Photo of Professor Kay Richardson

Professor Kay Richardson Ph.D.

Professor Communication and Media


Research Overview

"My current research, pursued less energetically than before, owing to my partial retirement, relates to spoken dialogue in British TV and radio (and podcast) drama. I am also considering options for further work on dramatised politics. My publication list shows where I have contributed previously to these areas of media research. "

Mediated political/public discourse in words and images

I have been a co-investigator or a Principal Investigator on a number of EHRC and AHRC funded Media Studies projects over the years.

1. Media representations of the nuclear power industry (in the 1980s)
2. Media representations of the national economy (in the 1990s)
3. The history of the World in Action TV current affairs series (1990s/2000s)
4. Online newsgroups and discourse of health risk (also in the 2000s)

5. Most recently, I was the Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded project Media Genre and Political Culture: Beyond the news (2009-2011) from which myself and my fellow-researchers (Katy Parry and John Corner) produced a number of outputs including a book with Palgrave McMillan. The titles of these can be found in the Publications section of this profile.

Some of these projects included an audience research (reception studies) element as well as a textual analysis element (1, 2, 5); no. 3 included some archive and interview production study elements as well as textual analysis; no. 4 was my attempt to engage with online discourse in the era preceding Web 2.0.


Professor John Corner and I were collaborators on every project except no. 4; other collaborators have included Mr Peter Goddard who also works in the Liverpool Communication and Media Department, Dr Neil Gavin, who works in the Liverpool Politics Department, Professor Natalie Fenton, the current MECCSA chair, who works at Goldsmiths', Dr Marlene Miglbauer now working in Vienna, and Dr Katy Parry, now a Lecturer in the University of Leeds.

Two additional projects, unfunded, also led to significant outputs. One of these was a comparative analysis of media discourse in Germany and the UK in the early(ish) years of European satellite and cable provision, when Europe first went multi-channel. Another was a project on media representations of poverty, which also included a small reception studies element.

I have an unpublished study on Gordon Brown's spelling which I hope to add to this collection in the next year or so.

I would be interested to hear from potential research students with interests in mediated political communication and political culture, especially in the UK. Some specific topic areas that you might like to think about are as follows;

• Mediating Margaret – film and TV representations of Margaret Thatcher.
• Naturalistic and stylized forms of dialogue in movies and TV dramas.
• The BBC/British Library Listening Project – sociolinguistic aspectual studies of the British Library’s archive of Listening Project recordings.

Dialogue in TV drama

I have produced a monograph, published by Oxford University Press, on the subject of dialogue in TV drama, taking a sociolinguistic approach though influenced by literature in stylistics as well as in media textual analysis. There are other published outputs related to this in addition to the book, and some conference papers. There is an element of overlap with research interest 1, as I have also written a couple of things about political TV drama (with John Corner).

Research Grants

Newsgroups as a forum for discussion of health risks.


April 2003 - March 2004

Media genre and political culture: beyond the news


November 2009 - October 2011

Challenges of Residency - HEA Digital Literacies in the Disciplines project


June 2013 - April 2014

The Public Project of Investigative Documentary: An Historical Case-Study.


June 1999 - May 2001

Research Collaborations

John Corner


Research application to the AHRC pending