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Dr Emma Louise Briant

 Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Journalism at University of Essex

Formerly: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Journalism Studies at University of Sheffield, Post-doctoral Scientist at George Washington University.

Check the Posts and Archives on the top right column for my recent news →


I am a sociologist/political scientist specializing in research on media, political communication and propaganda particularly in relation to  international conflicts, social issues like migration, and inequality debates. My recent published research includes two books, the most recent is based on my doctoral research (PhD Glasgow University, 2011), is Propaganda and Counter-terrorism and was published in 2015. For this I analysed the coordination and increasing impacts of the digitalisation of defence propaganda and as part of this and other work I spent many years researching SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica and contributed to several important public inquiries which helped to bring these unethical companies into the light of real scrutiny. My evidence was published here by the UK’s Fake News Inquiry. I am currently working on a new book project with Prof Robert M Entman analyzing the Democrats’ political communication failures and the 2016 election of Donald Trump.

I also conduct research on the contemporary propaganda war between the US and Russia, as well as another project looking at the post-war ‘reconstruction’ period and propaganda in Iraq.

Information on all my books, articles and blogs can be viewed on this website using the links above. A brief overview follows…





My new work in progress with Prof. Robert M Entman:

In this book we analyse how over several decades a failure by The Democratic Party to fully deliver policies that would halt rising economic inequality, was reinforced by a growing inability to communicate these policies among key communities… read more…





Emma Louise Briant (2015) ‘Propaganda and Counter-terrorism: Strategies for Global Change’, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Endorsement from cover from Professor Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

“Emma Briant’s Propaganda and counter-terrorism is a superb analysis of the propaganda provided by the governments of the United States and United Kingdom in present times. It is thoroughly researched and contextualized, and offers fresh insights into the great risks these practices hold for democracy. This sophisticated book should be mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in the subject.”

Recent Praise:

Propaganda and Counter-terrorism is a “path-breaking study” which “explodes myths about propaganda” Prof. Alex Law, Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland.


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bnfr cover


Greg Philo, Emma Briant & Pauline Donald (2013) ‘Bad News for Refugees‘ London: Pluto Press.

Endorsement from the back of the book by Professor James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London:

“This is an enormously important book that documents with meticulous scholarship the way in which immigrants have been stigmatised by the British media. It offers a compelling analysis of what is omitted from media accounts, which voices are left unheard, how simplifications and stereotypes are generated, and the consequences of this prejudiced reporting for immigrant communities who feel themselves to be under constant attack.”

Recent Praise:

‘As for the volume as a whole, ‘useful’ would be an understatement. It can be described as essential for anyone seeking an antidote to the type of journalism it castigates.’  Stuart Parkes.




I have extensive experience teaching across a range of areas including Media and Political Communication, Sociology, Politics, Research Methods and even English as a Foreign Language, designing innovative teaching including role plays for the students.

My teaching at University of Essex Department of Journalism includes the undergraduate first year module Principles of Journalism, Contemporary History and Public Affairs. Next year I plan to introduce my module ‘Propaganda, Media and Conflict in a Changing World’. I also supervise PhD dissertations and my other duties include role of Ethics Officer and organising the departmental Speaker Series.




Grants and Awards:

My 2 Masters degrees and PhD were funded by studentships including a 1+3 award from the Economics and Social Research Council

I am a CI on an ESRC Seminar Series Grant (£30,000 as CI, with Vian Bakir PI) DATA-PSST! Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements: Privacy, Security, Sur/Sous/Veillance & Trust – 2014

I am a CI on the White Rose Collaboration Fund Award (£10,660 as CI, with Dr Alexandra Hall PI) for ‘Europe, migration and the new politics of (in)security’ – 2016-17

I have gained university funding for 2 research assistants (2014-15) and a methods workshop ‘Hidden Power: Innovative Methods for Researching Power in a Post-Snowden Era’ (31st May 2016)

I secured a prestigious Post-Doctoral Scientist opportunity to work with Robert M Entman at George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs – 2016-17



Academic Talks and Invitations:


In 2015 I had the privilege of being an NYU Visiting Scholar. While there I conducted research, visited Prof. Terence Moran and Prof. Steven Lukes, and taught in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication and Department of Sociology. Here I am with Prof. Lukes’ classes of 2015 and 2017, when I was invited back for a Guest Lecture:







In July and August  I then was invited to George Washington University – a wonderful experience being a visiting scholar in the School of Media and Public Affairs, meeting all the staff and developing new research.




Debating at Cambridge University Union:

Cambridge 5

Watch Debate in Full on YouTube

cambridge union



I returned to SMPA in 2016-17 having won a prestigious post-doctoral opportunity to spend the academic year progressing research and publications, including a book co-authored with Prof. Robert M Entman. Here we are presenting our research at the Humboldt Colloquium in Washington DC.

Humboldt Colloquium Humboldt Colloquium Humboldt Colloquium



I have given numerous academic and public talks and visited university departments in several countries. During my sabbatical in 2018, as I finish work on my co-authored book with Prof. Robert M Entman, I am honoured to be returning to SMPA at George Washington University, who have been kind enough to invite me back as a visiting scholar (April-June). I am also excited to be a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Al Waleed Center for Muslim Christian Understanding by Prof. John Esposito, and Stanford University’s Department of Communication by Prof. Fred Turner in July and August. I feel very privileged to have such a great opportunity to spend time with three great communities of scholars, and be immersed in American politics, media and culture throughout such an interesting and transformational period of American history.



Knowlege Exchange and Engagement:


My first invited talk was in 2006 for NATO Centre for Defence Against Terrorism in Ankara and since then I have been honoured that my research has been discussed in the British Parliament, and I have had several opportunities to brief government officials and NGOs and the media on my research. My publications on refugees, inequality, and conflict propaganda have all received substantial media reporting.

Speaking at Schools

Stags Nov 2014

Visit to the Pentagon

Pentagon pics 2


Other Writing and Interests:

I also write creative work including amateur short fiction and film, some of which can be seen on this website alongside my academic work. I am a member of SUSAC, the Sheffield University Sub-Aqua Club and enjoying training to be a BSAC ‘Ocean Diver’!



Please contact me by email with any enquiries.

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© Emma Louise Briant 2012

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