Media Coverage and Reviews




Here you will find all reviews and media pertaining to my projects and research, as well as details of consultancy and film collaborations.





‘Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change’

Mention in  The Independent:  ‘How Silicon Valley, spooks and the super rich took control of the 21st century‘ by Youssef El-Gingihy – April 2018



Review of ‘Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change’ and ‘Pentagon Ju-Jitsu – reshaping the field of propaganda’ by Harding, Joel (10th March 2018) in To Inform is to Influence

“The two, her book and this article, should be required reading for anyone doing Information Operations or Strategic Communication at the major command level and higher or at the Department of State or White House.”


Mention in Daily Kos: More On Robert Mercer: Delete Your Account –Or– The Carnage Of Data Fascism – Freeraven – 1st March 2017



Quoted in award winning article in The Observer: Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media by Carole Cadwalladr  – 26th February 2017



Quoted in The Washington Post: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm eyes new U.S. government contracts – 17th February 2017




Book Review: ‘Propaganda’ – Law, Alex – 2016 – Media Education Journal. 60: pp.55-57.

Propaganda and Counter-terrorism is a “path-breaking study” which “explodes myths about propaganda”

Prof Alex Law of Abertay University, Dundee reviewed both this and my co-authored book Bad News for Refugees (with Greg Philo and Pauline Donald). He states that: ‘Both Bad News and Briant’s searching study of propaganda help expose the processes and sources of misinformation in a turbulent world to the much needed interrogation of the democratic gaze’




Book Review: ‘Propaganda and Counter-terrorism’ by Samantha North – 16th January 2017 – SAMANTHA NORTH NARRATIVES FOR SOCIAL & POLITICAL CHANGE

“Propaganda and Counter-terrorism is an important read, if not always an easy one due to the sheer breadth of source material and depth of analysis contained within. This is valuable and makes the book a heavyweight in its field. Readers who persevere to the end will gain a host of new insights and intersections relating to the role of propaganda both now and in the future; essential understanding in the current climate.”

…read more here.



‘a timely and must-read work, shining a rare light onto the mechanisms behind propaganda in the U.K and U.S.’

Book Review: ‘Propaganda and Counter-terrorism’ – 4th December 2016 – in La Generalista




‘Simply put, this is the single best book I have ever encountered about propaganda and information operations, bar none.’

Book Review: ‘Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change – Outstanding!’ by Joel Harding – 16th May 2016 – in To Inform is to Influence



Media Interview: Live interview on propaganda on national Icelandic radio show ‘Harmageddon’ – 5th May 2016 – Thanks to Frosty and Mani at X977 and you can listen here.



‘certain to become required reading for all who study government-military-media relationships…’

Book Review: ‘Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change’ by Vian Bakir – 27th April 2015 – in Spinwatch




‘Bad News for Refugees’


Book Review: ‘Propaganda’ – Law, Alex – 2016 – Media Education Journal. 60: pp.55-57.

Prof Alex Law of Abertay University, Dundee reviewed both this and Propaganda and Counter-terrorism. He states that: ‘Both Bad News and Briant’s searching study of propaganda help expose the processes and sources of misinformation in a turbulent world to the much needed interrogation of the democratic gaze’


Book Review: The Refugee Experience Book Reviews: Bad News for Refugees – Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre – 10th September 2015.



MEDIA QUOTE: ‘The battle over the words used to describe migrants’ by Camila Ruz – 28th August 2015 – from BBC News Magazine – inc brief quote from interview.



‘A revealing and informative book in many ways that would make a valuable addition to the reading list of every journalism course in the country.’

Book Review: ‘Asylum seekers ate one’s swans’ by Nicole Morris – 2015 – Review of Bad News for Refugees – from Spokesman Books (Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation):



‘…an especially timely study that could prove useful in the fight against racist and xenophobic sentiment in Britain’

Book Review: Review of Bad News for Refugees by David Feldman – 2015 – from The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies and Development



‘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.’

Book Review: Bad News for Refugees by Stuart Parkes – 2015 – Journal of Contemporary European Studies – Volume 23, Issue 1 



‘Overall, this text is a good example of what social science can add to our understanding of the social world. It takes the dominant ideological myths created on some of the most vulnerable, stigmatised people in society and begins to illuminate the structures that encourage these myths.’

Book Review: ‘Bad News for Refugees’ Review by Simon Weaver – October 2014 – European Journal of Communication Vol. 29 



‘If you’re passionate about fighting the stigmatisation of asylum seekers, you may want to get hold of this book.’

Book Review: ‘Bad News for Refugees‘ by Cath Baldwin – June 2014 – Sheffield Assist



Book Review: BAD NEWS FOR REFUGEES by Jo Manby. – 2014 – Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World 



‘the authors interrogate a range of myths that inform public understandings around issues related to refugees and asylum seekers’

Refugee Studies Review

Book Review: Review of Bad News for Refugees by Mandisi Majavu – June 2014 – Journal of Refugee Studies Volume 27 Issue 2



‘Although the conclusions reached in Bad News For Refugees may be familiar, its strength lies in the authors’ exhaustive use of a wide range of media sources, from national newspapers to current affairs programmes, in addition to comprehensive interviews with focus groups from migrant communities. The book brings academic authority and coherence to a debate all too often characterised by neither.’

Book Review: Review of Bad News for Refugees by Andrew Dolan – February 2014 – from Red Pepper.



‘very informative and readable’ ‘timely and relevant’

Book Review: Review of Bad News for Refugees by Margaret Woods  – February 2014 – from Socialist Review



‘…an invaluable contribution to what has become one of the most emotive political issues of recent decades’

Book Review: Bad News for Refugees – 25th February 2014 – from PostMag




‘Bad News For Refugees demolishes the myths around asylum and forced migration’

‘As we remember Nelson Mandela in the next few days, if we wish to celebrate his example and emulate the choices he made for his nation when we meet ours, then this skilful and often brilliant exposé on news and media culture may provide a timely watershed.’

Book Review:  The Meeting of Hopes and Fears by Banerjee, Sanjoy- December 7th 2013 – from Column F.

‘It is one of the most interesting and forthright books on the subject released to date.’

Book Review: New Book: Bad News for Refugees by Jack Tannock – 19th November 2013 – from Scottish Refugee Council.



‘…a timely and much needed analysis of the incredibly hostile media and political climate surrounding not only the portrayal of undocumented and irregular migrants, but also refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom’

Book Review: Bad News for Refugees – Book Review by Charlotte Peel – 14th November 2013 – from Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants



Book Review: Ignorance-inducing media demonisation of refugees exposed’ Review: Bad News for Refugees by Ian Sinclair 28th October 2013 in Morning Star.



‘…an important book that is an essential corrective to the lies much of the media continue to spread about refugees’

Book Review: Bad News for Refugees by Ian Sinclair – October 28th 2013 – from ZCommunications




New Statesman piece

Emma Briant 28th September 2013 – New Statesman

“The Group’s new book, Bad News for Refugees, tackles the creation by the media and politicians of a climate in which ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum’ have become dirty words, synonymous with ‘cheat’, ‘liar’, ‘scrounger’ and of course ‘illegal immigrant’ – and the effect of this wholesale and systematic vilification on settled minority communities as well as on the refugees and asylum seekers themselves.”



NLP Frances Webber

“Most of those who will read this book will be aware of the relentlessly negative coverage of asylum issues by most of the national media for at least the past two decades. Where the book excels is in providing systematic, in-depth analysis which activists can use to demonstrate how such coverage effectively manufactures ‘public opinion’, which is used to justify more and more draconian treatment of asylum seekers.”

Review by Retired Human Rights Lawyer and Vice Chair of the Institute for Race Relations Frances Webber 26 September 2013 – New Left Project 



“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.”

Review by Professor James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London (from Cover)



Greg Philo 8th August 2013 – The Guardian





‘Pentagon Ju-Jitsu – reshaping the field of propaganda’


Review of Pentagon Ju-Jitsu – reshaping the field of propaganda by Harding, Joel (10th March 2018) in To Inform is to Influence

“The two, her book and this article, should be required reading for anyone doing Information Operations or Strategic Communication at the major command level and higher or at the Department of State or White House.”




Emma L Briant, Nick Watson and Greg Philo (September 2013) ‘Reporting Disability in the Age of Austerity: the changing face of media representation of disability and disabled people in the United Kingdom and the creation of new folk devils‘ in Disability and Society, Vol 28, No 6.

‘Bad News for Disabled People’



Polly Toynbee 23 August 2012 – The Guardian

“A Glasgow University study of media reporting shows a sharp increase in the use of “scrounger”, “cheat” and “skiver” in relation to disability”




Katherine Quarmby 8 May 2011 – The Guardian

“Lies, damn lies, and statistics are being peddled – such as claiming that 75% of people on incapacity benefit are faking it, when the real figure is likely to be less than 1%. Such lies have an effect – focus group research from Glasgow Media Group confirms that the general public believes that 50-70% of those on disability benefits are fraudulent (they also found that there has been a tripling in the use of words such as “scrounger” in the last five years in media reports).”





24 November 2011 – BBC News 

“She said such articles were having an effect and pointed to research by the Glasgow Media Group which claimed there had been a significant increase in the use of pejorative language to describe disabled people in the media. The use of terms such as “scrounger”, “cheat”‘ and “skiver” was found in 18% of articles in 2010/11 compared with 12% in 2004/5.”



Ian Birrell, 4 December 2011 – The Observer

“Meanwhile, there has been a significant increase in articles about “cheats”, “scroungers” and “skivers” in the media. Not just tabloids, but broadsheets and broadcasters. A recent Glasgow Media Group study revealed a near-tripling of these words in papers, alongside a reduction in reports on discrimination and sympathetic stories about disabled people. Focus groups found people suggesting seven in 10 claimants were fraudulent; in reality, levels of fraud for disability benefits are 0.5%, much lower than for other benefits – and less than the level of errors made by officials.”




“The findings of this research will strike a deep chord with disabled people who have to live with the daily reality of offensive, hate-filled and false media coverage – coverage that is becoming more offensive in rhythm with the savage impact of government spending cuts on disabled people.

“The researchers at Glasgow University have done a great service by analysing the disturbing way in which bad government policy finds its reflection in pejorative language and an increasing portrayal of disabled people as ‘undeserving’.

“The disabled people questioned in the study said they felt threatened by the changes in the way disability is being (mis)reported and by the planned cuts to benefits – with these two assaults combining and reinforcing each other. This points to the action that needs to be taken: a stop to cuts that threaten more isolation and poverty and a stop to media coverage that stigmatises and breeds fear.”

Anne Kane, Policy Manager at Inclusion London who commissioned the report, October 2011





‘Sumaglla’ – Short Film – By Filmmaker Sally Richards, Nodding Dog Films with creative contributions from Emma L Briant.



Selected to Premier at the 8th Byron Bay International Film Festival in Australia.

Check out the facebook page for the film here.

You can also check out the film’s page on IMDb where I am credited as author and part of the cast.

Artwork/Photography from the film:

Sumaggla BBFF 1 Sumaggla BBFF 2

Film Review by Dr Gianluca Fantoni, Italian Film Historian, University of Strathclyde:

Sumaggla Review

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