism Research

The intellectual environment at Lincoln fosters a range of innovative and problem driven interdisciplinary research that addresses contemporary societal issues in a globalised world. The team specialises in interdisciplinary research and research in emerging scholarly fields, including:

  • Peace and conflict journalism
  • Diaspora journalism in Britain and globally
  • Neglected voices of gendered and ethnic minorities and groups in the history of newspaper publishing
  • Journalism education and work-related trauma in journalism
  • Journalists’ professional roles and performance.

The team extends knowledge and understanding through a wide range of publications. Some of their research projects have been supported by grants from the British Academy, Economic and Social Science Research Council, and Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The team is active in research associations both nationally and globally including: American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA); Association for JournalismEducation (AJE); Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC); European Communication CongressEuropean Research and Education Association (ECREA), International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR); Irish Humanities Network (IHN); Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA); Media History Network (USA); Portuguese Journalism Historians (ICNOVA); Worlds of Journalism Studies (WJS); World Journalism Education Practice (WJEC).

Existing research networks in the School include Media of Diaspora Research Group (MDRG) and Journalism Education and Trauma Research Group (JETREG).

Research Specialisms 

Dr Jane Chapman is Professor of Communications and a comparative media historian. She focuses on print culture, especially neglected voices from the world wars in newspapers and comics. Her book, Comparative Media History, was commended by American journalism educators (AEJMC/AJHA) for pioneering the field of comparative media history. Working 14 years as a journalist with her own independent production companies, she produced more than 200 films, videos, and series such as Women: The Way Ahead (C4), Europe By Design (BBC1) and Cider People (HTV West). She was Breakfast TV's first onscreen reporter for the north of England. She has authored or co-produced 13 books and 40 articles and book chapters, winning awards from the New York Film and TV Festival, Best Academic Article of the Year by Emerald Publishing, and sharing the 2017 Colby Prize for Victorian Literature, for the Routledge Handbook of 19th Century Periodicals. At the University of Lincoln, Jane has received research grants from the British Academy, ESRC and AHRC. As an advisor to the BBC for their World War One at Home series, she encouraged public commemoration of the First World War centenary through newspaper heritage.

Dr Ola Ogunyemi is the convenor of an international and multidisciplinary Journalism Education and Trauma Research Group (JETREG) and Media of Diaspora Research Group (MDRG) at the University of Lincoln. Ola is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mass Communication at Bowen University, Nigeria. He is also a Senior Academic Mentor in the College of Mentors at the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), working to strengthen capacity in teaching, research, and mentoring in the social sciences and humanities in African universities. Ola regularly publishes articles in journals and chapters in edited books and is the founder/principal editor of the Journal of Global Diaspora and Media.

Dr Sanem Sahin’s research interests include peace and conflict reporting, journalistic roles and marginalised communities. She is especially interested in journalists’ role perceptions and practices in conflict-affected communities. Her first monograph, Journalism Matters: Peace and Conflict Reporting in Cyprus, is forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan in 2022. The book, which examines journalism’s role in the Cyprus conflict, has been supported by a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (1819). Her current research projects focus on the impact of social media on journalism in divided communities and journalism, risk and uncertainty, which is part of World of Journalism Studies, a global research project that assesses the state of journalism throughout the world.

Research Projects

Bridging the Gulf Between Mainstream and Diasporic Public Spheres: An Analysis of Channel 4′s Digital Project

Principal Investigator: Dr Ola Ogunyemi

Dr Ola Ogunyemi, convenor of the Media of Diaspora Research Group, has published widely on issues relating to the journalism practices at the media for the African Diasporas in the UK. Dr Ogunyemi welcomes PhD research enquiries about the journalism practices at the media of diaspora and/or the media habits of the diasporic groups.

 

Comics and the World Wars

A cultural record

Principal Investigator: Professor Jane Chapman
Research Assistant: Anna Hoyles
Research Consultant: Dan Ellin
PhD students: Adam Sherif and Andrew Kerr
Project Consultant: Dr Kent Worcester

The centenary of 1914-18, as well as the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2, gave these epic events a high public profile worldwide. This timely project asked the question: what is the contribution of the comic form to the cultural heritage of these global experiences and what different kinds of historical meaning emerge?

The project research and the two major exhibitions that accompanied it – one on World War One comics in 2014 and one on Second World War comics in 2015, both at London’s Cartoon Museum- emphasised to the heritage industry the potential of comics as a cultural artefact.

Research areas include:

  • Trench publications – soldiers’ own amateur newspapers featuring day to day life on the front line.
  • Daily Mirror newspaper strips depicting WW1 home front concerns
  • WW1 labour movement newspapers from the US, Australia and New Zealand
  • Australian and American newspaper strips depicting the changing role of women during the world wars
  • Comics published for US troops during WW2 featuring graphic violence
  • US Golden Age comic books
  • Daily Worker newspaper strips giving the British Communist Party’s view on WW2.
  • Graphic novels depicting the trauma experienced by Holocaust and Hiroshima survivors.

Creating a Safe Space for Journalists to Speak About Trauma: Examining the Roles of Journalism Educators

Principal Investigator: Dr Ola Ogunyemi

This study, supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, contributes to literature on journalism and trauma which established that journalists lack safe spaces to speak about trauma. Evidence shows that the prevalence of PTSD among journalists is higher than the general population and that they are engaging in avoidance responses (numbing out, avoiding reminders of the event, diminished interests) as coping strategies. We argue that journalism educators have a role to play in creating safe spaces to talk about trauma, but there is a paucity of research exploring their understanding of trauma and its effects on practising journalists. This study aims to bridge this gap by conducting in-depth interviews with journalism educators about their awareness of trauma and its effects, and focus groups between journalism educators and mainstream/diaspora journalists to develop a framework for building resilience to trauma among journalists and journalism students, which could assist journalism schools to offer resilience training in their courses.

 

Feminising Influences on Mass Circulation: A Comparative Study of Le Petit Journal and the Daily Mail

A comparative study of Le Petit Journal and the Daily Mail

Principal Investigator : Professor Jane Chapman
Research Assistant : Kate Allison

The concerns of this project demonstrate the continuing dilemmas of how female identity is to be represented by the media and the repercussions for citizenship and the public sphere. This is the first time that female influence on the early mass circulation press has been quantified in detail, and also the first time that comparisons have been made on the theme between two countries. The research into Europe’s first mass circulation daily and into Britain’s first tabloid daily reveals that criticisms of ‘tabloidisation’ have a historical as well as a contemporary dimension. This dates back to the formative years of the tabloid; in other words, it is not a purely 20th century phenomenon. Press historians have assumed that the obvious widening of audience appeal in the mass circulation popular press, referred to as ‘New Journalism’ with its fresh emphasis on trivia, crime coverage and pulp serialised fiction, also implied a progressive view of women. Our findings prove otherwise, refuting the ‘feminisation’ argument. Decisions about what the female audience was interested in were made largely by men and defined fairly conservatively.

Journalism in Conflict Societies: Professional Roles, Influences and Challenges

Principal Investigator: Dr Sanem Şahin

Dr Sanem Şahin was awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (2018-19) for her project, ‘Journalism in Conflict Societies: Professional Roles, Influences and Challenges’. It examined journalists’ role perceptions and practices in Cyprus to understand how journalists negotiate the tensions between professionalism and a sense of communal belonging in conflict-affected societies. Interviewing journalists and editors from both sides of the divided island, the project studied how they perceived their roles and responsibilities concerning the conflict.

Women, Press and Protest in British and French India, 1928-48

Principal Investigator: Professor Jane Chapman
Research Assistants : Kate Allison, Piers Clarke

This exhibition presented two episodes in 20th century Indian history when newspapers expressed the emerging citizenship of protest by the freedom movement in India. Press articles and leaflets – sometimes read out loud to a group of people then destroyed because of censorship, sometimes consumed individually- acted as the main vehicle for the public communication of ideas. Some journals were used as temporary acts of defiance to mobilise support for change. Nationalist leaders and activists also aimed for coverage of protest in the existing colonial newspapers in order to influence the climate of opinion in support for change. A variety of newspapers, despite sometimes only having small circulations, still became part of the changing economic and political landscape that they were reporting on.

 

This exhibition focused on two little known aspects of press and protest – one in Allahabad, United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh) in British India, one in the French territory of Pondicherry (Tamil Nadu).