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portrait of Dr Melanie Bunce

Dr Melanie Bunce

Senior Lecturer in Journalism

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Journalism

Contact Information


Visit Melanie Bunce

AG18, College Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Mel Bunce is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, and the founding director of the Humanitarian News Research Network based at City, University of London. She is currently working on an AHRC-funded project about humanitarian journalism. This looks at the funding, production and impact of media reports about humanitarian crises.

Dr Bunce also specialises in the work of foreign correspondents in Africa and the way that culture, power, technology and economics shape news narratives about the African continent. This has included extensive fieldwork with foreign correspondents in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. In 2016 she co- edited 'Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century' (Routledge), the first academic book on the media representation of Africa in more than twenty years.

She has also researched digital media and how new technology is transforming journalistic practice. This has included studies of how collaborative platforms like Slack change journalistic work; how the introduction of website analytics can alter news outputs and power dynamics within newsrooms; and how foreign correspondents relate to their audiences through social media.

Finally, Dr Bunce has retained a strong interest in the media system and politics of New Zealand (her home country) and is currently completing a book called 'The Broken Estate: Journalism in New Zealand' for the leading NZ publisher BWB.

Before coming to City, Dr Bunce taught at Birkbeck, University of London and at the University of Otago. She also worked as a columnist / media commentator in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand.


  1. DPhil in Politics (No corrections), University of Oxford, United Kingdom, 2013
  2. MPhil in Development Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  3. BA (Hons) in Political Science & English (first class), University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


Books (2)

  1. Bunce, M., Franks, S. and Paterson, C. (Eds.), (2016). Africa's Media Image in the 21st Century: From the 'Heart of Darkness' to 'Africa Rising'. London: Routledge.
  2. Bunce, M. Broken Estate: Journalism in New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books.

Chapters (6)

  1. Scott, M., Bunce, M. and Wright, K. (2018). Doing Good and Looking Good in Global Humanitarian Reporting: Is Philanthrojournalism good news? In Enghel, F. and Noske-Turner, J. (Eds.), Communication in International Development: Doing Good or Looking Good? London: Routledge.
  2. Bunce, M., Franks, S. and Paterson, C. (2016). Introduction: A New Africa’s Media Image? In Bunce, M., Franks, S. and Paterson, C. (Eds.), Africa's Media Image in the 21st Century: From the 'Heart of Darkness' to 'Africa Rising' (pp. 1–14). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-96231-6.
  3. Bunce, M. (2016). The International News Coverage of Africa: Beyond the ‘Single Story’. Africa's Media Image in the 21st Century: From the 'Heart of Darkness' to 'Africa Rising' (pp. 17–29). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-96231-6.
  4. Bunce, M. (2015). International news and the image of Africa: New storytellers, new narratives? Images of Africa: Creation, Negotiation and Subversion (pp. 42–62). ISBN 0-7190-9809-2.
  5. Bunce, M., Scott, M. and Wright, K. The Politics of Humanitarian Journalism. In Chouliaraki, L. and Vestergaard, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Humanitarian Communication London: Routledge.
  6. Bunce, M., Scott, M. and Wright, K. Humanitarian Journalism. Oxford Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies Oxford University Press.

Journal articles (10)

  1. Bunce, M., Wright, K. and Scott, M. (2018). ‘Our newsroom in the cloud’: Slack, virtual newsrooms and journalistic practice. New Media and Society, 20(9), pp. 3381–3399. doi:10.1177/1461444817748955.
  2. Wright, K., Scott, M. and Bunce, M. (2018). Foundation-funded Journalism, Philanthrocapitalism and Tainted Donors. Journalism Studies pp. 1–21. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2017.1417053.
  3. Bunce, M. (2017). Management and resistance in the digital newsroom. Journalism, Online First. doi:10.1177/1464884916688963.
  4. Scott, Martin, , Bunce, M. and Wright, Kate, (2017). Donor power and the news:The influence of foundation funding on international public service journalism. International Journal of Press/Politics, 22(2), pp. 163–184. doi:10.1177/1940161217693394.
  5. Bunce, M. (2016). Foundations, philanthropy and international journalism. Ethical Space: the international journal of communication ethics, 13(2/3), pp. 6–15.
  6. Bunce, M. (2015). Africa in the click stream: audience metrics and foreign correspondents in Africa. African Journalism Studies, 36(4), pp. 12–29. doi:10.1080/23743670.2015.1119487.
  7. Bunce, M. (2010). This place used to be a white british boys' club': Reporting dynamics and cultural clash at an international news bureau in Nairobi. Round Table, 99(410), pp. 516–528. doi:10.1080/00358533.2010.509950.
  8. Bunce, M. Book review: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Communication Research and Practice.
  9. Bunce, M. Humanitarian journalism in a post-truth world. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs.
  10. Scott, M., Bunce, M. and Wright, K. Foundation funding and the boundaries of journalism. Journalism Studies.

Reports (3)

  1. Scott, M., Wright, K. and Bunce, M. (2018). Foundation support for international non-profit news: Mapping the funding landscape. University of East Anglia.
  2. Scott, M., Bunce, M. and Wright, K. (2018). The State of Humanitarian Journalism. University of East Anglia.
  3. Bunce, M. (2011). The new foreign correspondent at work: Local-national ‘stringers’ and the global news coverage of Darfur. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.



- The International News System
- Dissertation and research methods
- Ethics


- Doctoral research supervision

Other Activities

Online articles (3)

  1. Media commentator for a range of outlets including: Al Jazeera English, BBC, The Financial Times, Africa is a Country and The Conversation.
  2. Columnist at the Evening Herald, Dublin, Ireland (2006).
  3. Columnist at the Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, New Zealand (2000-2005).