Dr Jane Suiter

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Dr Jane Suiter is the Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism. She is a social scientist whose research interests focus on political communication and the media (traditional and new media). Jane is also chairperson of the BA Journalism programme.

Jane’s professional background is in journalism: she began her career at the FT Group and then moved to AP Dow Jones before working  as economics editor at the Irish Times and as a current affairs presenter at TV3. She continues to contribute to broadcast and write for the print media, frequently providing expert commentary and analysis.

She is currently working on several FuJo projects: Hearing Women’s Voices, Climate Change in Irish Media, EU COST research on populist political communication in the media and an Irish Research Council project on the communication of referendums.

Hearing Women’s Voices is an analysis on women’s voices on Irish news and current affairs radio being conducted by Jane in conjunction with the National Women’s Council of Ireland, funded by the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland).

“We’re trying to figure out to what extent women’s voices feature – not just presenters but experts, guests and so on – across a range of different programmes and we are noting how long they are on air for on RTE, Newstalk and Today FM.”

Dr Suiter is also a co-Principal Investigator alongside Dr Padraig Murphy on the EPA-funded project on Climate Change in Irish Media: “We are trying to understand in what way the narrative has changed over the decades and also what sort of frames are used; what kind of discourse as well as the obvious things such as the amount of climate change coverage.”

As part of an EU COST network initiative she is also working on a project about populist political communication in the media: “We are trying to understand how different political parties and political movements use both traditional and new media to get populist messages out and whether this is different from how more traditional parties communicate.”

The Irish Research Council project looks at how referendums are communicated, with Dr Suiter focussing on all English language referendums across the world in the last five years, with a focus on how Twitter is used by both sides in referendum campaign in order to see if there are any cross-national patterns in terms of how this social media platform is used.

Additionally, she is working on a referendum campaign study that focuses on the recent 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum, both in terms of public opinion and how it is discussed online and in the media.

Speaking about the importance of FuJo’s work, Dr Suiter says that DCU is ideally placed to carry out this kind of media and journalism research because as well as housing the leading school of journalism and communications in Ireland, a very active School of Law and Government, the university has a long-established Institute of Ethics as well as being home to a large portion of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and ADAPT (the Global Centre of Excellence for Digital Content Innovation).

“The different cultures and areas of expertise of all of those people coming together will hopefully lead to some greater insights on the future of journalism.”

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