Dr Emily Coleman

Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London

Mentor: Dr Christina Scharff

Project title: Screen Lives: What the experiences of documentary contributors tell us about the media

Since the 1980s, the cultural industries have undergone a period of rapid transformation, with the pace of change accelerating further since the turn of the millennium, creating a startling different media landscape within the space of a generation. Whilst the societal and political ramifications have been debated at length, less attention has been paid to the ordinary people who take part in media productions, and how these developments impact upon them. Amidst widespread reports of contributor distress, and a crisis in duty of care, my research examines how their experiences of participation take shape within the politics of contemporary media production.  

I completed my PhD at the University of Leeds in March 2023, funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Scholarship. Prior to this, I spent over 15 years working in the TV industry, producing and directing factual programmes and documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and SKY.   I’m thrilled to have been granted an ESRC fellowship to maximise the impact of my research. I plan to use the time to disseminate the findings within academia and the cultural industries, writing a monograph, an accessible report, and speaking at global conferences.