Rachel Matthews


    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    I am pleased to discuss supervision in the areas relating to the political economy of the regional newspaper, the history of the newspaper and the intersection of newspapers, news and communities.

    Willing to speak to media

    • Source: Scopus
    • Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile



    I have an academic and professional interest in the past, present and future of the legacy regional newspaper industry. I am a qualified journalist who moved to research and teaching 12 years ago. I now draw on an historisation of the local newspaper to broaden our understanding of this significant media form. My monograph, The History of the Provincial Press in England, was published in May 2017. I have received multiple funding awards to support my research and I am currently leading two projects; the first is looking at emerging forms of journalism practice for news workers in the legacy newspaper industry; the second is working with community-based participants to re-think the nature of local news provision. I completed my PhD in Journalism Studies under the supervision of Professor Bob Franklin at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Cardiff.


    Area of Expertise:


    The history of the provincial newspaper in England; business models for provincial newspapers, emerging provincial news practice.

    Research Interests

    The practice of local journalism; the relationship between local news and local communities; the history of the provincial newspaper as a media form and as a business

    Vision Statement


    My research focuses on the provincial news industry and, in particular, the past, present and future of the legacy newspaper industry. I have a practice-based background as a newspaper journalist and this has facilitated my three approaches to this area. Firstly, I have used a historicised political economic approach to chart the development of the provincial newspaper as a particular media form. A key part of this work is to interrogate the way in which the ideological value of ‘serving the good the community’, defined by a discourse of public service, has been used to legitimise a particular financial model for local and regional news in England. This position enables my second approach, which is to critically engage with current responses to the impact of digital technology by research and practice-based interventions in this area. I also collaborate with Business Administration colleagues to use my approach to broaden understandings of innovation in newspapers.


    Education/Academic qualification

    Journalism Studies, Doctorate, Cardiff University

    Award Date: 3 Nov 2014

    English and Philosophy, Degree, University of East Anglia

    Award Date: 3 Jul 1989

    External positions

    Freelance journalist


    Deputy Editor, Banbury Guardian


    News Editor, Gloucestershire Echo


    Newspaper Journalist



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