This project is primarily a collaboration between Dr Mel Bunce (City, University of London), Dr Martin Scott (University of East Anglia) and Dr Kate Wright (Edinburgh University). Both Kate and Mel are former journalists, whilst Martin has authored numerous reports about international news coverage. All three researchers have published numerous academic and non-academic outputs about journalism and international affairs. Professor Dan Brockington (University of Manchester) is acting in an advisory role for the project. More details about each researcher can be found below.

Dr Martin Scott

MARTIN SCOTTDr Martin Scott is a Senior Lecturer in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK). He has produced a number of reports and guidelines for UNESCO, DFID and the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) – targeted at broadcasters and NGOs – concerning the production, content and effects of representations of international development. His academic research has been focussed largely on how audiences respond to news coverage of international development – with particular concern for online behaviours, reactions to celebrities and to television documentaries. He has also published a book on Media and Development (Zed Books, 2014).

Previous Academic Outputs

Dr Kate Wright

s200_kate_wrightDr Kate Wright is a former BBC broadcast journalist who is now a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Creative and Cultural Industries at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has a track record of working on flagship news programmes (Radio 4 Today, World Tonight, BBC World Service Newshour). Her journalistic work has won a number of international awards, including one from the Foreign Press Association. She researches international news production, especially in online outlets. Her doctoral thesis, which was conducted at Goldsmiths (University of London), was about journalists’ use of NGO-provided multimedia. This involved interviewing journalists and NGO-workers in the US and UK, as well as media producers in Mali, South Sudan, Chad, Kenya and the DRC. She’s currently involved in developing guidelines on best media practice with INGOs and the UNDP.

Previous Academic Outputs

Dr Mel Bunce

MelanieBunceDr Mel Bunce is a former newspaper journalist from New Zealand and Senior Lecturer in Journalism at City University. She has published extensively on the work of African stringers and international news coverage of crises in the continent. Mel has spent seven years researching foreign correspondents in Africa, which has included fieldwork with journalists in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal and Nigeria, as well as the ethnographic study of digital communication and instant messaging in journalistic practice. This work formed the basis of her doctorate at Oxford University, and is included in a book she is currently editing on Africa’s Media Image. She is currently conducting a British Academy-funded content analysis on the changing nature of the international newswire coverage of Africa.

Previous Academic Outputs

Professor Dan Brockington

Dan-Brockington_smallDan Brockington is Director of the Sheffield Institute for International Development and was previously Professor of Conservation and Development at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Fortress Conservation (2002), Nature Unbound (With Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe, 2008), Celebrity and the Environment (2009) and – most recently – Celebrity Advocacy and International Development (2014). Most of Dan’s research has been in Tanzania, where he has worked on livelihood change, natural resource governance, microfinance and institutional performance, however he has also worked in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. His broader interests include work on global overviews of the social impacts of protected areas, media and conservation and continental-wide examinations of the work of conservation NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently he has worked on celebrity and development, based largely on work in the UK.



The three main researchers have published numerous academic and non-academic outputs about journalism and international affairs. Below is a list of their most relevant publications.

small screen big worldAfrica media imageMartin scott - media and development



Bunce, M. Franks, S. and C. Paterson. (eds.). (2016) Africa’s Media Image in the Twenty-first Century: from the ‘Heart of Darkness’ to ‘Africa Rising’. London: Routledge.

Scott, M. (2014) Media and Development. Zed Books.

Wright, K. (2017) Who’s Reporting Africa Now? Journalists, Non-Governmental Organisations and Multimedia. Peter Lang.

Academic journal articles

Bunce, Mel (2016) Beyond clickbait and commerce: The ethics, possibilities and challenges of not-for-profit media A Special Issue of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics Vol.13 No.2/3 Edited by Denis Muller Judith Townend.

Bunce, Mel (2016) “Africa in the Click Stream: Readership data and the production of international news stories” African Journalism Studies 36:4.

Bunce, Mel (2011) “The new foreign correspondent at work: Local-national ‘stringers’ and the global news coverage of Darfur” Reuters Reports, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University. *Article won the Ngo Future of Work Prize, Oxford University.

Bunce, Mel (2010) “ ‘This Place Used to be a White British Boys’ Club’: Reporting Dynamics and Cultural Clash at an International News Bureau in Nairobi” The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs Vol. 99: Issue. 410, pp. 515 – 528.

Scott, M. Bunce, M. and Wright, K. (In review) Donor power in the news: The influence of foundation funding on international public service journalism. Journal of Press/Politics.

Scott, M. (2015) The Myth of Representations of Africa: A Comprehensive Scoping Review of the Literature. Journalism Studies. Online First.

Scott, M. (2015) Distant Suffering Online: The Unfortunate Irony of Cyber-Utopian Narratives. The International Communication Gazette. Online First.

Scott, M (2014) The Role of Celebrities in Mediating Distant Others. International Journal of Cultural Studies. Online First.

Scott, M. (2014) The Mediation of Distant Suffering: An Empirical Contribution Beyond Television News Texts. Media, Culture and Society. 36:1, 3-19.

Scott, M. (2009) Marginalised, Negative or Trivial? Coverage of Africa in the UK Press. Media, Culture and Society, 31:4. 533–557.

Wright, K. (In Print.) "Helping our beneficiaries tell their own stories?" International aid agencies and the politics of voice within news production. Global Media and Communication

Wright, K. (2016). Moral Economies: Interrogating the Interactions of NGOs, Journalists and Freelancers. International Journal of Communication, 10, p.20.

Wright, K. (2015) ‘These grey areas’: freelancers and the ‘blurring’ of INGOs and news organisations’. Journalism Studies.

Wright, K. (2014) ‘Should journalists be ‘virtuous?’ Mainstream news production, complex media organisations and the work of Nick Couldry’, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism 15 (3) pp.364-381.

Wright, K. (2012) ‘Listening to suffering: what does ‘proper distance’ have to do with radio news?’ Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism 13 (3) pp.284-302.

Wright, K. (2011) Reality without scare quotes: Developing the case for critical realism in journalism research." Journalism Studies 12, (2) pp.156-171.

Book chapters

Bunce, Mel (2016, forthcoming) “Africa Rising” in M. Bunce, S. Franks, & C. Paterson (eds.) Africa’s Media image in the 21st Century: From the ‘Heart of Darkness’ to ‘Africa Rising’ Routledge: London.

Bunce, Mel (2015) “Africa’s media image: new storytellers, new narratives?” in Julie Gallagher (ed.) Images of Africa: creation, negotiation and subversion. Manchester University Press: Manchester.

Scott, M. (2016) How not to write about writing about Africa. In M. Bunce, S. Franks and C. Paterson (eds.) Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century.

Scott, M. (2014) Encountering Distant Others? Reconsidering the Appearance of International Coverage for the Study of Mediated Cosmopolitanism. In Y. Aybige and R. Trandafoiu (eds.) Media and Cosmopolitanism. Peter Lang.

Scott, M. (2013) More News is Bad News: Expanding the Scope of Studies of ‘the Public Faces of Development’ and ‘Media and Morality’. In D. Lewis, D. Rodgers & M. Woolcock (eds.) Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media. Routledge.

Wright, K. (In print). 'Public-Commercial Hybridity at BBC News Online: Covering Non-Governmental Organisations in Africa'. (Ed.) A. Davis. The Death of Public Knowledge?  London: Goldsmiths/MIT Press

Wright, K. (2016) ’It was a ‘simple’, ‘positive’ story of African self-help (manufactured by a Kenyan NGO by advertising multinationals’. (Eds.). M. Bunce, S. Franks, C. Paterson. Africa’s Media Image in the Twenty-first Century: from the ‘Heart of Darkness’ to ‘Africa Rising’. London: Routledge.

Reports / Other publications

Bunce, Mel & Chatterjee, Elizabeth (2010) “Narrating Democracy in the Commonwealth: An Overview” Commissioned report for: Democracy and the Commonwealth: a Round Table Centenary Celebration.

Magee, H. and Scott, M. (2016) Small Screen, Big World: How UK Television portrated the wider world in January 2016. IBT

Magee, H. and Scott, M. (2015) Reflecting a Changing World? How UK Television portrayed the wider world in 2014-15. IBT

Scott, M. (2011) Outside the Box: UK Television Coverage of Developing Countries, ‘Impact’ and Social and Online Media. IBT.

Scott, M. (2009) Guidelines for Broadcasters on Encouraging Media and Information Literacy and User-Generated Content. UNESCO / CBA.

Scott, M. (2009) The World in Focus: How UK Audiences Connect with the Wider World and the International Content of News in 2009 CBA / IBT.

Scott, M. (2008) Media Literacy from the Perspective of Broadcasters and User-Generated Content Producers Around the World. UNESCO / CBA.

Scott, M. (2008) Screening the World: How the UK Portrayed the Wider World in 2007-8. IBT, DFID.


All the three main researchers on this project teach and convene on relevant modules.