Natalie is a Professor of Media and Communications. Her research is concerned to address one of the most complex and vital issues of our age - the role the media play in the formation of identities and democracies and why and how people seek to change the world for socially progressive ends. Located in debates on media justice, social and economic democracy and social equality her research exposes the necessity for radical reform of concentrated media and tech power and the need to re-imagine what a democratic politics might mean in a digital age.
Teaching and Supervision
I teach the following courses: Critical Perspectives in Political Communications on the MA Political Communications & Global Cultural Politics on the BA PPE.
I am interested in supervising students in the broadly defined areas: media & democracy; political economy of media & cultural industries; media power; media & political resistance; media & radical politics; civil society & the media.
Natalie has published widely on issues relating to news and journalism, media and democracy, media reform, civil society and the public sphere, radical politics, digital media and social change. She has particular interests in issues of political transformation, rethinking our understanding of public culture and the public sphere, radical media reform and re-imagining democracy.
She has researched and directed over 20 externally funded research projects receiving funding from a range of foundations and UKRI funding bodies.
She is currently directing two projects:
• The BBC and Beyond: Re-imagining Public Media: for the Media Reform Coalition, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
• Policing the Political in Civil Society, funded by the British Academy (completed 2021).
She is writing a book for Polity Press with the working title: Democratic Delusions: How the media hollowed out democracy and what we can do about it.
Publications and research outputs
Davis, Aeron; Fenton, Natalie; Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Curran, James P.; Fenton, Natalie and Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Curran, James P.; Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Corner, John; Richardson, Kay and Fenton, Natalie. 1990. Nuclear Reactions: Form and Response in Public Issue Television. University of Luton Press: Acamedia. ISBN 978-0861962518
Fenton, Natalie, ed. 2009. New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age. London: SAGE. ISBN 978-1847875747
Calabrese, Andrew and Fenton, Natalie, eds. 2015. A symposium on media, communication and the limits of liberalism, European Journal of Communication, 30(5). 0267-3231
Fenton, Natalie, ed. 2012. Telling Tales: Press, Politics, Power, and the Public Interest, Television and New Media, 13(1).
Fenton, Natalie. 2021. Corruption in the Fourth Estate: How the Guardian exposed phone hacking and reneged on reform of press regulation. In: Des (D. J.) Freedman, ed. Capitalism's Conscience: 200 Years of the Guardian. London: Pluto Press, pp. 169-185. ISBN 9780745343341
Fenton, Natalie. 2020. Distracted by technologies and captured by the public sphere. In: Leah Lievrouw and Brian Loader, eds. Routledge Handbook of Digital Media and Communication. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138672093
Fenton, Natalie. 2020. Afterword: Seeking resources of hope for a different type of emancipatory future? In: Cameron McCarthy; Koeli Moitra Goel; Ergin Bulut; Warren Crichlow; Brenda Nyandiko Sanya and Bryce Henson, eds. Spaces of New Colonialism: Reading Schools, Museums, and Cities in the Tumult of Globalization. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 363-377. ISBN 9781433152481
Fenton, Natalie. 2019. The Scandalous Power of the Press: Phone Hacking in the UK. In: Howard Tumber and Silvio Waisbord, eds. Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780815387596
Fenton, Natalie and Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Fenton, Natalie. 2012. The Internet and Social Networking. In: James P. Curran; Natalie Fenton and Des (D. J.) Freedman, eds. Misunderstanding the Internet. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 123-148. ISBN 978-0-415-57956-8
Fenton, Natalie. 2012. De-democratizing the News? New Media and the Structural Practices of Journalism. In: Eugenia Siapera and Andreas Veglis, eds. The Handbook of Global Online Journalism. London: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 119-134. ISBN 978-1444338553
Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Multiplicity, autonomy and the mediated politics of new social movements. In: L Dahlberg and S Phelan, eds. Discourse Theory and Media Politics. London: Palgrave, pp. 178-200. ISBN 978-1137305947
Fenton, Natalie and Witschge, Tamara. 2010. 'Comment is free, facts are sacred': Journalistic ethics in a changing mediascape. In: G Meikle and G Redden, eds. News online : transformations and continuities. London: Palgrave, pp. 148-164. ISBN 9780230233454
Fenton, Natalie. 2010. NGOs, New Media and the Mainstream News: News from Everywhere. In: Natalie Fenton, ed. New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age. London: Sage, pp. 153-169. ISBN 9781847875747
Fenton, Natalie. 2009. Drowning or waving? New media, journalism and democracy. In: Natalie Fenton, ed. New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age. London: SAGE, pp. 3-16. ISBN 978-1847875747
Fenton, Natalie. 2009. ‘New Media, Politics and Resistance’, in J. Downing and M. Pajnik (2009) (eds.) :. In: J Downing and M Pajnik, eds. Alternative Media and New Public Settings,. Ljubljana: The Peace Institute., pp. 61-81.
Fenton, Natalie. 2009. ‘Re-imagining democracy: new media, young people, participation and politics’ in P. Dahlgren and T. Olson (2009 - Nov), Young Citizens, ICT’s and Democracy. In: , ed. Young Citizens, ICT’s and Democracy. Sweden: Nordicom Press, pp. 19-35. ISBN ?
Fenton, Natalie. 2007. Bridging the Mythical Divide: Political Economy and Cultural Studies Approaches to the Analysis of the Media. In: Eoin Devereux, ed. Media Studies: Key Issues and Debates. London: SAGE, pp. 7-31. ISBN 978-1412929837
Fenton, Natalie. 2006. Contesting Global Capital, New Media, Solidarity, and the role of Social Imaginary. In: Bart Cammaerts and Nico Carpentier, eds. Reclaiming the Media: Communication Rights and Democratic Media Roles. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 225-242. ISBN 9781841501635
Fenton, Natalie; Freedman, Des (D. J.)
Fenton, Natalie. 2023. Critique is Dead – Long Live Critique: A response to Finlayson and Cusset. Media Theory, 7(1), pp. 63-74. ISSN 2557-826X
Fenton, Natalie. 2023. Understanding Civic Participation and Realizing Data Justice. International Journal of Communication, 17, pp. 3660-3678. ISSN 1932–8036
Fenton, Natalie. 2022. A commentary: Communication, democracy and social change in crisis times – Disrupting power, dismantling injustices. Media & Jornalismo, 22(41), pp. 21-39. ISSN 1645‑5681
Fenton, Natalie. 2020. Indymedia and the long story of rebellion against neoliberal capitalism. Media, Culture & Society, 42(6), pp. 1052-1058. ISSN 0163-4437
Fenton, Natalie. 2018. Regulation is Freedom: phone hacking, press regulation and the Leveson Inquiry – the story so far. Communications Law, 23(3), ISSN 1746-7616
Fenton, Natalie. 2018. Fake Democracy: The Limits of Public Sphere Theory. Javnost - The Public, 25(1-2), pp. 28-34. ISSN 1318-3222
Fenton, Natalie. 2015. Left Out? Digital Media, Radical Politics and Social Change. Information, Communication & Society, 19(3), pp. 346-361. ISSN 1369-118X
Fenton, Natalie and Titley, Gavan. 2015. Mourning and Longing: Media Studies learning to let go of liberal democracy. European Journal of Communication, 30(5), pp. 554-570. ISSN 0267-3231
Fenton, Natalie. 2014. Defending Whose Democracy? Media Freedom and Media Power. Nordicom Review, 35, pp. 31-43. ISSN 2001-5119
Fenton, Natalie. 2013. News Journalism, New Media, Democracy and the Public Interest. Medienjournal, 3, pp. 19-38.
Fenton, Natalie. 2012. Telling Tales: Press, Politics, Power and the Public Interest. Television and New Media, 13(1), pp. 3-6. ISSN 1527-4764
Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Cosmopolitanism as Conformity and Contestation: the mainstream press and radical politics. Journalism Studies, 14(2), pp. 172-186. ISSN 1461-670X
Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Deregulation or democracy? New media, news, neoliberalism and the public interest. Contiuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 25(1), pp. 63-72. ISSN 1030-4312
Barassi, Veronica and Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: the Politics of Individuation and Political Participation. Communication Review, 14(3), pp. 179-196. ISSN 1071-4421
Fenton, Natalie. 2011. Deregulation or democracy? New media, news, neoliberalism and the public interest. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 25(1), pp. 16-22. ISSN 1030-4312
Fenton, Natalie. 2009. My Media Studies: Getting Political in a Global Digital Age. Television and New Media, 10(1), pp. 55-57. ISSN 1527-4764
Fenton, Natalie. 2008. Mediating Hope: New Media, Politics and Resistance. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 11(2), pp. 230-248. ISSN 1367-8779
Fenton, Natalie and Downey, J.. 2007. Global Capital Local Resistance? Trade Unions National Newspapers and the Symbolic Contestation of Offshoring in the UK. Current Sociology, 55(5), pp. 651-673. ISSN 00113921
Fenton, Natalie and Downey, John. 2003. New Media, Counter Publicity and the Public Sphere. New Media & Society, 5(2), pp. 185-202. ISSN 14614448
Conference or Workshop Item
Barassi, Veronica and Fenton, Natalie. 2010. 'Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: The Politics of Individuation and Political Participation'. In: Community and Communication Section at the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). Braga, Portugal.
Further profile content
The Media Manifesto
In this incisive manifesto, four prominent media scholars and activists put forth a roadmap for radical reform of concentrated media power.
Media, Democracy and Social Change: Re-imagining Political Communications
Tackling broad themes of structural inequality, technological change, political realignment and social transformation, the book explores political communications and what a democratic politics means
Digital, Political, Radical
Contributes to political debate on contemporary (re)configurations of radical progressive politics through a consideration of how we experience (counter) politics in the digital age
Misunderstanding the Internet 2nd Edition
A polemical, sociologically and historically informed guide to the key claims that have been made about the online world. It challenges popular myths and existing academic orthodoxies on the internet
New Media: Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age
Explores how technological, economic, and social changes have reconfigured news journalism, and the consequences of these transformations for a vibrant democracy in our digital age.
As an engaged and critical scholar Natalie constantly combines her research with activism beyond the academy: she was Vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the campaign group Hacked Off for 7 years and a founding member and former Chair of the UK Media Reform Coalition. She is currently on the Board of Declassified UK an investigative journalism website for in-depth analysis on British foreign policy.
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups
The BBC and Beyond: Imagining a Media Commons
The BBC and Beyond is a campaign from the Media Reform Coalition. Combining interviews and 9 'town-hall' events (watched by 30,000 people) we produced a Manifesto for a People’s Media
Investigating the Echo Chamber
Portland's Deirdre Livingston interviews Natalie about the effects on the world from our everyday lives to democracy
How the British media helped Boris Johnson win
Covid-19 and the ownership and control of the media
A short film made by Carl Joyce and Mike Quille, with the support of the Communication Workers Union.
How the UK Media Could Serve the Public Interest
A piece discussing ideas for media reform from 'A Manifesto for a People's Media'
Conferences and talks
Media and Politics
Sage Video Experts
Misinformation in News
How the media let the government get away with over 100,000 deaths
Owen Jones Show
Interview with Miriam Lewis of Defensoria del Publico
Interview with Defensoria del Publico de Argentina (Spanish translation)