Dr Natasha Whiteman Profile










Associate Professor of Media and Communication

Deputy Head of School (Operations)

Telephone:0116 2522797

Email: new9@le.ac.uk

Personal details

PhD in Education, Institute of Education, University of London.

MRes (Dist) in Educational and Social Research, Institute of Education, University of London.

MA (Dist) Media Studies, Institute of Education, University of London

BA (Hons) Film and American Studies, University of East Anglia.

Since joining the University of Leicester in 2008 I have held a number of roles including Director of Teaching and Learning (Programme Portfolio) for the School of Media, Communication and Sociology (2016-2018), Undergraduate Programme Director (2015-2016) and Chair of the Media and Management Research Ethics Committee (2012-2017). I am currently Deputy Head of School (Operations) and the Programme Director for the MA Media, Culture and Society.

I was previously based the Institute of Education, University of London where I obtained my PhD, taught on a range of Masters and Doctoral level courses and was the Programme Leader for the MRes in Educational and Social Research.

Professional activities

I am a member of the Association of Internet Researchers and the British Sociological Association.


I am the module leader for the following undergraduate core modules:

  • MS1010 Creative Audiences
  • MS2016 Media and Communication Research in Practice

I also contribute to a number of undergraduate modules including MS3011 Digital Games & Culture and  MS3009 The Media, Celebrity and Fan Culture.


My research explores ethical issues relating to media research, digital environments and media consumption activity (with a particular interest in online audiences and fan cultures). I am also interested in the development of relational method in social research: a new book, Diagramming the Social (co-authored with Russell Dudley-Smith, UCL Institute of Education), is forthcoming from Routledge.

My approach to ethics is underpinned by an interest in developing ethical literacy: how we might sensitize researchers, internet users and members of the public to the ethical problems presented by new technologies and develop resources for researchers to establish confident stances in the face of ethical insecurity. This is the focus of my monograph Undoing Ethics: Rethinking Practice in Online Research (Springer, New York: 2012). This work is informed by  primary research as well as my first-hand experience of chairing an ethics committees at the University of Leicester. I have recently written on the ethics of fan studies (please see publication list - link below) and value of comparative analysis in thinking about research ethics. I also published a comment piece in The Conversation on the importance of ethical review, in the light of the Cambridge Analytica "controversy" https://theconversation.com/facebook-data-why-ethical-reviews-matter-in-academic-research-94205.

My empirical research includes a British Academy funded project "The ethics of contemporary media consumption: An exploratory study of consumers' ethical decision-making in respect of the use of the Internet to access and exchange media content" and a current project exploring the closure of an independent video store.  My earlier PhD explored the workings of two fan communities (the video game site Silent Hill Heaven and television fan site City of Angel) over a three year period. This was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is available here. I continue to be interested in issues relating to online fandom and this informs my teaching on a number of modules.

Link to Publications


Contributor to: “Mental health in schools.” (2017) evidence published as part of the House of Commons Health Committee Inquiry on Children and Young People's Mental Health—the role of education. with Michelle O’Reilly, Nisha Dogra, Jason Hughes, Paul Reilly.

Contributor to: Buckingham, D (2008) “The Impact of the Media on Children and Young People (With a Particular Focus on Computer Games and the Internet)” report prepared for Byron Review on Children and New Technology


I would be pleased to hear from prospective research students who wish to undertake work in areas related to my research interests (ethics of new media, audience research, research ethics, fan cultures, videogame cultures).

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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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