Background

Alexa Robertson is Professor of Media and Communication studies and teaches on the Masters programme at IMS. An historian by training (with a B.A. from Stirling and an M.A. from the L.S.E), she moved to IMS after many years at the Department of Political Science, where she earned her PhD and became docent. Insights from her different scholarly backgrounds are combined in her recent monograph, Media and Politics in a Globalizing World (Polity 2015).
The red thread running throughout her work is the question of how media representation is conceived and effected in a world of diversity and transborder flows, with a particular focus on global television news. This research is reported above all in two books, Mediated Cosmopolitanism (Polity 2010) and Global News: reporting conflicts and cosmopolitanism (Peter Lang 2015). In the ‘Screening Protest’ project (2015-18), she compares (tele)visual narratives of dissent across time, space, media culture and genre (see screeningprotest.com for more information).

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Research Interests

Robertson explores the political power of television by approaching news reports as cultural texts. News is analysed not as a source of information, but as the bearer of ideology - a font of recurrent narratives that keep cultural memories and shared understandings alive. Her work has shown that these understandings vary from one media culture to the next (be they different national cultures, or national as opposed to global cultures). Her point of departure is that journalists are among the most powerful of societal sense-makers, and that the stories they tell about the world can help citizens relate to distant others - or not.

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Articles with Alexa Robertson