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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Paula Hearsum lectures in Media at the University of Brighton specialising in Popular Music and Journalism across four courses: Media Studies BA (Hons), Media, Industry and Innovation BA (Hons), Environment and Media Studies BA (Hons) as well as on Digital Media, Culture and Society MA. She is currently the Academic Programme Leader in Media and Creative Industries.

As a practitioner and academic, Paula believes that media is something you do as well as think about. Her professional background includes a decade as a music journalist before moving into new media as an Editor and consultant appearing on TV, radio as well as many public speaking engagements. Having launched the UK's first and leading student community website, studentUK, in 1997, Hearsum went on to work for a variety of companies including BBC, Channel 4 and the Department Children, Schools & Families. She was a regular judge for the Guardian Student Media Awards and has run workshops on new media journalism for industry professionals. She has written for many magazines and websites on music as well having worked as an editorial web consultant specialising in education. Hearsum’s journalistic career includes contributions in the following magazines and newspapers: Vox (Staff Writer), NME, The Times, Red, Everywoman (Music Editor), 1015 (The Times supplement), SoundsThe Mac, Home Entertainment, Enjoy, Leeds Other Paper, Practical Parenting and Juno. She has also published several pieces on parenting.

Paula has a degree in Communication & Cultural Studies with Public Media BA (Hons) Trinity & All Saints, 1989 and Women’s Studies (MA) University of Westminster, 1995. She completed her PhD at the University of Brighton in 2016 focusing on the media representation of the deaths of popular musicians. She is a member of MeCCSA (Media, Communication & Cultural Association), the NUJ, the Media and Communication Research Group, University of Brighton and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Paula has previously lectured at London Metropolitan University, Trinity & All Saints, Leeds, University of Westminster and the University of East London. She maintains and very much enjoys a relationship between academia and media practice through both streams of work and is continually inspired by her colleagues and students through her work at the University of Brighton.

Paula Hearsum’s main focus of research is the examination of the mediation of popular musician’s deaths as way to consider dominant social discourses and narratives. The legal, professional and ethical rules around writing about death are often broken when discussing popular musicians as a group and Paula’s research uses critical discourse analysis to demonstrate in what ways media institutions and the journalists as cultural intermediaries perform the roles of both reflecting and shaping social values. 

Her practitioner background as a music journalist combines with her academic disciplines in Media Studies, Popular Music Studies and Journalism Studies within this body of work, which includes published research in intersecting areas within this work such as obituary journalism, gender debates and Death studies.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, School of Media

1 Jul 20151 Jun 2016

Master, University of Westminster

1 Oct 19941 Jun 1995

Bachelor, Leeds Trinity University

1 Oct 19861 Jun 1989

Keywords

  • M Music
  • Popular Music
  • NE Print media
  • Journalism

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
death Social Sciences
musician Social Sciences
coverage Social Sciences
music Social Sciences
suicide Social Sciences
VIP Social Sciences
motherhood Social Sciences
ritual Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2017

  • 6 Chapter
  • 5 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN
  • 3 Article

Alas, Poor Richard: Fandom, Personal Identity and Ben Myer’s Novelization of Richey Edwards’ Life Story

Duffett, M. & Hearsum, P. 13 Dec 2017 14, 1, p. 65-84 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Guitarist
Novelization
Life Story
Personal Identity
Academic Research

Three faces of musical motherhood in death: Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and Donna Summer

Hearsum, P. 28 Sep 2015 Death and the Rock Star. Strong, C. & Lebrun, B. (eds.). Abingdon, p. 119-133 15 p. (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Amy Winehouse
Motherhood
Artist
Popular music
Music Industry

The Emancipation of Music Video: YouTube and the Cultural Politics of Supply and Demand

Hearsum, P. & Inglis, I. 3 Oct 2013 Oxford Handbook of Audiovisual Aesthetics. Gorbman, C., Richardson, J. & Vernallis, C. (eds.). Oxford, p. 483-500 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

YouTube
Cultural Politics
Music Videos
Emancipation
Aesthetics

Zappa and mortality: the mediation of Zappa’s death

Hearsum, P. 28 Feb 2013 Frank Zappa & the And. Carr, P. (ed.). Farnham, UK, p. 201-216 16 p. (Ashgate popular and folk music series)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Mediation
Mortality
Dying
Sensemaking
Performer

27 Forever: Kristen Pfaff and the coverage of death as the re-presentation of a gendered musical life

Hearsum, P. 1 Nov 2012 'Rock on': women, ageing and popular music. Jennings, R. & Gardner, A. (eds.). Farnham, UK, p. 103-122 20 p. (Ashgate popular and folk music series)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

coverage
death
musician
journalism
music