Honorary doctors 2018 – An eminent name in media studies

Submitted on Fri, 08/10/2018 - 14:32
Nick Couldry
Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory, is engaged in continuous co-operation with the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Tampere. Photograph: London School of Economics

The internationally highly esteemed Professor Nicholas Couldry studies media and communication phenomena from the point of view of institutions and symbolic power

Faculty of Communication Sciences COMS

One of the most frequently cited researchers in the field of media and communication research. The name of the British media scholar and professor Nicholas Couldry is familiar from textbooks and scientific articles.

Couldry is a sociologist who has studied the role of media in society. He has investigated the media’s relationship to democracy, political participation, power, and ethics.

Risto Kunelius, professor of journalism at the University of Tampere, estimates that in the past fifteen years Couldry has become one of the most prestigious names in communication research.

“Couldry is annoyingly well-read. He is able to think of both empirical human-sized questions and longer historical perspectives,” Kunelius says.

Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory Nick Couldry works at London School of Economics (LSE) in the United Kingdom. Couldry is an internationally acclaimed researcher who has published more than ten books and numerous articles.

“Couldry is in the most active stage of his career. I think that his most interesting and important works are yet to come,” Kunelius says.

Professor Nick Couldry will be conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of Tampere in August.

Researching the changing mediascape

Professor Couldry started his career by studying the roles of media and audiences. Among other things, he analysed how people connect with each other through media on the one hand and with public life on the other.

The relationships between communication research and social theory are another major theme in Couldry’s research. The media play an increasingly important role in society.

“We live in a time where we think about the significance of the media. That is why Couldry’s research is so timely and important,” Kunelius points out.

The latest theme Couldry has been interested in is technology and especially issues around data and the information collected about people. The media has become seemingly individual, which leads us all to feel that we live in an equal environment. Kunelius talks about the social media phenomena behind Couldry’s thinking.

“Over the past ten years, it has emerged from behind the facade of social media how they constitute the most concentrated, steered and manipulative system in the world, which is also vulnerable to propaganda,” Kunelius explains.

According to Kunelius, social media are an important economic and political resource. In analysing these developments and building critical thinking, Couldry has done a great deal of work.

Critical review as a connecting factor

The research policies of the Faculty of Communication Sciences are linked to Professor Couldry’s work. Researchers at the University of Tampere have conducted research in which issues around media and journalism have been considered in relation to power and democracy in society. Many such themes have been debated with Couldry.

Couldry has visited Tampere several times and he has been involved in various research projects and steering groups. Couldry has also hosted several communication and media researchers from Tampere at LSE. Couldry is familiar to students mostly through his texts.

Professor Kunelius has cooperated with Professor Couldry for several years. Kunelius says that Couldry is a friendly and fair colleague.

According to Kunelius, Couldry is an eminently suitable honorary doctor for the Faculty of Communication Sciences because, in addition to his other merits, his background is in critical research.

“The University of Tampere has a long tradition of critical research. Our researchers work with several questions that are framed in the same way as Professor Couldry frames them,” Kunelius says.

Honorary Doctor, Professor Nicholas Couldry will visit the Faculty of Communication Sciences in the autumn term.
Honorary doctors, Faculty of Communication Sciences
Professor Nicholas Couldry, London School of Economics
CEO Ilkka Paananen, Supercell
Actor and Theatre Counsellor Eila Roine