Media and Politics

Research and Class Material

Online resources for the study of media and politics -- with a particular emphasis on writing student papers and essays.

OK, it's 2 am and your paper is due at 9 am. Or, if you're really organised, it's maybe due next week. But where can you go for interesting data and analysis on political communication? More importantly where can you go that does not require a pesky password or annoying payment or even getting out of your chair? Never fear, there are many excellent, free resources on line for the study of political communication. Without further ado, here are some helpful places.

Well, a bit of ado ... please do not plagarize. Also, if you want a big, fat list of references, here is the one for my Media, Conflict and Change course ... more readings on political communication than you ever probably imagined (at least that is what my students sometimes tell me). The links to the library only work for the University of Glasgow system, although lots of universities subscribe to some of the journals and E-books cited: 2010_11 pol hons reading list oates aug 2010 for web.doc

If you're new to finding information for your course work on line, here's the 'Internet Detective' website with some good advice on the process:

But if you're pushed for time ... and sadly who isn't ... here are direct links to academic research for you below.

Here is a gateway to get free and immediate access to thousands of academic journal articles: -- This is an amazing resource!

Are they making you study RESEARCH METHODS? Oh, the humanity ... or should we say, oh the social science! Here is a free handbook with instructions for qualitative methods:

As a motivating note, learning research methods is one of the best things you can do in higher education, both in terms of work on your degree and getting work after your degree.  

The Social Science Research Network has tons of papers you can download for free -- use the search box to find relevant work. Note: you don't need to join to download material.

Here's a peer-reviewed journal called The International Journal of Communication with great academic work that provides the work to the public for free:

First Monday

Free, online scholarly journal that focuses on the role of internet in society -- a great place to find cutting-edge research about the internet.

World Internet Stats

This is a good place to go to get (unsurprisingly) world internet stats, they have some good figures and up-to-date trends, etc. -- good background information for your paper/essay.

Sample academic journals

Usually you (or your university library) needs to have a subscription to an academic journal in order for you to see the content on line. This is quite frustrating if you've found a really interesting citation but can't get access. However, you should be aware that many great journals offer some free samples and/or free downloads of their most popular articles. I will start working on this list, although you can find them yourself typically by Googling the name of the journal with the word 'free' or 'sample'. There is usually a link to some sort of sample/free issues or articles from the main journal site on the publisher's web page (i.e. SAGE, Oxford University Press, etc.)

Find free content from academic journals here (please Email me on if these become obsolete or if you'd like to suggest some others):

Media, Conflict & War:

The International Journal of Press/Politics:

Political Communication:

European Journal of Communication:

Journal of Information Technology and Politics (official journal of section of the American Political Science Association):

Journal of Information Technology (more techy)

Pew Internet and American Life Project

Revere them, for they provide tons of fascinating survey results and reports on (unsurprisingly) the internet and American life. Impress your professor with your cutting-edge evidence ... A good place to get ideas for good topics of research, etc. More generally, the Pew Research Center at has tons of interesting stuff as well and is a particularly good place to go if you're interested in research elections, US public opinion, etc.  


Free, searchable online academic journal that focuses on new media. Tip: Use the search box with terms relevant to your paper/essay (i.e. 'Obama' or 'war' etc.)

Freedom House

Freedom House does annual reports on media freedom worldwide and now does reports on internet freedom as well. This is probably one of the best ways to get a quick overview of the state of the media worldwide. It can be argued that Freedom House has a rather Americentric point of view (the US media always score well!) but it's a good starting point. Also, you can write a clever paper saying how to make the system better, etc.

Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Does what it says on the tin -- particularly good for those studying policy. Again, hop on this website to see cutting-edge research and ideas, plus much information.

Oxford Internet Institute

Webcasts, citations, blogs, etc. at Britain's top university internet center.

Digital Icons

Journal that publishes most recent research into the post-Soviet internet -- free-to-download articles in English, Russian and German.

Teaching Media website

Here is a new website to provide material for teaching/studying media and politics:

An Inside Look at British Journalism/Weapons of Mass Destruction Controversy

The Hutton Report (an inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton) collected a massive amount of testimony and documents relating to how the BBC covered the story of an alleged falsified dossier to support the claim of WMD in Iraq. Reads, at times, like a big fat novel you would buy in the airport ... absolutely fascinating as a piece of anthropology about journalism and political elites in the UK. Download or view for free on line.