Students often ask us which journals we’d recommend for studying media, communications and culture, so we thought it would be useful to list some of them here. This list is not exhaustive – and is very much on-going – so if you have any suggestions of things you’ve found helpful, but which aren’t listed below, then please leave a comment.
Remember: Journals are especially valuable for demonstrating that you’ve gone beyond your reading lists and tried to look into specific topics in more depth. We do realise though, that as the number of journals is ever-increasing it can be a bit overwhelming so felt a list would be handy. Here are some journals that we find especially useful in our own research:
Key journal in the field of media studies, which draws together many of the concerns we’re interested in on the degree. It explores the social and cultural dimensions of the mass media, and covers everything from news production to fan cultures and digital media. (As an added bonus, Pawas has published here recently on globalization and cultural memory!)
THE digital media journal, if you’re looking at things from a media and communications perspective. We’d highly recommend this journal to students who are writing about digital media, as it covers everything from online protest movements to internet memes.
Another digital media journal, this time focused entirely on social media!
Highly recommended to people interested in audience research! Contains some very accessible articles, which cover everything from the internal-organisation of fan communities to the dynamics of cinema audiences.
Highly cited and popular journal focused on issues surrounding consumerism. Recommended to anyone interested in consumption; again, it can be slightly dense at times, but go here if you want to engage with some important contemporary debates about consumer culture.
Another excellent journal with a digital media focus; like New Media & Society it has wide-ranging content, for instance recent special editions are focused on digital activism and 3-D cinema. (I’ve published here recently about activist participatory news network Indymedia.)
If you’re interested in news production and the work of journalists in particular, then this is a good starting point! It has a range of articles about contemporary journalistic practice, which provide helpful context about journalism in a range of global contexts.
Covers a wide range of issues related to popular culture and community, and contains articles from a range of global contexts.
Highly cited communications studies journal, which is published several times a year so usually contains very up-to-date material. It is slightly broader than media-specific journals, as it discusses different aspects of communication (encompassing interpersonal and family communication, for instance), so is useful if you are focusing on the relations between cultural theory and communications.
Like Communication Research, this contains an excellent range of articles that cover all facets of communication – both mediated and inter-personal – but has a more Euro-centric focus.
For anyone interested in computer games.
An important journal that focuses on globalization and cultural politics, it covers some vital issues that prompt reflection on the global dynamics of the cultural industries.
Theory, Cuture & Society
This is a really key journal if you’re interested in contemporary social and cultural theory. Warning, the content is sometimes quite complex, but it’s really worth persevering with; it is highly recommended to postgraduate and third-year dissertation students who are engaging with cultural theory.
If you’re interested in the body, and body image, then this is an important journal. Like Theory, Culture & Society it is complicated, but worth persevering with (especially for dissertation students).
Another more theoretical journal, which publishes some great work about the relationship between media, culture and politics. I have to own up that I have a special interest in promoting this though, as I’m on the editorial board!!
Remember too, that MCC is an inter-disciplinary subject so you may well find helpful materials from journals that aren’t as media-centric (particularly from disciplines such as sociology, cultural geography and politics). For instance, both Pawas and I do research about activism and we find journals like Social Movement Studies, Environmental Politics and Antipode useful. I also do research that relates to the sociology of science and technology, so find journals such as the Social Studies of Science and Biosocieties helpful.
Hopefully this list will be helpful, but please leave comments with more suggestions!