Dr Ruth Garland

Staff details

Position Lecturer and Convenor, BA Promotional Media
Email r.garland (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Ruth Garland

I spent more than 25 years in public sector PR, taking my PhD at the LSE in 2016. My research focuses on governments' relations with media taking the UK since 1979 as a case study. I am critical of the narrative of political spin, preferring to examine the broader relations between politics and media as an interaction between and within elites that excludes the public. I am concerned to identify the role of impartiality as a factor in trustworthy and credible public communication.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Media and Communications - London School of Economics and Political Science 2016

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

I worked at the BBC for 19 years as a publicist for TV and its associated published products, and in that time had the chance to observe television production from behind the scenes. I remain fascinated by the making of television programmes and the construction and practice of 'celebrity'. As a sideline to my main research I have conducted a longitudinal thematic analysis of the ITV daytime programme 'Loose Women', focusing on the contradiction between its pursuit of commercial and showbiz values while claiming to challenge stereotypes of female ageing. I have contributed a chapter to a forthcoming Rowan and Littlefield book 'Gender: Representation, Engagement and Expression in the Digital Sphere', edited by Barbara Mitra, entitled 'The social media feeds of Loose Women: taking the temperature of popular feminism'. I have attended conferences and presented papers relating to the representation by Loose Women of older women and cosmetic surgery.

Publications and research outputs


Garland, Ruth. 2018. The unseen power of creative news management in government: The marginalisation of UK Government press officers between 1997 and 2015. Journal of Communication Management, 22(4), pp. 416-431. ISSN 1363-254X

Garland, Ruth. 2018. Is post-truth another word for political spin or a radical departure from it? Evidence from behind the scenes in UK government communications: 1997–2015. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 14(3), pp. 333-350. ISSN 1740-8296

Garland, Ruth; Tambini, Damian and Couldry, Nick. 2018. Has government been mediatized? A UK perspective. Media, Culture & Society, 40(4), pp. 496-513. ISSN 0163-4437

Garland, Ruth. 2017. Between mediatisation and politicisation: The changing role and position of Whitehall press officers in the age of political spin. Public Relations Inquiry, 6(2), pp. 171-189. ISSN 2046-147X


Garland, Ruth. 2021. Government Communications and the Crisis of Trust: From Political Spin to Post-truth. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783030775759

Book Section

Garland, Ruth. 2021. How the UK government 'turned on a sixpence' to change its story: A discourse analysis of the No.10 daily news conferences. In: Stuart Price and Ben Harbisher, eds. Power, Media and the Covid-19 Pandemic Framing Public Discourse. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 206-219. ISBN 9780367706302

Garland, Ruth and Lilleker, Darren. 2021. From Consensus to Dissensus: The UK's Management of a Pandemic in a Divided Nation. In: Peter Van Aelst and Jay G. Blumler, eds. Political Communication in the Time of Coronavirus. New York: Routledge, pp. 17-32. ISBN 9780367771577

Garland, Ruth and Lilleker, Darren. 2021. The UK: From Consensus to Confusion. In: Darren Lilleker; Iona A. Coman; Milos Gregor and Edoardo Novelli, eds. Political Communication and COVID-19: Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 165-176. ISBN 9780367636838

Garland, Ruth. 2019. Anticipating the age of political spin: an historical analysis of 1980s government communications. In: Ian Somerville; Lee Edwards and Øyvind Ihlen, eds. Public Relations, Society and the Generative Power of History. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 159-172. ISBN 9781138317109

Garland, Ruth. 2017. The dynamics of resistance and response to mediatization in government: perceptions of Whitehall press officers caught in the 'cross-field' since 1997. In: Olivier Driessens; Göran Bolin; Andreas Hepp and Stig Hjarvard, eds. The Dynamics of Mediatization: Institutional Change and Everyday Transformations in a Digital Age. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 155-175. ISBN 9783319629827

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