School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Public Communication

Public Communication explores how media and mediated communication facilitate, inform and direct public discoursedemocratic processes and social policy. Our members undertake advanced research in the fields of news and journalismpolitical communication, and in environmental, health and science communication.

A key interest is in political and governmental institutions, and in processes of media production, policy and regulation. Our research also examines how different political and social identities, public conflicts, controversies, disasters and crises, and social inequalities are amplified, sustained, or addressed by media and communication. Here the implications of mediated communication for citizens, local communities and states, as well as the global public sphere are emphasised, reflecting our strong interest in the social outcomes of communication policy and practice.

We incorporate a variety of theoretical perspectives (including sociological, political and psychological) and different methodological approaches (including historical analysis, organizational analysis, production analysis, media outputs analysis and audience analysis) to address our key research questions.

Our key questions

  • What are the forms of public participation, debate, and democratic engagement that media facilitate?
  • What are key issues of regulation and governance around media and communications technologies across different national and international contexts?
  • How can communication and media technologies contribute to the enhancement of human rights and sustainable development?
  • How are technological changes and economic pressures in news and journalism changing access, influence and voice in public discourse?
  • How are mediation and communication shaping public discourse on key social issues around science, environment, health, crises and disasters?
  • How are mediation and technological change shaping dimensions of communicative power, participation and resistance?

Topics and interests 

Contributing researchers

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