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About Dr Simon Gwyn Roberts

His current research interests include: the democratising potential of online journalism in the former Soviet Union, the role of online media in the communication strategies of minority linguistic groups, the relationship between the news media and political devolution in Western Europe, and late Victorian Welsh newspapers. His first book, Shades of Expression: Online Political Journalism in the Post-Colour Revolution Nations, involved original research with journalists and political activists in Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan and was published by the University of Chester Press in May 2013. Simon was recently awarded a Santander Research Grant, which will allow him to pursue his next project: examining the use of networked communication among the Welsh speaking population of Patagonia in Argentina. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and is a graduate of the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool.

When time permits, he switches from academia to journalism and continues to write feature-length journalistic work on a range of subjects. Aside from his ten-year journalistic career, in which he worked at the London headquarters of various multinational companies including Risk Waters, Thompson, Reed Elsevier, Trinity Mirror and Advanstar, he has published articles on a freelance basis in over 30 publications since 1993 on themes ranging from Welsh politics to music festivals, restaurant reviews to rock climbing. He is a regular panellist on BBC Radio Wales’s Something ElseSunday newspaper review show, and is beginning to explore ways in which his academic research and enthusiasm for travelogues and literature might be brought together.


Simon was part of the small team that launched the journalism programme in Chester in 2003 and has since played a leading role in developing the theoretical strand of the programme.

He is module leader for:

  • Conflict, Propaganda and Public Opinion
  • The News Today
  • Journalism: The Long View
  • Scare Stories? Journalism and the Framing of Risk.

He launched the departmental ‘Media and Conflict Network’ in 2013, which acts as a focal point for staff and student research, and informs the delivery and content of these modules. He has a particular interest in taking a comparative, international approach to the broad area of the news media and politics: and pursues this in his teaching. He sits on the University of Chester’s Research Committee, and serves as External Examiner for the University of Huddersfield’s journalism programmes.


His research interests include: news media and political devolution within the EU, the democratizing potential of online journalism in the former Soviet Union, and British local newspapers of the late C19.

He has recently completed a research project examining online journalism in the post-Colour Revolution nations of Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Published Work

Key Publications (since 2010)

'Half a loaf is better than none': The framing of political and national identity in Welsh border newspapers in the aftermath of the Mold Riots, 1869 (Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 15(3) 2014)

Tiny Territories, Hidden Tragedies: Enclaves and Exclaves in the Caucasus and Beyond (Planet: The Welsh Internationalist, pp. 57-66, Vol 209, 2013)

'Transcending a dysfunctional mainstream? An update on the status of Welsh online journalism' (Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal, pp. 55-72, Vol 8, 2011)

‘Postcode lottery’: The future of cross-border media in post-devolution Wales (In Hutchison, D. & O’Donnell, H. (Eds.) Centres and Peripheries: Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Journalism in the 21st Century pp.53-64 (Cambridge Scholars)

Shut Out but Switched On: Web Forums, Border Identities and the Evolving Narrative of Post-Devolution Wales (In Monaghan, G. & Tunney, S. (Eds) Web Journalism: A new form of citizenship pp.126-136 (Sussex University Press), 2010)

'Margins of the Mind: The psychogeography of the Welsh border' (Agenda: Journal of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Vol 41)

‘Off the Map’: Devolution in Flintshire (Planet: The Welsh Internationalist, pp.60-66, Vol 188)

'National Balancing Act: Trinity Mirror and the isolation of North Wales' (Agenda: Journal of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Vol 38)

Some of Simon’s work can also be viewed online:

Shades of Expression: Online Political Journalism in the Post-Colour Revolution Nations (University of Chester Press, 2013)  

Clear Red Water? Devolved Education Policy and the Welsh News Media Audience (Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal, pp. 67-88, Vol 10, 2013) 

Reportage in the lands of the ‘semi-free’: A comparative study of online political journalism in Georgia and Ukraine 


PhD University of Chester

MA  University of Liverpool

BA  University of Manchester