Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Media and Communication


Dr Katy Parry

Lecturer in Media and Communication; Deputy Director of Student Education

0113 343 4586

Clothworkers' Building North, 2.05

Office hours: Tuesdays 2-4pm (semester one)

BA, MA, PhD (Liverpool)

My research interests cover a range of subjects across media and communication studies, including: visual communication and photojournalism; visual media activism, political communication; war and the media; visual research methods.


I joined Leeds in 2011. Prior to this, my most recent post was for the AHRC-funded project, ‘Media Genre and Political Culture’, with Kay Richardson and John Corner at the University of Liverpool, exploring the way in which media formats other than journalism portray politics.

Research Interests

My research interests cover a range of subjects in communications and politics, including: war and media; photojournalism and visual culture; visual media activism, political communications and election coverage; and political culture across media genres. Prior to starting a lectureship at Leeds in 2011, I worked on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Media Genre and Political Culture’, with Kay Richardson and John Corner at the University of Liverpool, exploring the way in which media formats other than journalism portray politics. In addition to publishing work from this project, including the book ‘Political Culture and Media Genre‘ (Palgrave 2012), I also continue to write on images, politics and war.

I am a co-author of Pockets of Resistance: British news media, war and theory in the 2003 invasion of Iraq (Manchester University Press, 2010), with Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Craig Murray and Philip M. Taylor.

I am currently working on the book Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media Culture (with Giorgia Aiello), under contract with SAGE, to be published in early 2017).


I currently teach on the following modules:

  • COMM1950 Power, Politics and the Media
  • COMM2125 Visual Communication
  • COMM3925 War and Media
  • COMM5610M Politics and the Media (module leader: Katrin Voltmer)
  • COMM5600M Guest lecture on Visual Research Methods


Module leader for COMM1950, COMM2125 and COMM3925.

Deputy Director of Student Education for the School of Media and Communication.

Acting Programme Leader for MA in Political Communication (semester one)




  • Coleman S, Thumim N, Birchall C, Firmstone, Moss G, Parry K, Stamper J, Blumler JG (2016) The Mediated City: The News in a Post-Industrial Context. London: Zed.

  • Coleman S; Moss G; Parry K (eds.) (2015) Can the Media Serve Democracy? Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler. Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Richardson K, Parry KJ, Corner J (2012) Political Culture and Media Genre: Beyond the News. Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry KJ, Taylor PM, Murray C (2010) Pockets of Resistance: British news media, war and theory in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Manchester Univ Pr.

Journal articles

  • Parry KJ, Thumim N (2016) “'When he’s in Afghanistan it’s like our world/his world’: Mediating military experience”, Media, Culture and Society. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/104128/

  • Parry KJ, Thumim N (2016) “(Extra)ordinary portraits and stories: Self-representation, public culture and the contemporary British soldier”, Media, War and Conflict. 9.1: 93-109.
    DOI: 10.1177/1750635215606866, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/89129/

  • Maltby S, Parry K (2015) “Special Issue: Contemporary soldiering, self-representation and popular culture”, Media, War and Conflict. 9.1: 3-8.
    DOI: 10.1177/1750635216642080

  • Balabanova E, Parry K (2014) “Introduction: Communicating war.”, Journal of War and Culture Studies. 7.1: 1-4.
    DOI: 10.1179/1752627213Z.00000000036, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/86546/

  • Thornham HM, Parry K (2014) “Constructing communities: the community centre as contested site”, Community Development Journal.
    DOI: 10.1093/cdj/bst088, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/79513/

  • Corner J, Richardson K, Parry KJ (2013) “Comedy, the Civic Subject and Generic Mediation”, Television and New Media. 14.1: 31-45.
    DOI: 10.1177/1527476412453947

  • Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry K (2012) “Measuring media criticism of war and political elites: A response to Florian Zollmann”, Global Media and Communication. 8.2: 177-185.
    DOI: 10.1177/1742766512444354

  • Parry KJ (2012) “The First ‘Clean’ War? Visually Framing Civilian Casualties in the British Press during the 2003 Iraq Invasion”, Journal of War and Culture Studies. 5.2: 173-188.
    DOI: 10.1386/jwcs.5.2.173_1

  • Parry K (2011) “Images of liberation? visual framing, humanitarianism and british press photography during the 2003 iraq invasion”, Media, Culture and Society. 33.8: 1185-1201.
    DOI: 10.1177/0163443711418274

  • Parry K, Richardson K (2011) “Political Imagery in the British General Election of 2010: The Curious Case of 'Nick Clegg'”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. 13.4: 474-489.
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2011.00452.x

  • Corner J, Richardson K, Parry KJ (2011) “Political culture and the mediascape: A British case study”, Interactions: Studies in Culture and Communication. 1.3: 313-329.

  • Parry KJ (2010) “Media visualisation of conflict: Studying news imagery in 21st century wars”, Sociology Compass. 4.7: 417-429.

  • Parry KJ (2010) “A visual framing analysis of British press photography during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict”, Media, War and Conflict. 3.1: 67-85.

  • Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry K, Murray C (2009) “Testing Models of Media Performance in Wartime: UK TV News and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq”, JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 59.3: 534-+.
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01435.x

  • Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry K (2009) “UK Media and Media Management During the 2003 Invasion of Iraq”, AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST. 52.5: 678-688.
    DOI: 10.1177/0002764208326515

  • Murray C, Parry KJ, Robinson P, Goddard P (2009) “Reporting dissent in war-time: UK Media, the anti-war movement and the 2003 Iraq War”, European Journal of Communication. 23.1: 7-27.

  • Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry KJ (2008) “Patriotism meets plurality: Reporting the 2003 Iraq War in the British Press”, Media, War and Conflict. 1.1: 9-30.

  • Robinson P, Brown R, Goddard P, Parry K (2005) “War and media”, MEDIA CULTURE & SOCIETY. 27.6: 951-959.
    DOI: 10.1177/0163443705057685


  • Parry KJ, Goddard P (2016) “Mapping a century in media coverage of war and conflict”, In: Robinson P; Frohlich R; Seib P (eds.) Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security. (Accepted)

  • Aiello G, Parry K (2015) “Aesthetics, Political”, In: Mazzoleni G (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication. 1st. The Wiley Blackwell-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. 11-16
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/92466/

  • Parry K, Moss G (2015) “'Values Are Always at Stake': An Interview with Jay G. Blumler”, In: Can the Media Serve Democracy?: Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler. 210-220
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137467928_19

  • Coleman S, Moss G, Parry K (2015) Introduction: Can the Media Serve Democracy?. 1-18
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137467928_1

  • Parry KJ (2015) “Visibility and visualities: ‘Ways of seeing’ politics in the digital media environment”, In: Coleman S; Freelon D (eds.) Handbook of Digital Politics. Edward Elgar. 417-432

  • Parry K (2015) “Visibility of protest at the margins: The Thatcher funeral protests”, In: Media, Margins and Civic Agency. 151-165
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137512642.0017, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/90223/

  • Vis F, Faulkner S, Parry KJ, Manyukhina Y, Evans L (2013) “Twitpic-ing the Riots: Analysing Images Shared on Twitter during the 2011 UK Riots”, In: Weller K; Bruns A; Burgess J; Mahrt M (eds.) Twitter and Society (Digital Formations). Peter Lang. 385-398

  • Murray C, Robinson P, Goddard P, Parry KJ (2011) “'Not in Our Name’: British press, the anti-war movement and the Iraq Crisis 2002-2009”, In: Cottle S; Lester L (eds.) Transnational Protests and the Media. New York: Peter Lang. 59-73

  • Parry KJ (2011) “Haven’t I seen that before? British press photographs of family loss during the Iraq Invasion”, In: Fox P; Pasternak G (eds.) Visual Conflicts: Art History, Visual Culture and the Formation of Political Memory. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 169-186

  • Richardson K, Parry KJ, Corner J (2011) “Genre and the Mediation of Election Politics”, In: Wring D; Mortimore R; Atkinson S (eds.) Political Communication in Britain. Palgrave. 304-324

  • Parry KJ (2008) “Our disgust will make us stronger: UK press representations of PoWs in the 2003 Iraq War”, In: Alvares C (eds.) Representing Culture: Essays on Identity, Visuality and Technology. Cambridge Scholars. 77-98


  • Parry KJ (2016) “The toxicity of discourse: reflections on UK political culture following the EU Referendum”, EU Referendum Analysis Jackson D; Thorsen E; Wring D (eds.).

  • Parry KJ (2015) “#RegisterToVote: picturing democratic rights and responsibilities on Twitter”, UK Election Analysis 2015 Jackson D; Thorsen E (eds.).

Research Projects & Grants

Current grants: Principal investigator on British Academy Small Grant: ‘Representations of contemporary soldiering in digital and visual cultures’ (Ref: SG130350)

This project has been devised within the context of the recent British military withdrawal and wind-down in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking how mediated discourses of ‘war’ and ‘the end of war’ might work to facilitate, complicate or obstruct the wider cultural and political understandings which occur both within the Armed Forces, and between them, their families and the wider public. The two long and ultimately unpopular wars have been conducted in an era of simultaneous rapid developments in communication technologies and digital cultures. The British soldier has become a regular focus of mainstream media attention, but also the producer or co-producer of digital materials disseminated via various media forms and museum displays. Rather than consider the ‘top-down’ concerns relating to media and foreign policy interactions, this project focuses on the ‘bottom-up’ of modern soldiering in Britain: collating soldiers’ and veterans’ own responses to mainstream media representations and to the forms of ‘self-representation’ (e.g. blogs, video footage) enabled by digital media technologies.

I am also a co-investigator on Prof. Katrin Voltmer’s EU FP7 project ‘Media, Conflict and Democratisation’ (MeCoDEM): http://www.mecodem.eu/. Please see the website for further details.

Research Centres & Groups

Co-convener of the Political Communication Research Group (with Dr Giles Moss)

Member of the Centre for Digital Citizenship and Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group

External Appointments

External examiner for the Media and Communication MA Programme in The Media School, Bournemouth University.

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

I am interested in supervising research projects on a range of subjects, including but not limited to: political communication, war and media, visual framing analysis, visual communications, protest imagery and political satire.

Current supervisees:

Charlotte Elliott

Salem Erayja

Antje Glück

Lone Sorenson

Mandy Tao

Sally Osei-Appiah

PhD Thesis

Visually Framing the 2003 Iraq Invasion in British Press Photography


There are two principal objectives to this thesis: to develop a rigorous and nuanced methodological approach to studying news photographs, and to examine the Iraq invasion as one of the key defining moments in 21st century war coverage. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, the study integrates content and framing analysis with semiotic methods in order to examine ideological or mythic understandings of the war image across a corpus of seven national newspapers in the UK (Sun, Mirror, Mail, Independent, Guardian, Times and Telegraph). One of the most controversial wars in the post-Cold War era for Britain, the chosen case study of the 2003 Iraq invasion is also exceptionally significant in terms of the intensive media representation of a faraway conflict involving the mobilisation of UK troops.

The study evaluates the range of photographic depictions in the British press and the ways in which the variations in news imagery impacted upon the prevailing narratives about the conflict: what kinds of images appeared and how did certain portrayals of people and events work to support or undermine the coalition’s justifications for the war? I contend that favoured news framings and narratives about the war and its protagonists are powerfully performed, reflected and reinforced through selective representation in news photographs, alongside the textual framing indicated in the headlines and captions. The analysis collates quantitative results on frequency, prominence and intensity of news photographs with complementary qualitative examination of the data.

The visual framing approach researches the news photograph on three broad levels: first, at the compositional level (the content within the frame of the photograph); second, within its immediate news discourse context (background framing of caption, headline and layout); and third, across the broader context of a chosen period of time and diversity of newspaper titles, in which certain themes and slants in coverage might be seen to cohere and gain momentum (the visual narrative or visual culture). The analysis of news images is also placed within the context of the wider academic debates on the visualisation of war; namely, the mediatization of war and the performativity of the war image, photography’s role (in defining events and) in the formation of collective memory, and the representation of distant suffering. I also include the results from a supporting questionnaire of Iraq news images, conducted with over 100 students.

Three major themes are highlighted for further interrogation: the portrayal of British troops as merciful and mighty (‘idealised soldiering’); the depiction of ‘civilian casualties’; and the visual press treatment of the ‘humanitarian motivations’ frame, promoted by the coalition as one of their core rationales for military action. The findings indicate some key variations in visual reporting of the war across the corpus of newspapers, especially in the visibility and graphic nature of casualty imagery. However, the prevailing photographic coverage visually constructs the invasion of Iraq as an adventurous, rapid ‘shock and awe-filled’ drive across the desert towards Baghdad, while de-emphasising the severe damage, injury and destruction reeked upon the Iraqi population. The military embedding process for reporters and photographers appears to be a key determinant for the type of news imagery that defined the Iraq war, at this initial invasion stage at least.


Pockets of Resistance: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9780719084454

Political Culture and Media Genre: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/political-culture-and-media-genre-kay-richardson/?K=9780230354098

Can the Media serve Democracy?: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/can-the-media-serve-democracy-stephen-coleman/?K=9781137467911

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