Dr Steven Harkins


Communications, Media and Culture Department of Journalism Studies, Pathfoot Building, Room A27 University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland UK

Dr Steven Harkins

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About me

About me

Professional membership

Fellow HEA
Higher Education Academy


Steven's research interests sit at the intersection between journalism studies, political communication and social theory. Harkins has published a monograph and a series of book chapters and journal articles on media representations of poverty and inequality.

Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity was described in a review as providing ‘great insight to researchers interested in ethical journalism, public opinion on poverty and the British media landscape’. His other publications in this area have focussed on journalism ethics and media representations of the ‘underclass’. Harkins is also a reviewer for a range of journals including the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, Poverty, Journal of Contemporary European Studies and PeerJ.

Steven founded the Communication of Inequalities Research Network in November 2023 as a forum to engage more deeply in the issues of representing inequality in the news media and to work with partners beyond academia to better understand the problems and seek solutions to these. He has also published research on environmental communications with a focus on conservation and climate change.

Outputs (15)


Book Chapter

Dinan W, Bernardi C, Esteves V & Harkins S (2022) Online climate denialism: Eco-systems and echo chambers. In: Hansen A & Cox R (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication. 2nd Edition ed. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Environment-and-Communication/Hansen-Cox/p/book/9780367634483

Book Chapter

Harkins S & Lugo-Ocando J (2017) How Malthusian ideology crept into the newsroom: British tabloids and the coverage of the ‘underclass’. In: Kelsey D, Mueller F, Whittle A & KhosraviNik M (eds.) The Discourse of Financial Crisis and Austerity: Critical analyses of business and economics across disciplines. London: Routledge, pp. 78-93. https://www.routledge.com/The-Discourse-of-Financial-Crisis-and-Austerity-Critical-analyses-of-business/Kelsey-Mueller-Whittle-KhosraviNik/p/book/9780367220495

Book Chapter

Lugo-Ocando J & Harkins S (2015) The poverty of ideas in the newsroom. In: Blaming the Victim: How Global Journalism Fails Those in Poverty. London: Pluto Press, pp. 36-59. https://www.plutobooks.com/9781783712274/blaming-the-victim/


Harkins S (2015) One nation and two messages: how Scotland has become a problem for British journalists and the Labour Party. Jackson D (Editor) & Thorsen E (Editor) Political Studies Association. UK Election Analysis 20150: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Early reflections from leading UK academics. Political Studies Association. https://www.psa.ac.uk/sites/default/files/page-files/UK%20Election%20Analysis%202015%20-%20Jackson%20and%20Thorsen%20v1.pdf


Harkins S & Miller D (2015) Rapid Response to Is the obesity epidemic exaggerated? Yes. Commentary on: Basham P, Luik J. Is the obesity epidemic exaggerated? Yes BMJ 2008; 336 :244 doi:10.1136/bmj.39458.480764.AD. BMJ. https://www.bmj.com/content/336/7638/244/rr



I teach on a range of modules at the University of Stirling. Since joining the University in 2019 I have coordinated the following modules:

JOUU9A1 Introduction to Journalism Studies JOUU9A2 Ethical issues in journalism JOUU9A5 Contemporary Journalism Practice JOUPP03 Investigative Research JOUPPDP Investigative Research Project JOUU9SJ Journalism and Society JOUU9SJ Journalism and Society (SIM)

I have also contributed teaching to the following modules:

JOUPP02 International Journalism JOUPP08 Journalism Project JOUU9LN Analysing the Language of the News FMSU9A7 Researching the Media and Culture FMSU9A8 Dissertation in Film and Media