My PhD, supervised by Professor James Curran, examined the coverage of systemic corruption scandals in public service news, in case studies including the Al Yamamah controversy embroiling BAe Systems and the British government over a quarter century, as well as the untimely death of defense intelligent expert David Kelly, at the height of the fallout from the 2003 Iraq War. This formed the basis of my first book in 2013 on Power Beyond Scrutiny: Media, justice and accountability.
Since then, my work has focused on questions of media ownership and plurality in the digital age. It has been driven by an effort to understand the complexities of gatekeeping phenomena when it comes to the flow of news and information across networks, and an attempt to reconcile some of the contradictory patterns and narratives that frame questions of media power today. This is the basis of my current book, Media Ownership and Agenda Control: The hidden limits of the information age.
As current Chair of the Media Reform Coalition, my activism and advocacy work both draws on and feeds my research and teaching. In 2016 I lead a research team that examined coverage of the leadership crisis in the British Labour Party that followed the EU referendum. The study found systematic imbalances in the coverage, including the BBC, and was covered as a lead story on both Huffington Post and the BBC's Newsnight.