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Overview
Dr Karen Fowler-Watt is Professor of Journalism and Global Narratives. Formerly Head of the School of Journalism, English and Communication (2007-2018), she is research theme lead for journalism education in the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP). As a BBC journalist, she worked in Radio 4 News and Current Affairs as an output editor on The World at One and PM and The World this Weekend, Karen made documentaries for File on 4 and she was a field producer in the Middle East, covering the Gulf Crisis and War in 1990/1 and producing news output from Moscow, Europe, Northern Ireland and the United States, with a stint as Washington bureau producer.
Karen has a BA and an MA in History from the University of Cambridge. After graduating from Cambridge, she was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to study political theory in the School of Government and Politics at Harvard University, where she also taught UG students history and literature and worked for Reuters and Newsweek. Her doctorate entitled, The Storytellers tell Their Stories: The Journalist as Educator was awarded by the University of Southampton.
Karen has recently been commissioned by Routledge to edit The Companion to Journalism Education; she is editor of Challenges and New Directions in Journalism Education (Routledge, 2023) and co-editor (with Julian McDougall) of The Palgrave Handbook of Media Misinformation (2022) and (with Stephen Jukes) of New Journalisms: Rethinking Practice, Theory and Pedagogy (Routledge, 2020).
Karen retains close links with industry, organising the annual BBC Young Reporter event and a number of conferences at BU on reporting conflict, news values and hosting the NCTJ Journalism Skills Conference . She speaks on panels nationally and internationally debating journalism ethics, trauma and journalism education. - in Leipzig at ECPMF, Beirut at MD Lab and at the biennial Media Education Summit, hosted by CEMP. Karen is a Fellow of the Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change, where she delivers workshops and talks each summer and she works with Dutch non-profit Global Voices on a journalism pedagogy project. She is a trustee and board member of the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma.
Recent grants have supported research in Colombia, working with former child soldiers, a safeguarding project for ITV and media literacy projects for DCMS and on trust and fake news. Her research interests focus on building resilience in journalists and journalism through reimagining journalism education, reporting conflict, autobiographical journalism, trauma, ethics, storytelling and marginalised voices.

Research

Re-imagining journalism and journalism education: Fowler-Watt, K., and Jukes, S., (2020) New Journalisms: Rethinking Practice, Theory and Pedagogy. London: Routledge. Upcoming publication: Palgrave Handbook of Media Misinformation (co-edited with McDougall, J). Publications and conference papers on marginalised voices, trauma, autobiographical journalism and reporting conflict. Collaborative projects with Charles, M., on story listening and immersive approaches to storytelling, working with former child soldiers in Colombia.

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Outreach & engagement