Dr Gemma Horton LLB, MA, PhD, AFHEA

University Teacher Communication and Media


    Personal Statement

    Gemma joined the University of Liverpool in September 2019. She gained her PhD from the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield in January 2020. Prior to that, she graduated with an MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield in 2017 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of York in 2015. She also achieved a Grade A in her NCTJ Essential Media Law and Regulation exam and her Court Reporting exam. She has had extensive work experience in national magazines and news outlets, such as Radio Times, Closer, heat and Press Association. It was her experience at these publications that influenced her PhD. Gemma's PhD research focused on the right to privacy of celebrities and how this is balanced with freedom of expression. It explored how celebrities' privacy rights are protected in law and ethical codes in the UK, with a particular focus on whether anything has changed since the Leveson Inquiry. She adopted a comparative legal analysis for her research, comparing the laws of the UK to the laws of France and the US, alongside using qualitative methods, such as interviews and document analysis.

    Gemma has extensive experience in teaching and has been recognised as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In particular, she has experience teaching on research methods, ethical issues in journalism, media freedom, and journalism and globalisation. She has also had experience presenting her research at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally and has written book reviews, a book chapter and journal articles. She has also conducted research for the Centre for Freedom of the Media based at The University of Sheffield. Her work as a research assistant has involved her working on two projects. The two projects were: 'Examining the Impact of IPSO on Editorial Standards and Complaints’ Handling for the press regulator in the UK’ and ‘Building an African media network with the African Media Initiative.’ While working as a research assistant, she has conducted interviews, engaged in quantitative and qualitative research, and analysed newspaper articles. She also co-organised the first and second Communication, Media and Journalism PGR/ECR Conference for the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield. She has also worked as a Student Ambassador for the Department of Journalism Studies. She is also currently working as a Research Assistant looking into "culture wars" in society.