Scott Wright


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Personal profile


Professor Scott Wright joined the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University in December 2019 as Professor of Political Communication and Journalism. He was previously an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and has worked at the Universities of Leicester, De Montfort, and East Anglia. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford, Leeds, LMU Munich and the Hebrew University. In 2012, he was a Mid-Career Fellow of the British Academy and he is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism. 

Wright is currently a chief investigator on an ARC Discovery grant: ‘Evaluating the Challenge of ‘Fake News’ and Other Malinformation’ (DP200101317 - $431,000) led by Axel Bruns (QUT). He is a chief investigator on an ARC Linkage grant led by David Nolan (Canberra): Amplifying Indigenous News: A Digital Intervention, working with the Guardian and IndigenousX (LP180100201 - $222,782). He has previously held a range of grants from organisations such as the Economic and Social Research Council, the Research Councils of the United Kingdom, the British Academy and the European Union. The total value of these grants is in excess of $6.5m. He directs the Research Centre in Political Communication and Journalism.  

He has published widely in the highest ranked communication and politics journals in the world, including New Media & Society (4); Press/Politics; Political Communication; Information, Communication & Society (2); Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication; International Journal of Communication (2); Journalism Studies (2); Media, Culture & Society; European Journal of Communication; Journal of European Public Policy; British Journal of Politics and International Relations; Parliamentary Affairs; and the Journal of Information Technology & Politics. His research has received 2,599 citations and has an h-index of 22 and an i10-index of 29 (Dec 2019). 

Wright has held a number of important leadership and administrative roles, including Chair of Graduate Studies, School Executive, Faculty Board, Research Committee, Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator. In each role he offered strategic leadership and mentoring. Specific leadership examples include the development of a dual MA degree with Fudan University; the development of a formal relationship between the University of Melbourne and the New York Times (e.g. Hard Truths exhibition, internships, talks); and the development and launch of a successful MA degree in Broadcast Journalism at UEA. 

Research interests

Wright’s research focuses on political communication, journalism and political participation.
Specific interests include: 

  • Online deliberation and everyday online political talk, particularly in non-political ‘third spaces’, and how this is shaped by website design and moderation

  • The relationships between big technology companies and journalism and politics (e.g. responses to fake news, algorithmic moderation, censorship, Instant Articles, fact checking, the reporting of technology, advertising, sponsorship, data journalism in Australia and China)

  • The extent, nature and impact of fake news and fake news discourse, and how to combat this

  • Attacks on journalists and journalism, including discursive (fake news, #theirABC, bias) from politicians, the public and between journalists; incivility and abuse (e.g. attacks on indigenous journalists, female journalists); how newsrooms are responding; how journalists respond

  • Engaged Journalism, including the nature of debate in ‘below the line’ comment spaces and on Twitter; how journalists engage; the impact of this on journalists and journalism

  • The Manosphere and alternative spaces of political debate and action, particularly around questions of toxic masculinity and misogyny

  • Political reporting, particularly during elections

  • Online political participation and activism, including e-petitions and online consultations, hybrid media 

  • The role and impact of ‘super-participants’ on political talk and participation

  • Chinese political communication (e.g. political talk in China; political talk on Weibo) and journalism in China (e.g. professional practice of journalists; data journalism in China)

  • Methods of analysing online discussion

His research is multi-method, comparatively grounded, and is quantitative and qualitative - using content analysis, statistics, interviews, discourse analysis and digital ethnography.

Wright has advised a range of bodies on e-democracy initiatives from local councils to the US State Department. His research has had a broad impact, influencing the development and use of online consultations, discussion fora and political blogs by groups such as the Hansard Society; the International Centre of Excellence in Local E-democracy; Public Works and Government Services Canada, and the German Bundestag. Wright was Convener of the Political Studies Association Urban Politics specialist group and a member of the NSF-funded International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policy Making. He won a Cue East award for his engagement activities and had Beacon Status.

Research area keywords

  • political communication
  • journalism
  • social media
  • fake news
  • censorship
  • digital media
  • content moderation
  • big data
  • fact checking
  • asian media
  • e-petitions
  • online consultations
  • political talk
  • online deliberation
  • engaged journalism
  • news
  • political reporting
  • alternative media
  • Chinese political communication
  • Chinese journalism
  • gender and journalism
  • toxic masculinity


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