• 7 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
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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

English and Philosophy, Degree, University of East Anglia

External positions

Freelance journalist


Deputy Editor, Banbury Guardian


News Editor, Gloucestershire Echo


Newspaper Journalist


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rachel Matthews is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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industry Social Sciences

Research Output 2008 2020

  • 7 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 3 Chapter
  • 3 Article
  • 2 Book/Film/Article review
  • 1 Book

The rise and fall of the corporate title - the provincial press in the 20th century

Matthews, R., 2020, History of Newspapers and Periodicals in Britain and Ireland 1650-2011 . Conboy, M. & Finkelstein, D. (eds.). Edinburgh University Press, Vol. 20th Century. p. (In-press)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Second World War
history of the press
regional press
new technology
26 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
regional press

The socio-local newspaper: Creating a sustainable future for the legacy provincial news industry

Matthews, R., 2017, What Is Sustainable Journalism?: Integrating the Environmental, Social, and Economic Challenges of Journalism. Berglez, P., Olausson, U. & Ots, M. (eds.). Oxford, UK: Peter Lang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
path dependence
Dynamic models
innovation strategy

Activities 2011 2018

  • 14 Participation in conference
  • 4 Invited talk

Everyday Matters: Writing Obscure Lives. Oxford Centre for Live Writing.

Rachel Matthews (Speaker)
6 May 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Communication and Research and Education Association (ECREA) 2018.

Rachel Matthews (Speaker)
1 Nov 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Provincial Newspapers: Lessons from History

Rachel Matthews (Organising Committee)
8 Sep 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Regpress Seminar.

Rachel Matthews (Speaker)
18 May 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

European Media Management Conference 2017

Rachel Matthews (Speaker)
11 May 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Rachel Matthews (Recipient), 1 Nov 2017

Prize: Election to learned society

Press / Media

Community Value Journalism

Rachel Matthews


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Missing media means missing voices

Rachel Matthews


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment