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Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

University Dean of Research Environment and Culture

+44 29208 79414
Two Central Square, Room 1.32, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am currently serving as University Dean of Research Environment and Culture. In this role, I'm working on enhancing an inclusive, collaborative and creative research environment at Cardiff University.

As a researcher, I'm focused on the relationship between citizenship, media and emotion - and how it is affected by rapid technological change and innovation. I've recently carried out extensive research on the experiences of local news entrepreneurs, including in the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, I am working on research projects on right-wing populist media and misinformation.

I have written five books; Emotions, Media and Politics (Polity Press, 2018),  Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society (Polity Press, 2018, co-authored with Arne Hintz and Lina Dencik), Disasters and the Media (Peter Lang, 2012; co-authored with Mervi Pantti and Simon Cottle), Journalists and the Public (Hampton Press, 2007) and Citizens or Consumers? (Open University Press, 2005; co-authored with Justin Lewis and Sanna Inthorn)

I have edited an additional five books, including Handbook of Journalism Studies (Routledge, with Thomas Hanitzsch - second edition 2020, first edition 2009) and Mediated Citizenship (Routledge, 2007). I have published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. I am also a frequent media commentator on topics relating to citizenship and the media, and have written extensively for The Conversation.

In 2020-2021, I am the (mostly virtual) Ander Visiting Professor of Geomedia Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden. In 2019, I was awarded an honorary doctorate from Roskilde University, Denmark, and in 2020 I was elected a Fellow of the International Communication. From 2015 to 2019, I served as Chair of the Outstanding Article of the Year Award in the Journalism Studies Division of the International Communication Association, and was Board Member at Large for the association from 2012 to 2014. I serve on the editorial boards of journals including Journal of Communication; International Journal of Press/Politics; Communication Theory; Journalism; Journalism Studies; Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Digital Journalism; Social Media & Society; Communications: European Journal of Communication; Journalism and Discourse Studies; and Annals of the International Communication Association. I previously served as associate editor of Communication Theory.

My research has been funded by the ESRC, the European Commission, the Australian Research Council, AHRC, the BBC Trust and the British Academy, among other organisations. In 2012-2013, I led the content analysis research for the BBC Trust's impartiality review on Breadth of Opinion. Previously, I was Principal UK Investigator on a €4 million European Commission funded project on the European Public Sphere (EUROSPHERE) and have carried out research for the charity Public Concern at Work on the media representation of whistleblowers.

























Book sections






My research focuses on the relationship between citizenship, media and emotion - and how it is affected by rapid technological change and innovation. I am developing new research projects on right-wing populist media, "deep fakes" and community journalism. I recently won funding from the British Academy for the project, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community journalism start-ups in the UK” (2020-2022). I also serve as Partner Investigator on Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, “Evaluating the challenge of ‘fake news’ and other malinformation (PI: Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology (2020-2023).

I have carried out extensive work on how citizens are represented in and participate through news forms and genres, including vox pop interviews, letters to the editor, disaster coverage and user-generated content. I am now turning to investigating how journalists experience and adapt to dramatic transformations in their profession, and how these experiences and adaptations are shaped by organisational cultures and resources.

Links to Research Projects


I teach on the undergraduate module "Media and Democracy" and the MA module "Introduction to Journalism Studies" as well as on the school’s PhD seminars.

I have supervised more than ten PhD students to completion, in addition to more than 50 students across BA and MA levels. I welcome PhD applications in areas relating to emotions, media and democracy, including projects on populism and the media.



  • 2000: PhD (Communication), Stanford University, USA
  • 1995: BA, double major in Communication Studies and Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, USA

Honours and awards

  • 2019: Doctor Honoris Causa, Roskilde University, Denmark

Academic positions

  • August 2012-present: Professor, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
    • Since August 2012: Director of Research Environment and Development – responsible for drafting REF 2021 Environment Statement.
    • March 2017: Visiting Professor, Unidersidad del Norte, Colombia.
    • February 2017: Visiting Professor, Monash University, Australia
    • February 2017: Visiting Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    • September 2014: Bonnier Visiting Professor, University of Stockholm.
  • August 2008-August 2012: Reader, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
    • March-April 2011: Visiting Scholar at the University of Gothenburg.
    • January 2009: Visiting Professor at the Kosovo Institute for Journalism and Communication, delivering an MA-level courses on Communication Theory and Research Methods
  • August 2005-August 2008: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.
  • August 2000-August, 2005: Lecturer B, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.
    • Summer 2003: Visiting Scholar, Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Supported by Cardiff University Young Researcher Travel Fellowship.
  • September 1995-June 2000: Instructor and Teaching Assistant, Department of Communication and Feminist Studies Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Committees and reviewing

Research evaluation

  • 2018-2019: Chair, RED19 – Research Excellence Evaluation, Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 2014: Panel member, Ghent University Research Evaluation Exercise (Belgian equivalent of the REF, conducted at institutional level).
  • 2013: External reviewer of REF publications, Department of Journalism, Strathclyde University, June.
  • 2011: External expert reviewer of research quality, Department of Journalism, Roskilde University, Denmark (Danish equivalent of the REF, conducted at institutional level). Led the process of writing the final panel report.

Editorial boards

  • Member of editorial boards for Journal of Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Studies, Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism, Communication Theory, Digital Journalism, Journal of International Communication, Social Media & Society, Annals of the International Communication Association, Communications: European Journal of Communication, Journalism and Discourse Studies, and SAGE's Encyclopedia of Journalism.

Other external service

  • 2013 -  : Jury member for social sciences in the UK Scopus Young Researcher Award.
  • Have served as external examiner/opponent for 38 PhD thesis, in countries including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
  • Frequent reviewer for external hiring and promotions panels
  • Invited reviewer for more than 40 different journals for which I do not serve on the editorial board.
  • External examiner for:
    • MSc Programmes, London School of Economics (2016-2019).
    • MA International Journalism, Erasmus Mundus; City University, Danish School of Journalism (2013-2016)
    • BA in Journalism, Stirling University (2012-2016),
    • MA in Journalism, University of East Anglia (2012-2016)
    • BA in Journalism, Roskilde University, Denmark (2010-2014)
    • MA in Social Media, University of Salford (2009-2012)
    • MA in Mass Communication, Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester (2006-2010)
    • BA in Journalism and Mass Communication at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone (2004-2007)


I have supervised more than ten PhD students to completion, and welcome PhD applications in areas relating to emotions, media and democracy, as well as work focused on community/hyperlocal journalism.