I am a lecturer in Media and Communication in the School of Media Communication and Sociology. I joined the School in 2019 from the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University where I was a Research Associate and at which I completed my PhD in 2015.
Since 2021 I am the Deputy PGR Tutor in the School.
I am also Managing Editor of the International Journal for Press/Politics and a Visiting Fellow at Loughborough University.
My research interests lie primarily in the fields of political communication and news media analysis. More specifically I explore these interests in relation to three key areas: media and political discourses of migration, the reporting of elections and political processes, and disinformation. My doctoral research explored national newspaper coverage of issues around immigration to Britain during general election campaigns over the 25 election campaigns between 1918 and 2010. I have also been centrally involved in organising, analysing and disseminating the findings of several major content analyses of news during election campaigns and other high-profile events with colleagues at Loughborough University including the 2015 2017 and 2019 general election campaigns and the 2016 EU referendum campaign. More recently I have become involved in several projects relating to dis/misinformation, and journalism.
(0) Wring, D., Deacon, D., & Smith, D. (2022) Knocking Copy: How the National Press Covered the Campaign. In D. Wring, R. Mortimore., & S. Atkinson (eds.) Political Communication in Britain. Springer. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-81406-9_10
Deacon, D., Smith, D., & Wring, D. (2021). Enduring Brands: The Press. In R. Ford, T. Bale, W. Jennings, & P. Surridge (eds.) The British General Election of 2019. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74254-6_10
Smith, D., & Matthews, J. (2021). Johnson and Journalism: Anonymous sources in senior journalists' social media feeds. In J. Mair, T. Clark, N. Fowler, R. Snoddy & R. Tait (eds.) Populism, the Pandemic and the Media. Abramis.
Smith, D., Deacon, D., & Downey, J. (2020). Inside Out: the UK Press, Brexit and Strategic Populist Ventriloquism. European Journal of Communication. DOI: 10.1177/0267323120940917
Deacon, D., & Smith, D. (2020). The Politics of Containment: Immigration Coverage in UK General Election News Coverage (1992 to 2015). Journalism, 21(2), pp. 151-171. DOI: 10.1177/1464884917715944. OA: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/25863
Deacon, D., Wring, D., Smith, D. & Vaccari, C. (2020) Here, there, and everywhere? Brexit and mainstream news coverage during the 2019 General Election. In J. Mair, T. Clark, N, Fowler, R. Snoddy, & R. Tait (eds.) Brexit, Boris and the Media, pp. 27-35. Bury St Edmonds: Abramis.
I welcome enquiries from prospective doctoral research students interested in political communication and the reporting of political processes, the mediation of migration, journalism studies, mis/disinformation, media history and similar areas.
I currently lead SY7044 - Research Design Practice and Ethics and co-lead MS7047 Introduction to Advertising and Media and MS7042 Research Methods for the Online World. I also contribute to various other modules.
Press and media
I would be very interested to talk to journalists about my research interests including in the areas of political communication the mediation of migration and journalism studies more generally.
BSc Communication and Media Studies (First Class Honours), Loughborough University, 2010
PhD Social Sciences, Loughborough University, 2015 (‘Immigration in UK newspapers during general election campaigns 1918-2010’)
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy