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Professor Jonathan Hardy

Professor of Media and Communications

Centre for Cultural Studies Research (CCSR), Arts and Digital Industries (ADI)

Jonathan Hardy teaches and writes on media industries, marketing communications, policy and media reform. His books include Critical Political Economy of the Media (Routledge 2014), Cross-Media Promotion (Peter Lang 2010) and Western Media Systems (Routledge 2008).

    Jonathan Hardy is Professor of Media and Communications. He is recognised internationally as a leading theorist of media political economy and for specialisms including media-advertising relationships, media systems, and media policy.

    He teaches and writes on the political economy of convergent media; international communications and comparative media systems research; the relationships between media and marketing communications; digital journalism; communications law and regulation; media policy and reform.

    • Author of three monographs that each advance original research and media theory: Western Media Systems (2008), Cross-Media Promotion (2010); Critical Political Economy of the Media (2014)
    • Author of journal articles, book chapters and edited books with international academic readerships.
    • Co-edited The Advertising Handbook (third edition, 2009) and currently co-editing the fourth edition.
    • Principal Investigator for the AHRC funded academic network project on Branded Content (September 2016 –November 2017
    • Editorial board member for the journals Digital Journalism (Routledge) and tripleC: Communication, Capitalism and Critique
    • Secretary and Member of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
    • Writes policy submissions on UK and European media policy issues. He is a member of the editorial board of He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
    • Chair of the School Research Ethics Committee, School of Arts and Digital Industries (ADI), a member of the University Research Ethics Committee and a member of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee, ADI.


    Fellow, Higher Education Academy.

    Vice Chair, MECCSA Policy Group (2016)

    Member: International Communication Association (ICA), International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MECCSA). Member of Critical Approaches to Ads/Commercial Culture & Media Studies international network.

    External Examining:

    (2014- present) MA International Communication, University of Leeds

    (2016- present) Postgraduate programmes in Media and Politics, University of East Anglia

    (2013-14 – present) BA Public Relations, University of West London.


    Academic advisory roles:

    Higher Education panel member for OCN Access to HE Diploma in Media Studies Validation 2015

    Link tutor for UEL collaborative partnership with Redbridge College for its Foundation degree in Creative Industries (2008-2011)


    Media Policy and Campaigning:

    Secretary, Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

    Founding member, Media Reform Coalition


    Jonathan Hardy’s current research investigates branded content and native advertising for an AHRC project and book. This work examines the implications of ongoing convergence between media and marketing communications and explores media practices, policy and societal concerns.

    Prof. Hardy welcomes expressions of interest in doctoral and post-doctoral research in any of the following areas of research: Political economy of communications; international media and comparative media systems; media and advertising relationships; media promotion;  public relations and promotional culture; digital journalism; law, policy and regulation of media and communications; media activism and policy reform; radical and alternative media; political communication; media and democracy; media theory; media history.  


    • UEL
    • External
    • test




    (2014) Critical Political Economy of Media, Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge.

    (2010) Cross-Media Promotion, New York: Peter Lang

    (2008) Western Media Systems, London: Routledge.

    Edited books:

    (2009) The Advertising Handbook, Third Edition, London: Routledge. Edited by Helen Powell, Jonathan Hardy, Sarah Hawkin and Iain MacRury. 

    Book chapters:

    (2015) ‘Critical political economic approaches to advertising’ in C. Wharton, Critical Advertising, London: Routledge.

    2014) ‘Policies for UK media plurality’ in G. Williams (ed.) Big Media and Internet Titans: Media Ownership - The Democratic Challenge, London: CPBF, pp.160-171.

    (2013) ‘’The changing relationship between media and marketing’ in Helen Powell (ed.) Promotional Culture and Convergence: Markets, Methods, Media, London: Routledge.

    (2013) ‘Cross-Media Promotion and Media Synergy: Practices, Problems and Policy Responses’ in Matthew P. McAllister and Emily West (eds) The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture.

    (2012) ‘Comparing Media Systems’ in Frank Esser and Thomas Hanitzsch (eds) Handbook of Comparative Communication Research. New York: Routledge, pp. 185-206.

    (2010) ‘The contribution of critical political economy’ in James Curran (ed.) Mass Media and Society, Fifth Edition, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 186-209.

    (2009) ‘Advertising Regulation’ in The Advertising Handbook, third edition, edited by Helen Powell, Jonathan Hardy, Sara Hawkin and Iain MacRury, Routledge (2009). pp. 74-87.

    (1998) ‘The Death of Local Cinema’ in Culture or Monoculture? The European Audiovisual Challenge, published by the Office of Carole Tongue MEP, 1998 and submitted to the European Union Summit on Media in Birmingham, April.

    (1995) ‘Ownership and control’ in Censored: Freedom of Expression and Human Rights, Liberty, London 1994, Reprinted in Human Rights, Human Wrongs, Conor Foley with Liberty, Rivers Oram Press, London. pp. 283-316.

    Journal articles:

    (2016) ‘Money, (Co)Production and Power’, Digital Journalism. Pp 1-25 | DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2016.1152162

    (2014) ‘Critical Political Economy of Communications: a mid-term review’, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 10 (2): 189-202.

    (2012) ‘Television Policy 2000-2010’, Journal of British Cinema and Television 9 (4):521-547.

    (2011) ‘Mapping Commercial Intertextuality: HBO’s True Blood’, Convergence, 17(1): 7-17.

    (2008) ‘Ofcom, regulation and reform’, Soundings 39: 76-86.

    (2004) ‘Safe in their hands? New Labour and public service broadcasting’, Soundings, 27: 100-114.

    Selected forthcoming publications:

    (Forthcoming, 2017) Branded Content: the fateful merging of marketing and media, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

    (Forthcoming, 2017) The Advertising Handbook, Fourth Edition, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Edited by Helen Powell, Jonathan Hardy and Iain MacRury.

    (Forthcoming 2017) ‘The Economics of the Press: ownership and competition’ in Martin Conboy and David Finkelstein (eds) History of Newspapers and Periodicals in Britain and Ireland 1650-2011, Vol 3, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

    (Forthcoming, 2016) ‘Funding a viable journalism’ in Bob Franklin and Scott A Eldridge (eds) The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

    (Forthcoming, 2016) ‘Marketers’ influence on media: Renewing the radical tradition for the digital age’ in James F. Hamilton, Robert Bodie and Ezequiel Korin (eds) Critical Studies in Advertising: Critique and Reconstitution, New York: Routledge

    (Forthcoming, 2016) ‘Liberal legacies and media reform after neoliberalism’ in Julian Petley (ed.) Liberalism in Neo-liberal Times, London: Goldsmiths University Press.

    Book reviews:

    (2016) Review of Ib Bondebjerg, Eva Novrup Redvall, and Andrew Higson (eds) European cinema and television: cultural policy and everyday life, in Transnational Cinemas, DOI: 10.1080/20403526.2016.1147168

    (2014) Review of Robert W. McChesney Digital Disconnect: how capitalism is turning the Internet against democracy, New York: The New Press, 2013 in Digital Journalism 2 (2): 247-249.

    (2011) Review of Ib Bondebjerg, Peter Masden (eds) (2008) Media, Democracy and European Culture, Bristol: Intellect Books in European Journal of Communication.

    (2009) Review of Steve Buckley, Kreszentia Duer, Toby Mendel, and Sean O'Siochru (eds) (2008) Broadcasting, Voice, and Accountability: A Public Interest Approach to Policy, Law, and Regulation, University of Michigan Press, in European Journal of Communication 24(3): 345-365.

    (2001) Review, W. Lance Bennett and Robert M. Entman (eds) (2001) Mediated Politics: communication in the future of democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press in Political Studies.

    Prof. Hardy reviews books and book proposals for Sage, Routledge (Taylor and Francis), Peter Lang, Pearson Education, Bloomsbury Academic, Goldsmiths University Press, University of Westminster Press and other publishers. He referees articles for journals including Capital & Class; Convergence, Digital Journalism; European Journal of Communication; Global Media and Communication; International Journal of Communication; International Journal of Press/Politics; Journal of British Cinema and Television; Journal of Communication; Journalism Studies; New Media and Society; Political Communication; Political Behaviour; Science, Technology, & Human Values; Triple-C.

    Policy submissions:

    Prof. Hardy researches and write policy submissions, mostly on behalf of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, to UK government and regulatory agencies, European Union institutions and international bodies. Sole-authored submissions include:

    Submission to House of Lords Select Committee on Communications Consultation on Media Plurality (April 2013)

    Submission to House of Lords Select Committee on Communications Consultation on Media Convergence and its Public Policy Impact (September 2012)

    Submission to Leveson enquiry on media regulation, ownership and pluralism (June 2012)

    Submission to Ofcom Media Pluralism Review (November 2011), pp. 1-12.

    ‘Reforming the public interest test’ in The Media and The Public Interest (Co-ordinating Committee on Media Reform, November 2011), pp. 5-17.

    DCMS consultation on product placement (2010)

    DCMS consultation on Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2008)

    Ofcom Review of television advertising and teleshopping regulation (2008)

    Ofcom consultation on product placement (2006)

    European Commission consultations on Television without Frontiers Directive (2005-6)

    Council of Europe Recommendation on right of reply in audiovisual and online media (2004).

    Submissions on the Communications Green paper, White Paper, Bill and Consultation on Media Ownership (1999-2003).

    Selected journalism and other writings

    (2016) ‘Advertisers are celebrating the government’s plans for the BBC’, Open Democracy.

    (2015) ‘Media policy as an election issue: ever present, yet absent’ in Daniel Jackson and Einar Thorsen (eds) UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign, Bournemouth: The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community, Bournemouth University, p102.

    (2015) ‘Manifesto for media reform’, Meccsa, Three-D. Available at

    (2015) ‘Philip Schofield scolds Ofcom but there’s more to this than bondage’, The Conversation (16 March).

    (2014) ‘Liberal legacies and media reform after neoliberalism’, OpenDemocracy (18 August).

    (2014) Media Plurality’, Three-D. Available at

    Articles in Free Press, journal of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

    (2015) ‘Don’t bust a gut over ownership’, Free Press 205

    (2013) ‘Brands on the run’, Free Press, 193

    (2011)’ Put them to the public interest test’, Free Press, 184

    (2011) ‘Cross-promotion a dangerous notion’, Free Press, 183

    (2011) ‘Ofcom said: Investigate’, Free Press, 180.

    (2010) ‘Two pints of Heineken and a packet of Walkers’, Free Press 174.
    (2009) ‘Burnham agrees to keep product placement ban’, Free Press 169.
    (2006) ‘Ofcom backs no change on product placement’, Free Press 155.
    (2006) ‘Stealth Advertising’, Free Press 151.
    (2006) ‘Satisfying the Advertisers’, Free Press 149.
    (2005) ‘Right of Reply in Europe’, Free Press 145.
    (2004) ‘Defending Public Service Broadcasting’, Free Press 140.
    (2003) ‘Ad Industry lobby for self-regulation’, Free Press 134.
    (2002) ‘Communication Bill roundup –Ownership Consultation’, Free Press 127.



    Professor Hardy is Principal Investigator for the Branded Content Academic Network project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The funded project runs from September 2016 to November 2017.



    ‘Assessing transnational corporate cultural domination today’, keynote speech at symposium “Culture and Communication: Challenge of the Present and Future under Globalization”, Atilim University, Ankara, Turkey, 17 June 2016.

    ‘Critical political economy of communications’, at Économie politique, industries médiatiques, expériences culturelles seminar series organised by CENTI Research Centre, University Paris 8. The event held on 13 February 2015 was entirely devoted to my presentation as international guest speaker.

    Keynote address on media systems for Second Spring School on Media Systems: Anglo-Saxon, Lusophone and Asian Models at the Research Center for Communication and Culture (CECC), Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, 2-6 April 2013.

    ‘Beyond citizenship rationales’, International Communications Association conference, New Orleans, 27-31 May 2004.

    ‘Media Ownership and Democracy’. Paper presented at IDASA Seminar on Information, Power and Democracy, Cape Town, South Africa, October 2000.

    ‘Media Corporations and Globalization’ 1st International Symposium on Corporate Rule, International Forum on Globalization, Toronto, Canada, Nov. 1997.


    (Forthcoming 1 July)‘Content Marketing’: studying media and advertising convergence’, BFI Media Conference, London.

    ‘When everything is ‘content marketing’: implications of media and marketing convergence for media studies’, Meccsa 2016 conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, 6-8 January 2016.

    ‘Funding a viable journalism’, Journalism Studies Group, Goldsmiths College, 17 November 2015.

    ‘Critical political economy of media’, University of Nottingham, 11 November 2015.

    ‘Critical political economy of communications now’, Capitalism, Culture and Media conference, University of Leeds, 7-8 September 2015.

    ‘Critical Political Economy of Communications, a Mid-term Report: the First Fifty Years and the Future’, Meccsa 2015 conference, Northumbria University, 7-9 January 2015

    Critical political economy of communications’, University of Westminster, 26 March 2014.

    ‘Renewing the radical tradition’s analysis of media-advertising relationships’, International Communication Association (ICA) Pre-conference on Advertising 17 June 2013, London.

    ‘Media ownership regulation, pluralism and cultural policy’, Brunel University , 3 July 2012.

    ‘Convergent media promotion and media policy reform’, UEL Research Conference, 2 May 2012.

    Cross media ownership and pluralism: What framework do we need? Invited speech as panellist at the Oxford Media Convention, 25 January 2012.

    ‘Media ownership reform: revising the public interest test’, invited speech at the Coordinating Committee on Media Reform launch event, Royal Academy, 17 November 2011.

    Speech on product placement, Voice of the Listener and Viewer Policy Seminar on Product Placement and VOD, Royal Astronomical Society, 4 February 2010

    ‘Cross-Media Promotion and Commercial Intertextuality: reviewing rival readings, Meccsa Annual Conference, London School of Economics, 6-8 January 2010.

    ‘Media reform’, invited speech to Red Pepper Magazine AGM, London, 20 February 2010.

    Talk on European Media Policy, CPBF ‘Media for All’ conference, London School of Pharmacy, 31 October 2009.

    ‘Investigating Western media systems’, invited speech to Politics Department, Royal Holloway University, Egham, 11 March 2009.

    ‘Product placement’, invited speech at Westminster Media Forum conference, The Future of Broadcast Advertising, London, 18 June 2008.

    ‘Challenging myths of digital plenitude’, speech at CPBF AGM, 16 July 2007, London.
    ‘Reassessing Hallin and Mancini’s Media Models’, Internationalising Media Studies Conference, University of Westminster, 15-16 September 2006.

    ‘Beyond Advertising? Analysing UK policy on broadcast media and advertising integration’ Political Studies Association, Media and Politics Group Conference, 11-12 November, 2005.

    ‘Beyond Advertising?’, Centre for Institutional Studies, University of East London, 11 October, 2005.

    Talk on UK media and policy to delegation from Korean Press Foundation, 5 September 2005.

    ‘Ofcom’s Review of Public Service Broadcasting’, CPBF/NUJ/ BECTU Conference, The future of the BBC and public service broadcasting, NUJ, 5 March 2005.

    ‘Commercial integration: Reviewing trends in advertising and editorial content’, Advertising Association Seminar, Peterhouse College Cambridge 13-14 July 2004.

    ‘Convergence and commercial speech: regulatory responses to cross-media promotion’ Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University, March 2003.

    ‘Regulatory responses to cross-media promotion’, University of Westminster, December 2002.

    Invited speech on UK Communications Bill to Members of the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, 14 November 2002.

    ‘Behavioural regulation and media ownership’, CPBF policy seminar, London, 5 December 2001.

    ‘Competition regulation and UK Communications policy’ Political Studies Association Media and Democracy conference, Loughborough University, Sept 2001.

    ‘Border crossings: convergence, cross-media promotion and commercial speech in UK communications policy’, Political Studies Association Conf., Univ. of Manchester, April 2001.

    ‘Cross-media promotion’, doctoral workshop, Goldsmiths College, London, 7 November 2000.

    ‘UK Communications Policy and Regulation’, Talk to Japanese Bar Association delegation, National Union of Journalists, 18 September 2000.

    ‘Convergence and Communications Policy: directions, challenges, contradictions’,
    Convergence, Emergency Divergence seminar, University of East London, May 1999.



    I teach a variety of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. At undergraduate level I currently lead modules in Public Relations, Media and Promotion; (level six, final year undergraduate), and Media: Past and Present (level four). I also supervise dissertation students and co-teach on Communications and Media Transformations (level six), Media Work (level five), Researching Media and Digital Communications (level five). At Masters Level, I teach media political economy, theory and research and have taught on MA Media Studies, MA Multimedia and co-led MA Global MediaI have taught Media Studies at UEL since 2004 and was Programme Leader for more than a decade and Acting Field Leader (8 months). 

    I am currently supervising MPhil/Phil students examining public relations in Saudi Arabia, training of British Black actors, and Irish media coverage of the Irish Civil War and 'Decade of Commemorations'. I was Director of Studies for a PhD on journalism in post-Soviet Russia awarded in 2015. I have supervised visiting PhD students from China, Spain, Italy and Brazil. I am currently supervising a post-doctoral scholar investigating mobile media in Bangladesh and have applications from post-doctoral researchers from Turkey. I have also been an advisor for external PhD students from the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths College, London.