Dr Maria Touri

Maria Touri


International Strategy Director

Contact details

Telephone: +44(0)116 252 2859
Email: mt141@le.ac.uk
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Personal details

  • BA (Hons), Communications and the Mass Media, University of Athens
  • MA, International Communications, University of Leeds
  • PhD, Communications studies, University of Leeds

My involvement with the media began with my first degree in Communications and the Mass Media, which I obtained from the University of Athens. Along with my undergraduate studies, I also completed an internship as a sports journalist, which was followed by a Masters degree in International Communications at the University of Leeds. In Leeds, I completed my PhD, investigating media effects on decision-making processes in conflict situations, through a rational choice and game theory approach.

Since then I have taught political and international communication modules at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds; at the School of Politics and Communications Studies, University of Liverpool; and at the School of Art and Design, University of Coventry.

I joined the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Leicester in July 2006 as a Research Associate on a project funded by the Alcohol Education and Research Council that investigated the role of marketing in teenage alcohol consumption.


Professional activities

I am a member of the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) of the Political Studies Association (PSA) and of the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER).


I currently teach or contribute in the following modules:

  • MS7082: Global Communication and Development
  • MS3004: Global Cultures
  • MS2000: The Production of News
  • MS7006: Global Affairs: Actors, Communication and Culture


Full list of my publications


My research interests can be organised in the following areas:

1. Communication, Sustainable Development and Global Food Networks, India

My current research focus is on the field of Communication for Development and Social Change, and the role of participatory communication in sustainable development in India. The research focuses on global food networks and takes an interdisciplinary approach that draws from the fields of communication and agri-food studies. This is a collaborative project with Indian farmers and European SMEs. It is the first study that explores the theory and practice of Communication for Development in the context of the trade relations between farmers and businesses across the globe, and through the everyday practices of communication that connect these two actors.

2. Communication and Journalism for Sustainable Development, Greece – with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation

I am collaborating with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on a project that promotes the role of sustainable development in Greece through communication and journalism. The project will develop educational activities for the training and capacity building of Communication and Journalism professionals that work in the areas of environmental and sustainable development in Greece. This is the first theoretical and empirical account of Communication for Development in the context of Greece.

3. Participatory journalism practices

In this area, my most recent work concerns the impact of online tools on journalism practices and the bottom-up development of news frames, in ways that challenge dominant paradigms. I have studied the influence of news blogs on mainstream news agendas through an analysis of news blogs networks (with Barrie Gunter and Vincent Campbell; funded by the Nuffield Foundation). Currently, I am researching the progress of online journalism in Greece focusing on a) the ways in which technological advances and the current financial crisis have affected the process of news production and the way the newsroom operates; and b) the role of Greek news blogs as vehicles for political expression and deliberation during the on-going financial crisis.

My previous research includes the influence of news media on foreign policymaking in a bottom-up fashion. A part of this research was also the development of a theoretical model for the active role that journalists can play as non-state actors in international conflict, with the use of decision-making theories such as prospect theory.

Within the area of journalism, I am also interested in framing as a research method for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of news content. My work includes the development of a new research instrument for news frame analysis, with the use of corpus-linguistics software.

4. Impact Case Study - Communication strategies for sustainable trade for organic farmers in India and SMEs in Europe

The case study concerns the improvement of the professional marketing strategies of an Indian farmer cooperative and food producers and SMEs in Europe. The farmers’ cooperative and five SMEs in England, France and Germany have developed new marketing strategies with the use of videos created by the Indian farmers.


Funded research

2019-2022: Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI), with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, ‘Communication and Journalism for Sustainable Development: Greece as a Case Study’

2018: Research Impact Development Fund, University of Leicester ‘Indian farmers’ empowerment through communication and digital storytelling’

2017-2019: British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants, ‘Communication and Human Development in Alternative Food Networks: Digitally connecting produces and consumers across the globe’

2016: Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, ‘Capacity Building in Alternative Food Networks’

2015: Society for the Advancement of Management Studies College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities,‘ Sustainability, Food and Fashion: the role of Social Sciences as an agent for innovation – Workshop organised in collaboration with the School of Business, University of Leicester

2013: Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, ‘Sustainable agriculture and development in a global context. The role of businesses in supporting producer - consumer interactions. A case study of Indian Organic Farmers Producer Company Limited (IOFPCL)’

2010: Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, ‘British press coverage and framing of the Greek financial crisis and the EU knowledge deficit’

2008: Nuffield Foundation – Social Sciences Small Grants Scheme, ‘Blogging and the Impact of Citizen Journalism: A Pilot Study’, with Professor Barrie Gunter (University of Leicester), Professor Rachel Gibson (University of Manchester) and Dr Vincent Campbell (University of Leicester)

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

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

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

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

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