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Personal profile


James Dennis is Senior Lecturer in Political Communication and Journalism at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests lie in political communication, with a particular focus on social media, political participation and citizenship, and digital news. James' work has been published in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, and Political Studies. His first monograph, Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. This builds on his PhD research, for which he was awarded the American Political Science Association Information Technology and Politics Section Best Dissertation Award. James is a Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group.

Following the Understanding and Examining the Digital Advocacy Pioneers workshop in September 2018 at the University of Portsmouth, Nina Hall (Johns Hopkins University) and James prepared a special issue of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics (2020) — Innovation and adaptation throughout the digital eras.

James has experience of working with industry, carrying out social media research with the BBC World Service and the British Council. He has been a guest contributor for openDemocracy and the Political Studies Association blog and has provided commentary on digital politics for BBC Radio Scotland, the Financial Times, and Newsweek. James maintains a personal research site at jameswilldennis.com and can be found on Twitter at @jameswilldennis.

James welcomes proposals from prospective PhD candidates interested in political communication, digital journalism and the changing news media environment, and social media and political participation.

Current PhD supervisions include:

  • Sarah Cheverton, How can Hyperlocal News be Analysed in the Context of Global "Fake News"? (third supervisor)
  • Paul Foster, Misinformation and the Regional Press: Finding an Antidote to the ‘Digital Disease’ and Rebuilding Trust (first supervisor)
  • Amandine Hostein, The Role of the Internet in Enabling the Emergence of NGOs as Public Spheres (second supervisor)
  • Jason Searle, Political Communications Management of Crisis Discourse Through Language and Rhetoric: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the UK Government’s COVID-19 Press Briefings (first supervisor)

Research Interests

  • Political communication

  • Social media

  • Digital news

  • Political participation and citizenship

  • British politics

  • Social mobility and inequality

External positions

External Examiner for MA Social Media & Political Communication, Loughborough University

3 Feb 2021 → …

External Examiner for BA Digital Media, University of Leeds

1 Jan 2019 → …

Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group, Political Studies Association

1 Jul 2018 → …


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