Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Dr Chris Paterson

Senior Lecturer in International Communication; Programme Leader, MA in International Communication

0113 343 7619

Clothworkers' Building North, 2.03

Office hours: (6 October to 8 December) Wednesday and Friday, 11-12; and by appointment

BA (Allegheny), MS (Boston), PhD (Texas)

I teach and research in the areas of international journalism and international communications.  My research concerns the production and flow of international news; the safety of journalists; media and journalism in Africa; and communication for development.  I have written extensively on news agencies and on news production research methodology.


My career has been divided between the UK and the US, where I have also worked in television production and broadcast journalism.   I have taught at the Centre for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester and in San Francisco, Atlanta, Northern Ireland, and Finland.  I received my PhD in International Communication from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996.

For the International Association of Media and Communications Research I am founder and current co-chair of the Working Group for Media Production Analysis and have been an elected member of the International Council; in 2016 I chaired the IAMCR Environmental Impact Committee.

I am on the board of the Leeds University Centre for Global Development and Centre for African Studies and a member of the Leeds Migration Research Network (LMRN)

Research Interests

My book War Reporters Under Threat: the United States and Media Freedom (2014, Pluto Press) examines the nature of violence facing the media from the United States and some of its close allies.  I have continuing research interests in processes of imperialism and state surveillance, and in 2015 I created and hosted a plenary event for the IAMCR annual conference in Montreal which examined Surveillance and Resistance.

I have written the first and only major study of television news agencies and originated and co-edited two volumes of Making Online News: The Ethnography of New Media Production (New York: Peter Lang, 2008).  The 2011 volume is hereThese books use the traditions of media sociology to investigate the production of online news. I co-edited International News in the Twenty-First Century (John Libbey/Luton University Press, 2004) – one of the first academic publications to examine and spur interest in peace journalism and emotionally literate journalism.  I have edited a special edition of Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies concerning Journalism and Social Media in Africa ; this special issue was produced as a book in 2015.  In 2013 I hosted an international conference (below) leading to the 2016 publication of Advancing Media Production Research, which I co-edited.

Other research includes an investigation of the safety of, and legal protections for, journalists covering war, examination of the role of news agencies in online media, and studies of the historical evolution of the wholesale television news industry, and the investigation of emerging forms of international news flow. Other interests include the state of journalism in the UK, international television journalism, the political economy of mass media, media sociology, and communications in developing countries.

I have organised or co-organised international conferences entitled Advancing Media Production Research (Leeds, 2013), Broadcast News and the Active Citizen (Leeds, 2008) and Living Cultures – Contemporary Ethnographies of Culture (Leeds, 2009); and International News in the Twenty-First Century (Leicester, 2000).




I currently lead the MA International Communication of the School of Media and Communication (having previously led the MA International Journalism).

Postgraduate Modules taught at Leeds University include Journalism Theory and Research, Communication and International Affairs, Communication and Development, and Journalism: Radical Approaches.  Undergraduate modules have included International Communication, Broadcast Journalism Ethics, and Journalism, Politics, and Society.


Course Leader, MA International Communication

Coordinator, Global Communications Research Group

Previously Founding Coordinator, Journalism Research Group

Coordinator, Africa / Media Group



  • Bunce M; Franks S; Paterson CA (eds.) (2016) Africa's Media Image in the 21st Century From the "Heart of Darkness" to "Africa Rising". Communication and Society. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120077/

  • Paterson C; Lee D; Saha A; Zoellner A (eds.) (2016) Advancing Media Production Research: Shifting Sites, Methods, and Politics. IAMCR Global Transformations in Media and Communication Research. Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137541949, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96692/

  • Paterson C (eds.) (2014) Journalism and Social Media in Africa: Studies in Innovation and Transformation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96696/

  • Paterson CA (2014) War Reporters Under Threat: The United States and Media Freedom. London: Pluto Press.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96683/

  • Paterson C; Domingo D (eds.) (2011) Making Online News Volume 2 Newsroom Ethnographies in the Second Decade of Internet Journalism. Digital Formations. New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang.

  • Paterson CA (2011) The International Television News Agencies: The World from London. New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang.

  • Paterson C; Domingo D (eds.) (2008) Making Online News: The Ethnography of New Media Production. New York: Peter Lang.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96687/

  • Paterson C; Sreberny A (eds.) (2004) International News the Twenty-First Century. John Libbey.

Journal articles

  • Paterson CA, Gadzekpo A, Wasserman H (2018) “Journalism and Foreign Aid in Africa”, African Journalism Studies. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/131069/

  • Paterson C, Nothias T (2016) “Representation of China and the United States in Africa in Online Global News”, COMMUNICATION CULTURE & CRITIQUE. 9.1: 107-125.
    DOI: 10.1111/cccr.12133, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/92567/

  • Paterson C, Doctors S (2013) “Participatory journalism in Mozambique”, Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies. 34.1: 107-114.
    DOI: 10.1080/02560054.2013.767431, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96744/

  • Paterson C (2013) “Journalism and social media in the African context”, Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies. 34.1: 1-6.
    DOI: 10.1080/02560054.2013.767418

  • Paterson CA (2013) “Information flows in sub-Saharan Africa”, Sur le journalisme, About journalism, Sobre jornalismo. 2.1: 80-87.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96742/

  • Paterson C, Malila V (2013) “Beyond the Information Scandal: When South Africa bought into global news”, Ecquid Novi: African journalism studies. 34.2: 1-14.
    DOI: 10.1080/02560054.2013.772531, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96745/

  • Paterson CA, Andresen K, Hoxha A (2012) “The Manufacture of an International News Event: The Day Kosovo Was Born”, Journalism: Theory Practice Critique. 13.1

  • Paterson CA (2011) “Government intervention in the Iraq war media narrative through direct coercion”, Global Media and Communication. 7.3: 181-186.

  • Paterson CA, Zoellner A (2010) “The efficacy of professional experience in the ethnographic investigation of production”, Journal of Media Practice. 11.2: 97-109.
    DOI: 10.1386/jmpr.11.2.97_1

  • Paterson C (2008) “From pigeons to news portals: Foreign reporting and the challenge of new technology”, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRESS-POLITICS. 13.3: 354-355.
    DOI: 10.1177/1940161208319615

  • Paterson C (2007) “International news on the internet: Why more is less”, Ethical space : The International Journal of Communication Ethics. 4.1: 57-66.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96730/

  • Paterson CA (2005) “When global media don’t ‘play ball’: the exportation of coercion”, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics. 1.1: 53-58.
    DOI: 10.1386/macp.1.1.53/3

  • Paterson CA (1999) “Agency Source Influence on Television Foreign Reporting: The Case of Mururoa and Tahit”, Asia Pacific Media Educator. 1.7: 16-36.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96727/

  • Paterson CA (1998) “Reform or Re-colonization? The Overhaul of African Television”, Review of African Political Economy. 25.78: 571-583.
    DOI: 10.1080/03056249808704344, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96726/

  • Paterson CA (1997) “International television news agency: coverage of conflict”, Journal of International Communication. 4.1: 50-66.
    DOI: 10.1080/13216597.1997.9751844, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96725/


  • Bunce M, Franks S, Paterson C (2017) A new Africa's Media Image? Introduction. 1-13
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120082/

  • Paterson C (2017) New imperialisms, old stereotypes. 214-222
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120081/

  • Paterson CA (2016) “The Ethnography of Digital Journalism”, In: Franklin B; Eldredge S (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge. 108-116
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/120088/

  • Paterson C, Lee D, Saha A, Zoellner A (2016) “Production Research - Continuity and Transformation”, In: Paterson C; Lee D; Saha A; Zoellner A (eds.) Advancing Media Production Research: Shifting Sites, Methods, and Politics. IAMCR. Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 3-19

  • Paterson C (2014) Online Journalism in Africa Trends, Practices and Emerging Cultures Epilogue. 259-261

  • Paterson CA (2011) “Convergence in the News Wholesalers: Trends in International News Agencies”, In: Domingo D; Paterson CA (eds.) Making Online News: Newsroom Ethnography in the Second Decade of Internet Journalism.

  • Bakker T, Paterson CA (2011) “The New Frontiers of Journalism: Citizen Participation in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands”, In: Brants K; Voltmer K (eds.) Political Communication in Postmodern Democracy. Palgrave MacMillan. 183-199

  • Paterson CA (2010) “The hidden role of television news agencies: ‘going live’ on 24 hour news channels”, In: Cushion S (eds.) The Rise of 24-Hour News Television. Peter Lang Pub Inc.

  • Paterson CA (2010) “Changing Times: The move online and the UK’s Press Association”, In: Boyd-Barrett O (eds.) News Agencies in the Turbulent Era of the Internet. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya / Col-leccio Lexikon.

  • Paterson CA (2008) “Introduction: Why Ethnography?”, In: Making Online News The Ethnography of New Media Production. Digital Formations. Peter Lang.

  • Paterson CA (2005) “News Agency Dominance in International News on the Internet”, In: Skinner D; Compton J; Gasher M (eds.) Converging Media, Diverging Politics: A Political Economy of News in the United States and Canada. Lexington/Rowman and Littlefield. 145-164

  • Paterson CA, Sreberny A (2004) “Shouting from the rooftops: Reflections on International News in the 21st Century”, In: Paterson C; Sreberny; A (eds.) International News the Twenty-First Century. John Libbey. 3-27

  • Ndauendapo P, Paterson C (2002) “The Internet in Namibia”, In: Robins MB; Hilliard RL (eds.) Beyond boundaries : cyberspace in Africa. Portsmouth, NH, USA: Heinemann.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96718/

  • Paterson CA (2001) “The Transference of Frames in Global Television”, In: Reese SD; Gandy OH; Grant AE (eds.) Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World. Routledge Communication Series. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 337-353
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96719/

  • Paterson CA (2001) “Media Imperialism Revisited: The Global Public Sphere and the News Agency Agenda”, In: Hjarvard S (eds.) News in a Globalized Society. Göteborg: Nordicom. 77-92
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96720/

  • Paterson C (2001) “Constructing ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ for Global Television”, In: Ross K; Derman D; Dakovic N (eds.) Mediated Identities. Media and Culture. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press. 41-72
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96721/

  • Paterson C (1998) “Global Battlefields”, In: Boyd-Barrett O; Rantanen T (eds.) The Globalization of News. London: Sage. 79-103
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96722/

  • Paterson C (1997) “Global Television News Services”, In: Sreberny A; Winseck D; McKenna J; Boyd-Barrett O (eds.) Media in Global Context: A Reader. Foundations in Media. London: Bloomsbury. 145-160
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96723/

  • Paterson C (1992) “Television News from the Frontline States”, In: Hawk BG (eds.) Africa's Media Image. New York: Praeger. 176-193
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/96724/

Research Projects & Grants

Contested Discourses of ‘Africa Rising’: the struggle for control of the image of the foreign ‘partner’ British Academy / Leverhulme

Development Assistance and independent journalism in Africa and Latin America: A cross-national and multidisciplinary research network ESRC & DfID (Global Challenges) Project Website

Sadler Seminar Series: Who/What is a “Good”/”Bad” Migrant? Leeds Humanities Research Institute Project Website

Research Centres & Groups

Media Industries Research Centre

Global Communication Research Group

Journalism Studies Research Group

Africa / Media Research Group

External Appointments

I am a member of the Editorial Board of African Journalism Studies; and the advisory board of the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics.

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

I would be pleased to speak with prospective PhD students about their ideas.  I am primarily interested in supervising projects which broadly concern:

– change in the nature of news production and change in journalism.

– media concerning, and media within, the African continent

– neo-colonial and global political/economic forces as they pertain to communication within and about Africa

– the safety and working practices of international journalists

– media and international development, including issues of climate and migration

– news agencies and international news flow

– US imperialism; surveillance by states

PhD students :

Brendon Lawson (second supervisor): How numbers … are used by the mainstream media … to articulate news about humanitarian crises

Michael Tasseron (second supervisor): Contesting narratives on Israel-Palestine? A comparative analysis of the British and South African print media coverage of the 2014 Gaza war

Pieter Van der Houwen (second supervisor): Capacity of the African Diaspora to challenge entrenched Western perceptions of the African continent

Paul Stringer: The work of online journalists: Redefining journalism in the digital age

Muganzi Muhanguzi Isharaza (Ganzi): International Non-Governmental Organizations’ media production processes

Dr. Toussaint Nothias: Afro-pessimism in the French and British elite press [Passed without correction, December, 2015]

Dr. Modestus Fosu: The Press and Political Participation: Newspapers and the Politics of Linguistic Exclusion and Inclusion in Ghana [Passed without correction, September, 2014]

Dr. Ufuoma Akpojivi: Media Freedom in Nigeria and Ghana, 2012

Dr. Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman: The Myth of the Fourth Estate in the USA and England. 2011




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