Sarah Niblock


Professor and Head of Journalism

Room: Gaskell Building 175
Brunel University
United Kingdom
Tel: 01895 267 273
Web: Personal Website


Sarah Niblock is a journalist and author whose scholarly research covers the intra/interdisciplinary discourses associated with journalism studies, media and cultural studies, visual culture and communication technologies. She began her journalism career on the Birkenhead News, where she studied for her NCTJ proficiency certificate before moving to the Liverpool Echo. While on Merseyside she covered stories that still resonate today including families affected by the Hillsborough disaster and the disappearance and murder of the toddler James Bulger. Sarah then combined lecturing with freelancing news for the national press and writing regular features for Cosmopolitan and Company magazines. Her Masters degree and PhD are in visual culture, the latter focussing on psychoanalytical theory and gender. Sarah continues to combine journalism with academic life, writing and commentating on media issues. In 2008, she was asked to write questions for the House of Lords Select Committee on Media Ownership based on her research on radio news values. 

Research and Teaching

Research Overview

Sarah’s research interests span journalism, popular culture, musicology and gender and she is interested in supervising postgraduate research in any related topic. She is the author and co-author of numerous books, chapters and refereed papers. She is an Academic Fellow of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma based at the prestigious Columbia University, New York. Additionally, Sarah is on the editorial board of two international peer reviewed journalism journals. Her critical analysis of the work of the pop icon Prince (co-authored with Stan Hawkins) is published in 2012 by Ashgate. She is completing a book entitled The Fifth Estate: Media Professionalism and Training, examining the status of journalism in the age of digital technology, citizen journalists and phone hacking scandals. It is due to be published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2012. She is also co-editing a series of books, Journalism: Reflections on Practice, for Palgrave Macmillan.

Teaching Activity

Sarah is founder and head of the Journalism subject area at Brunel, and runs the MA in Journalism programme, currently ranked third top in the UK by the National Council for the Training of Journalists. Sarah teaches across all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, specialising in news writing and reporting, feature writing, public affairs for journalists, supervising projects and dissertations. Sarah is personal tutor to many students and mentors NCTJ candidates to success in their external professional examinations. She has a particular commitment to reflexive learning as a lifelong skill for students and journalists alike.



Journal Papers

(2012) Niblock, S., Envisioning journalism practice as research, Journalism Practice 6 (4) : 497- 512

(2010) Niblock, S. and Machin, D., The New Breed of Business Journalism for Niche Global News: The Case of Bloomberg News, Journalism Studies

(2008) Machin, D. and Niblock, S., Branding newspapers: visual texts as social practice, Journalism Studies 9 (2) : 244- 259

(2007) Niblock, S., From "knowing how" to "being able": Negotiating the meanings of reflective practice and reflexive research in journalism studies, Journalism Practice 1 (1) : 20- 32

(2007) Niblock, S. and Machin, D., News values for consumer groups: The case of Independent Radio News, London, UK, Journalism 8 (2) : 184- 204

Book Chapters

(2008) Niblock, S., Features. In: Franklin, B. ed. Pulling Newspapers Apart: Analysing Print Journalism. Oxon and New York : Routledge 46- 55

(2007) Niblock, S., Journalist as storyteller: immersion reporting. In: Butt, M. ed. Story: the heart of the matter. London: Greenwich Exchange 46- 58


(2011) Niblock, S. and Hawkins, S., Prince: The Making of a Pop Phenomenon. Ashgate

(2010) Niblock, S., Journalism: a beginner's guide. Oneworld Publications

(2006) Niblock, S. and Machin, D., News production: theory and practice. London: Routledge

Page last updated: Wednesday 05 June 2013