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Department of Media and Communications

Professor James Curran

Position held:
Professor of Communications

+44 (0)20 7919 7619

+44 (0)20 7919 7616

j.curran (@gold.ac.uk)


Professor James Curran teaches on Media, History and Politics and Political Economy of Media.

He Co-convenes MA Political Communications and also contributes to the core course.


James Curran is Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, supported by a £1.25 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust, and Professor of Communications. While at Goldsmiths, he has held a number of visiting appointments including McClatchy Professor (Stanford), Annenberg Professor (UPenn), Bonnier Professor (Stockholm University) and NRC Professor (Oslo University).

He has written or edited 22 books about the media, some in collaboration with others. These include Media and Democracy, Routledge, 2011, Power Without Responsibility (with Jean Seaton), 7th edition, Routledge, (2010), Media and Society, 5th edition, Bloomsbury, 2010 and Media and Power, Routledge, 2002 (translated into five languages). His latest book is Misunderstanding the Internet (with Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman), Routledge, 2012, arising from Leverhulme funded research.

His work falls mainly into two linked areas: media history and media political economy. In media history, he has sought increasingly to relate the development of the media to wider changes in society, while in media political economy he has turned to comparative media research, drawing on quantitative methods.  This has resulted in three comparative studies, two funded by the ESRC (for outputs see ‘publications’ above). More recently still, he has been evaluating the impact of the internet and new communications technology.

James Curran has given numerous public lectures and keynote addresses, most recently in Barcelona, Beijing, Brasilia, Cardiff, Derry, Dublin, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Madrid, Philadelphia, Sydney, and Tokyo. In 2011, he was the first person to win the C. Edwin Baker Award for his lifetime contribution to scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy by the International Communication Association’s Philosophy, Policy and Law Divisions.  In 2013, he became the second British academic to become a Fellow of the International Communications Association in recognition of his lifetime research on the media.

Areas of supervision

In 2012 two of his research students; Justin Schlosberg and Mireya Marquez, obtained PhDs on respectively the sociology of British investigative journalism and Brazilian journalism and political change, preceded by Lina Dencik in 2011 whose PhD was on the media and global civil society. In 2007, his research student, Carolina Matos, gained her PhD on Brazilian media and politics; in 2006, two of his research students gained doctorates: Bong-Soo Lee, with a dissertation on the Korean press and the late 1990s economic crisis in Korea, and Maurice Walsh on foreign correspondents and the Irish War of Independence. In 2004, three of James Curran's research students gained PhDs, with dissertations on respectively cross-media promotion (Jonathan Hardy), Maltese media and society (Carmen Sammut) and the Hong Kong press and political change (Carol Lai). They were preceded by numerous others.

These dissertations have been published as books: Carol Lai, Media in Hong Kong, Routledge, 2007; Carmen Sammut, Media and Maltese Society, Lexington, 2007; Carolina Matos, Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil, Lexington, 2008 (and in Portuguese, 2009); Maurice Walsh, The News from Ireland, I. B. Tauris, 2008; Jonathan Hardy, Cross-Media Promotion, Peter Lang, 2010; Lina Dencik, Media and Global Civil Society, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; Justin Scholosberg, Power Beyond Scrutiny, Pluto, 2013.

Selected publications


‘Jay Blumler: A Founding Father of British Media Studies’ in S. Coleman, G. Moss and K. Parry (eds.) Can the Media Serve Democracy?, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 197-209.

‘Pride and Prejudice: A Five Nation Study of Television News Coverage of the Olympics’, with Kaori Hayashi, Sunyoung Kwak et al., Journalism Studies, 2015.

Hulianwang de Wudu (Misunderstanding the Internet) (with D. Freedman and N. Fenton), People's University of China Press, Beijing, 2014.

Media wa Minjujueui (Media and Democracy in Korean), Hanul, Seoul, 2014.‌

 ‘Sources in the News: A Comparative Study’, with R. Tiffen, P. Jones, D. Rowe et al. Journalism Studies, 2014, 15 (4), 374-391.‌

“Reconsidering ‘Virtuous Circle’ and ‘Media Malaise’ Theories of the Media: An 11-Nation Study”, with S. Coen, S. Soroka, T. Aalberg et al., Journalism, 2014, 15 (7), pp 815-833, 2014.

‘International TV News, Foreign Affairs Interest and Public Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Foreign News Coverage and Public Opinion in 11 Countries’, with T. Aalberg, S. Papathanassopoulos, S. Coen et al.,  Journalism Studies 14 (3), 2013, 387-406.

‘Auntie Knows Best? Public Broadcasting and Public Affairs Knowledge’, with S. Soroka, B. Andrew, T. Aalberg et al., in British Journal of Political Science, 43 (4), 2013, 719-739.‌

 ‘Online Threat, But Television is Still Dominant: A Comparative Study of 11 Nations’, with S. Papathanassopoulos, S. Coen et al. in Journalism Practice, 7 (6), 2013, 690-704.

‘Internet Revolution Revisited: A Comparative Study of Online News’, with S. Cohen, T. Aalberg, K. Hayashi et al.  Media, Culture and Society, 35 (7) 2013, 880-897.‌

‘Sucesos, Noticias Internacionales y Hard News’ (et al) in Maria Lamuedra Gravan (ed) El Futuro de laTelevision Publica, Editorial Popular, Madrid, 2012, pp. 35-58.

Misunderstanding the Internet (with Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman), Routledge, 2012.  ‌

How Media Inform Democracy: A Comparative Approach(with Toril Aalberg ed), Routledge, New York, 2012.

‘News Content, Media Consumption and Current Affairs Knowledge’ (with Sharon Coen, Toril Aalberg, and Shanto Iyengar) in Aalberg and Curran (eds.) How Media Inform Democracy, Routledge, 2012, pp. 81-97.

‘How Media Inform Democracy: Central Debates’ (with Toril Aalberg) in Aalberg and Curran (eds.) How Media Inform Democracy, Routledge, 2012, pp. 3-14.

‘Media Systems and the Political Information Environment: A Cross-National Comparison’ (with Toril Aaalberg and Peter van Aelst) in Aalberg and Curran (eds.) How Media Inform Democracy, Routledge, 2012, pp. 33-49.

‘Does Knowledge of Hard News Go with Knowledge of Soft News? A Cross-National Analysis of the Structure of Public Affairs Knowledge’ (with Kyu. S. Hahn, Shanto Iyengar and Peter Van Aelst) in Aalberg and Curran (eds.) How Media Inform Democracy, Routledge, 2012, 119-137.‌

‘Conclusion’ (with Toril Aalberg) in Aalberg and Curran (eds.) How Media Inform Democracy, Routledge, 2012, pp. 189- 200.‌

‘The Internet and the Transformation of Journalism’ in John Lloyd and Janice Winter (eds) Media, Politics and the Public, Ax:son, Stockholm, 2012.

Media and Democracy, Routledge, 2011. ‌ 

‘Democratic Value of Entertainment: A Reappraisal’, Media & Jornalismo, 9 (2), 2010, 69-87

(ed.) Media and Society, 5th edition, Bloomsbury, 2010.

‘Entertaining Democracy’ in J. Curran (ed.) Media and Society, Bloomsbury, 2010, 38-62.

‘The Future of Journalism’, Journalism Studies, 11(4), 2010, 464-476.

T. Aalberg, P. Aelst and J. Curran, ‘Media System and the Political Information Environment: A Cross-National Comparison’, International Journal of Press/Politics, 15 (3), 2010, 255-271. 

S. Iyengar, J. Curran, A. Lund, I. Salovaara-Moring, K. Hahn and S. Cohen, ‘Cross-National versus Individual Differences' in Political Information: A Media System Perspective, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 20 (2), 2010, 291-309.

James Curran and Jean Seaton, Power Without Responsibility, 7th edition, Routledge, 2010.‌

‘Technology Foretold’ in N. Fenton (ed) New Media, Old News, Sage, 2010, pp. 19-34. 

James Curran and Tamara Witschge, ‘Liberal Dreams and the Internet’ in N. Fenton (ed) New Media, Old News, Sage, 2010, pp.102-118.

James Curran, Inka Salovaara-Moring, Sharon Coen and Shanto Iyengar, ‘Crime, Foreigners and Hard News: A Cross-National Comparison of Reporting and Public Perception’, Journalism, 11(1), 2010, 1-17.

‘Reinterpreting Internet History’ in Y. Jewkes and M. Yar (eds.) Handbook of Internet Crime, Willan, 2010, pp. 17-37.

'The Impact of Television on the Audience for National Newspapers, 1945-68' reprinted in A. Weedon (ed) The History of the Book in the West, 1914-2000, Ashgate, 2010, pp. 107-42.

‘La Reinvention de le Roue: Critique des “Cultural Studies” ‘ in D. Wolton (ed) Les Sciences de L’Information et La Communication, CRNS Editions, 2009, pp. 93-114.

James Curran, Shanto Iyengar, Anker Brink Lund and Inka Salovaara-Moring, 'Media System, Public Knowledge and Democracy: A Comparative Study', European Journal of Communication, 24 (1), 2009, pp. 5-26.

'Narratives of Media History Revisited' in M. Bailey (ed) Narrating Media History, Routledge, 2009, pp. 1-21.

‘New Trends and Critical Theories in British Media Studies’ (in Japanese) in T. Tsuganesawa, E. Takeichi and T. Watanabe (eds.) Media Kenkyuu to Jaanarizuma 21 Seiki no Kashuku, Minerva Press, Tokyo, 2009, pp. 52-99.

'Communication and History' in Barbie Zelizer (ed) Explorations in Communication and History, Routledge, 2008, pp. 46-60.

'The New Revisionism in Mass Communication Research: A Reappraisal' reprinted in Anders Hansen (ed) Mass Communication Research Methods, Sage, 2009.

'Capitalism and Control of the Press' and 'Rethinking Media and Democracy' in Yuezhi Zhao and Jin Cao (eds.) The Political Economy of Communication, Fudan University Press, Shanghai, 2008, pp. 296-321 and 344-376.

'Mediations of Democracy' [in Norwegian] in B. Gentikon and E. Skogseth (eds.) Medier og Deokratiki, Spartacus, Oslo, 2008, pp. 68-97.

'Media Diversity and Democracy' in T. Gardam and D. Levy (eds.) The Price of Plurality, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism/Ofcom, Oxford, 2008, pp. 103-9.

Media to Kenryoku [Media and Power, in Japanese], Tokyo: Ronshosha, 2007.

'Media, Entertainment and Democracy', Doshisha Journal of Media and Communication Research, 4, 2007, pp 425-438.

'Teoria midiatica e cultural na era do liberalismo de mercado' [Media and cultural theory in the age of market liberalism] in Joao Filho and Micael Herschmann (eds), Novos Rumos da Cultura da Midia, Mauad, Rio de Janeiro, 2007, pp.15-45.

'Reinterpreting the democratic roles of the media', Brazilian Journalism Research, 3 (1), 2007, pp 31-54.

Dazhong Mejia yu Shehui [Mass Media and Society, 3rd edition] (edited with Michael Gurevitch), Huaxia Press, Beijing, 2006.

Meiti yu Quanli [Media and Power, in Chinese], Beijing: Tsinghua University Press, 2006.

'Media history: the neglected grandparent of media studies' in K. Leung, J. Kenny and P. Lee (eds) Global Trends in Communication Education and Research (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006), pp. 17-35.

'Dimocratia kai mesa mazikis epikininias', [Democracy and the mass media], Zitimata Epikinonias, Vol. 2, 2005, 19-38.

Culture Wars: The Media and the British Left (with Ivor Gaber and Julian Petley) (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005)

Mass Media and Society (edited with Michael Gurevitch), 4th edition (London: Arnold, 2005)

Media and Cultural Theory (edited with David Morley) (London: Routledge, 2005).

'Media and cultural theory in the age of market liberalism' in James Curran and David Morley (eds.) Media and Cultural Theory (London: Routledge, 2005, pp. 129-148 ).

'Mediations of democracy' in James Curran and Michael Gurevitch (eds.), Mass Media and Society, 4th edition (London: Arnold, 2005) pp. 122-149.

Medios de Communicacion y Poder [Media and Power, in Spanish], Hacer, Barcelona, 2005.

Mesa Epikenonias k Exousia [Media and Power, in Greek], Kastaniotis, Athens, 2005.

Midia wa Gwon-Ryuk [Media and Power, in Korean), Communicationbooks, Seoul, 2005.

'What Democracy requires of the media' in Geneva Overholser and Kathleen Jamieson (eds.), The Press: Institutions of American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2005) pp. 120-140.

(with Jean Seaton), Ying Guo Xin Wen Shi [Power Without Responsibility, 6th edition, in Chinese], Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, 2005.

'The rise of the Westminster school' in Andrew Calabrese and Colin Sparks (eds.), Toward A Political Economy of Culture (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 13-40.

Power Without Responsibility (with Jean Seaton), 6th edition (London: Routledge, 2003).

Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World (edited with Nick Couldry) (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).

'Global journalism: a case study of the internet' in Nick Couldry and James Curran (eds.) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 227-242.

'The paradox of media power' (with Nick Couldry) in N. Couldry and J. Curran (eds.) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 3-16.

Media and Power (London: Routledge, 2002).

'Media and the making of British society, c. 1700-2000', Media History, 8 (2), 2002, pp. 135-154.

'Mediageschiedenis en ideologie' in Jo Bardoel et al (eds.) Journalistieke Cultuur in Nederland (University of Amsterdam Press, 2002), pp. 464-488.

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