Dr Paul Reilly


Lecturer in Media and Communication

Deputy Director of Research

Room 305, Bankfield House

Telephone : 0116 252 2829

e-mail : pr93@le.ac.uk

MA (Hons) International Relations and Modern History, University of St Andrews, 2001.

PhD Politics, University of Glasgow, 2008.

Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2012.

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education, 2013.

University Teaching Fellow, 2014.

Leicester Students' Union Superstar Award, 2015.

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2015.

Career Experience

Prior to my appointment at Leicester I was a part-time lecturer in Politics (teaching only) at the University of Glasgow, delivering a number of modules on the MSc Political Communication and contributing towards the Media, Conflict and Change undergraduate module. I joined the Department of Media and Communication in November 2009 and have held a variety of positions including Postgraduate Admissions Tutor on the MA Mass Communications, MA Dissertation Tutor and BSc Dissertation Tutor. I was also Programme Director for the BSc Communications, Media and Society and BA Media and Sociology in 2012-13. I am currently the Deputy Director of Research and the REF impact coordinator for the Department.  I was awarded the University of Leicester Teaching Fellowship in January 2014.

Research Interests

My research focuses primarily on online political communication, with a specific interest in how social media is used to promote better community relations in divided societies. I have written one book on the role of the internet in conflict transformation in Northern Ireland (Framing the Troubles Online: Northern Irish Groups and Website Strategy, Manchester University Press 2011) and am currently writing my second on the role of social media in promoting positive intercommunity relations in the region (due 2014). My work has been published in a number of journals including New Media & Society, Policy and Internet and Urban Studies. My current research projects include a British Academy funded study of Youtube footage of the union flag protests in Northern Ireland and a study of how social media is used by first responders during crisis situations funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7). I have also organised a knowledge exchange seminar for the Economic Social Research Council and have been an invited speaker at events organised by the Arts Marketing Association (East Midlands), European Police College and Royal United Services Institute. I also co-convened the Ideograms research group with Dr Anna Claydon between 2011 and 2013.

Selected Media Appearances

Politicians: share sites are double-edged sword, op-ed, The Sun (Northern Ireland edition), 5 May 2015.

How Twitter is defusing sectarian tension, Belfast Telegraph, 31 March 2015.

BBC Radio Leicester breakfast show with Jim Davis and Jo Hayward, Interview about role of social media in 2015 UK General Election, 30 March 2015.

Brenda Leyland: Did the press act responsibly when reporting the abuse directed at Kate and Gerry McCann? Leicester Mercury, 7 October 2014.

Research to examine role of media in aftermath of crisis situations, Science Daily, 11 August 2014.

Disaster media could aid decisions, Professional Security, 15 August 2014.

Tweets that trapped Tattenham Corner armed robbers, BBC News, 13 June 2014.

A survey of British newspaper readership: online paid-for content loses popularity, Guanming Daily, 24 February 2014.

'Expect to have your collar felt if you break the law,' Eamonn Mallie.com, 31 August, 2013.

'Egypt uprising: much more than just a 'Twitter revolt,' The Conversation, 2 July 2013.

A New different kind of 'troubles' in Northern Ireland, Christian Science Monitor, 5 February 2013, Interview on use of social media during flag protests.

Gary Lineker’s son abused by Twitter Troll, Leicester Mercury, 3 August 2012.

Twitter, the 'Snoopers Charter' and Online Privacy, World Financial Review, Op-ed on Twitter and privacy, 25 July 2012.

Social media empowers student protests in Montreal, Montreal Gazette, Interview about social media and protests, 21 May 2012.

BBC Radio Leicester lunchtime show with Jonathan Lampon, Interview about growth in social media usage worldwide, 12 August 2011.

BBC Radio Manchester, Alan Beswick at Breakfast, Interview about social media use during English riots, 15 September 2011.

Policing: Social media and flash mobs, The Current (with Jim Brown), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, interview about role of social media during English riots, 10 August 2011.

BBC Radio Bristol breakfast show with Steve LeFevre, Interview about Stokes Croft riot, 2 May 2011.


PReilly book cover

My book Framing the Troubles Online: Northern Irish groups and website strategy was published by Manchester University Press in 2011. See attached list for full details of my other publications




Teaching and Supervision

I currently teach on the following modules:


MS2001 The Communication of Politics

MS3007/8 Dissertation

MS3022 Activism and Protest in the Information Age


MS7039 Media and Conflict

MS7303 New Media Cultures

I also supervise BSc and MA dissertation students and am particularly interested to hear from prospective students who wish to undertake research related to the following areas:

Alternative media activism

Social media and anti-social behaviour e.g. rioting

Terrorism and New Media

Web 2.0 and conflict transformation

Professional Activities

I am currently a member of the following professional bodies:

British International Studies Association (BISA)

Political Science Association Ireland (PSAI)

PSA Media and Politics Group

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Contact Details

Department of Media & Communication

University of Leicester
Bankfield House    
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

Campus based courses
E: mediacom@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses

E: css-dl@le.ac.uk

T: 0116 252 5164

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: mcresearch@le.ac.uk