Martin Scott

Martin Scott
University of East Anglia | UEA · School of International Development

Doctor of Philosophy

About

48
Publications
8,548
Reads
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408
Citations
Introduction
I am a Senior Lecturer in Media and International Development. My research and teaching focuses on media freedom, international journalism, media influence on aid, representations of development, celebrity humanitarianism, media development, audiences of distant suffering and INGO communications. I am the author of a book on Media and Development (Zed Books, 2014).

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive scoping review of empirical research into US and UK media representations of Africa published between 1990 and 2014. The results show that existing research has a remarkably narrow focus on a specific number of countries, events, media and texts. Research into representations of North Africa, Franc...
Article
The internet is often celebrated for the abundant opportunities it appears to offer citizens to become more informed about and inspired to act on issues related to international development and distant suffering. But to what extent do users actually make use of such opportunities? And what social processes are such decisions governed by? This artic...
Article
Full-text available
How does donor funding affect the independence, role perceptions, and ideology of the journalism it supports? We begin to answer this increasingly important but underresearched question with a year-long case study of the humanitarian news organistion IRIN as it transitioned from being funded by the United Nations to a private foundation, run by a M...
Article
We examine if and how news coverage influences governments’ humanitarian aid allocations, from the perspective of the senior bureaucrats involved in such decision-making. Using rare in-depth interviews with 30 directors and senior policymakers in 16 of the world’s largest donor countries, we found that the majority of these bureaucrats believed tha...
Article
Full-text available
How do journalists working for different state-funded international news organizations legitimize their relationship to the governments which support them? In what circumstances might such journalists resist the diplomatic strategies of their funding states? We address these questions through a comparative study of journalists working for internati...
Chapter
Full-text available
Humanitarian journalism can be defined, very broadly, as the production of factual accounts about crises and issues that affect human welfare. This can be broken down into two broad approaches: “traditional” reporting about humanitarian crises and issues, and advocacy journalism that aims to improve humanitarian outcomes. In practice, there is over...
Article
Full-text available
Private foundations are an important source of funding for many news outlets. It has even been suggested that they may offer a partial solution to journalism’s economic crisis. Yet we do not know how foundation funding shapes journalistic practice. In this article, we show that foundation funding has a significant effect on the “boundaries of journ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Latest industry report from the global AHRC-funded research project into humanitarian journalism
Technical Report
Full-text available
Latest industry report from global AHRC-funded project on humanitarian journalism
Chapter
This chapter investigates if and how a private donor’s apparent motivation to ‘look good’ – or to generate symbolic capital – interacts with a news organization’s ability to ‘do good’ by producing public service content. We address this issue by reporting on the findings of a year-long study of the online humanitarian news organisation – IRIN – as...
Article
Full-text available
Not-for-profit news organisations are increasingly funded by private foundations, supported by wealthy entrepreneurs. This raises a range of ethical dilemmas for journalists, which are particularly serious when their donors are alleged to have been involved in unethical or illegal activities. Although this is a relatively common occurrence in the n...
Research
Virtual newsrooms have enormous potential: enabling journalists around the world to pool their knowledge, skills and perspectives within joint projects, such as the Panama Papers. These virtual newsrooms are supported by Online Collaborative Software (OCS), the most popular of which is Slack. But although many of the world's top news organisations...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual newsrooms have enormous potential: enabling journalists around the world to pool their knowledge, skills and perspectives within joint projects, such as the Panama Papers. These virtual newsrooms are supported by Online Collaborative Software (OCS), the most popular of which is Slack. But although many of the world’s top news organisations...
Article
This article draws on the results of a large-scale audience study to examine how audiences respond to mediated encounters with distant suffering on UK television. The research involved two phases of focus groups separated by a two-month diary study. Research participants’ mediated experiences of distant suffering were generally characterised by ind...
Article
How effective are celebrities, not just in helping to draw attention to distant suffering, but in actually regulating spectators’ mediated experiences of the lives of distant strangers? What function does the perceived authenticity of a celebrity play in their role as mediator? This article seeks to address such questions by analysing the results o...
Article
Based on focus groups and interviews with first-time voters in the UK, this study reflects critically on the role of popular culture as a resource of political engagement. Unlike previous studies, it looks at a wide range of popular culture and suggests that entertainment television, video games and popular music provide young citizens with some of...
Chapter
This chapter traces the history of academic study of the relationship between politics and popular culture. This history has a variety of sources. These include Plato’s warnings about the ill effects of music to their more modern equivalent in the work of the Frankfurt School. It also traces the counter tradition that derives from the work of FR Le...
Chapter
This chapter examines the different ways in which popular culture is understood to engage with politics. We refer to these as ‘points of engagement’. These begin with the idea that films, soaps and the like ‘inform’ us about, or seek to represent, a ‘real’ world. The second point of engagement is that of creating affinities, which refers to how pop...
Chapter
This chapter argues that previous empirical work on citizen engagement and popular culture has been dominated by a narrow concept of the political. As a consequence, much of this research focused on factual genres and tended to ignore more subtle expressions of citizen engagement. This chapter makes the case for a wider concept of the political. It...
Chapter
This chapter explains the methodology for our investigation into the relationship between popular culture and political engagement. In modifying the methodology of David Buckingham we adopt a ‘bottom-up’ approach which attempts to take account of the personal and subjective nature of political engagement and media use. The research involved three s...
Chapter
Young people in our focus groups and interviews regularly commented on media texts and their representations of the world as being either ‘real’ or ‘unreal’. In this chapter we argue that these judgements about reality can often be read politically because they can reveal young people’s understanding of where power lies in society and how they atte...
Chapter
This chapter reflects on the pleasures young people derive from their engagement with popular culture. It recognises that young people often seek out popular culture for the purpose of play, rather than political engagement. Yet it cautions against the idea that play can never lead to connections with issues of public affairs. This chapter argues t...
Chapter
This chapter reflects on the implications of this research for academic debate, education policy and media production. It stresses the importance of taking seriously young people’s cultural tastes for research that wants to understand the nuanced ways in which citizen engagement can happen. It suggests that media and cultural studies are subjects t...
Article
This article investigates the extent to which young people use different forms of popular culture to express and make sense of their relationship to politics. We look closely at young people's interpretation of popular culture in order to find out whether, and if so how, it plays a political role, using focus groups and interviews with first-time v...
Article
While the importance of news media to politics is widely acknowledged, it is only relatively recently that entertainment media have received similar recognition. There is now a substantial body of research on the impact of popular culture on various aspects of the political process, from political knowledge to political engagement. This article is...
Article
This article examines the character of the coverage of Africa in the UK press by conducting a content analysis of six newspapers over a 15-day period. The results of this investigation suggest that the character of the UK press coverage of Africa is not as marginalized, negative or trivial as it is often accused of being. This investigation also fi...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (5)
Archived project
I worked as the research associate for the ESRC funded project - From entertainment to citizenship? A comparative study of the political uses of popular culture by first-time voters. The principal investigators were Prof. John Street and Dr. Sanna Inthorn.The aim of this project was to investigate how young people connect the pleasures of popular culture to the world at large. For them, popular culture is not simply a matter of escapism and entertainment, but of engagement too. Our research revealed how the young use shows like X-factor to comment on how power ought to be used, and how they respond to those pop stars - like Bono and Bob Geldof - who claim to represent them. The primary outputs of this research were a book - From Entertainment to Citizenship (Manchester University Press, 2013) and a number of co-authored, peer-reviewed journal articles.
Archived project
My PhD was concerned with how UK television regulates spectators’ mediated experiences of Others from foreign countries. My research involved a number of content analyses, a large scale audience study involving two phases of focus groups separated by a two-month diary study, as well as discourse analysis involving an adapted version of Lilie Chouliaraki’s analytics of mediation. The results showed that research participants’ mediated experiences of distant suffering were generally characterised by indifference and solitary enjoyment, with respect to distant and dehumanised distant others. However, the results also signalled that, in various ways, non-news factual television programming offers spectators a more proximate, active and complex mediated experience of distant suffering than television news. Alongside my PhD I wrote a number of publications, on the same subject, for the Department for International Development (DFID), the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA). After completing my PhD I wrote two further articles focussed on how audiences respond to the mediation of distant suffering. The first article discussed the results of a two month study of UK internet users’ online behaviour. The results revealed, not just a general resistance to using the internet to develop a cosmopolitan consciousness, but also the dominant modes of avoidance research participants used to justify their inactivity. I conclude that the potential for digital cosmopolitanism appears to be primarily governed, not by the peculiarities of individual texts or even the properties of the technology, but by the nature and acceptability of pre-existing discursive resources and how they are deployed by users. In the second article, I discussed data which indicated that while celebrities certainly help to shape our mediated experiences of distant suffering, they are generally ineffective in cultivating a cosmopolitan engagement in such circumstances.