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Professor of Modern History, University of Bristol

My research focuses on British imperial history and on media history, including the history of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television. I seek to bring research in these different fields together, to reveal the connections between empire and the mass media during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

I am currently leading a Leverhulme Trust International Research Network 'Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History' (running 2016-2019) bringing together a group of scholars from around the world to think about global perspectives on the history of international broadcasting. In parallel with this, I am working on early British initiatives in global radio broadcasting in the 1920s and 1930s. I'm interested in exploring transnational perspectives on British broadcasting, the impact of radio on global news flows, the history of listening and audience responses, and in piecing together the incomplete record of past programmes broadcast for international listeners.

I am also currently developing a project on the history of press freedom and regulation in Britain and the British empire.

My earlier research examined the role played by newspapers and news agencies in linking up the component parts of the ‘British world’ (Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More recently, I have written on the role of the BBC in building and strengthening imperial connections since 1922, and the BBC's response to the decline of the British world after the Second World War.

I have also published on the wider historiography of the British empire and the British world.


  • –present
    Professor of Modern History, University of Bristol