Emma L. Briant

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Emma L. Briant



Emma L. Briant is a researcher at the School of Media and Public Affairs. Dr. Briant specializes in researching and publishing on the topics of propaganda and political communication and is most interested in changing technologies and their implications for democracy, international security, inequality and human rights.

Dr. Briant analyzed the coordination and increasing impacts of the digitalization of defense propaganda for her book “Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change” (Manchester University Press, 2015). Her first book was “Bad News for Refugees” (Pluto Press, 2013), co-authored with Greg Philo and Pauline Donald, which examined U.K. political and media discourse on migration prior to Brexit, the 2016 referendum that approved Britain leaving the EU, and she continues to work on the latter. For her forthcoming publications on propaganda in the EU Referendum, she gained unparalleled access to interviews with senior executives at Cambridge Analytica and Leave.EU.

She is currently writing the forthcoming co-authored book “What’s Wrong with the Democrats? Media Bias, Inequality and the rise of Donald Trump” with SMPA professor Robert Entman. She spent 11 years researching SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica and was central in revealing their wrongdoing in 2018 — this research formed the basis for important evidence submitted to the U.K. Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into “fake news” and the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018 among other public inquiries.

She is now consolidating recent research — which straddles her interests in politics, security and the reproduction of inequality — into a long-term book project tentatively titled “Propaganda Machine: The Hidden Story of Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry.”

Peer-Reviewed Books

Briant, Emma L. & Entman, Robert M. (forthcoming 2019) “What’s Wrong with the Democrats? Media Bias, Inequality and the Rise of Donald Trump.”

Briant, Emma L. (2015) “Propaganda and Counterterrorism: Strategies for Global Change,” Manchester University Press

Philo, G; Briant, Emma L.; Donald, P (2013) “Bad News for Refugees,” Pluto Press.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Briant, Emma L. (March 2018) “Pentagon Ju-Jitsu – reshaping the field of propaganda,” in Critical Sociology, Special Issue.

Briant, Emma L. (Dec 2016) “Language, Empathy and Reflection: Teaching Journalists about the Refugee Crisis,” in Media Education Journal, 40th Anniversary Edition.

Briant, Emma L. (April 2015) “Allies and Audiences: Evolving strategies in Defense and Intelligence Propaganda,” in International Journal of Press/Politics (Special Issue), Vol. 20, No. 2. Pp145-165.

Briant, Emma L. Watson, N & Philo, G (Sept 2013) “Reporting disability in the age of austerity...,” in Disability & Society Vol 28 No. 6. pp874-889.

Briant, Emma L. Philo, G; Donald, P (Oct 2013) “The Role of the Press in the War on Asylum,” in Race & Class Vol. 55 No. 2. pp28-41.


Published Reports

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Evidence for the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group." 

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Building a Stronger and More Secure Democracy in a Digital Age," Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry into Fake News: UK Parliament 

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Evidence on Leave.EU, Eldon Insurance and US Health Insurance Industry," Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport Committee Inquiry into Fake News: UK Parliament

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Three Explanatory Essays Giving Context and Analysis to Submitted Evidence," Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport Committee Inquiry into Fake News: UK Parliament.

Briant, Emma L. (2015) “Brief Summary Report on Recent US Information Operations and Public Diplomacy Efforts in Countering Terrorism for the Director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.”

Briant, Emma L.; Watson, N & Philo, P (2011) “Bad News for Disabled People,” Report for Inclusion London.

Philo, G and Briant, Emma L. (2008) “Community Cohesion and the Role of the Local,” JCPR/Mayor of London.

King, K et al. (2004) “UK Social Science & the African Continent in 2004," Report to the ESRC.


Book Chapters, Blogs & Journalism

Briant, Emma L. & Wanlass, A. (In print December 2018). "A Ménage à Trois for the Digital Age: Strategic Leaks, Propaganda and Journalism," in Corneliu Bjola & James Pamment (eds) Countering Online Propaganda and Vioent Extremism: The Dark Side of Digital Diplomacy, London: Routledge. 

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Our governments share responsibility for the Cambrige Analytics crisis... and here's how they should fix it" in Open Democracy.

Briant Emma L. (2018) "Amid shocking revelations about Cambridge Analytica unethical activities, SCL Group's defence work needs real scrutiny," in Open Democracy.

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Comment is Free: I've seen inside the digital propaganda machine. It's dark in there," in The Guardian.  

Briant, Emma L. (2018) "Cambridge Analytica and SCL: How I peered inside the propaganda machine," in The Conversation

Briant, Emma L. (2016) "Perspectives: The Post-Truth Factor" in United Nations Association Magazine

Briant, Emma L. (2016) "Beacons of Hope and Hate from the US Election: People Power's Capacity to 'Trump' Injustice" in The Sociological Review

Briant, Emma L. “Rights, reporting and mass-surveillance in a digital age,” in Tumber, Howard & Waisbord, Silvio, Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights, London: Routledge.

Briant, Emma L. & Harkins, S “Managing Social Impacts of Austerity Britain: neo-liberal ‘nudging’ and mainstream media scapegoats,” in Berry, D (Ed.) Cultural Politics in an Age of Austerity, London: Ashgate.

Briant, Emma, L. (3rd May 2016) “Failure of British Reporting Refugees to Europe,” in UN Association’s New World Magazine

Briant, Emma L. (18th November 2015) “West’s crisis of communication will make terrorist atrocities more likely,” in The Conversation.

Briant, Emma L. (23rd July 2015) “​​​​​​​Sirens of the Potomac: Think-tanks and Torture,” in CounterPunch.

Briant, Emma L. (27th November 2014) “​​​​​​​Lee Rigby report another weapon in the propaganda war,” inThe Conversation.

Briant, Emma L. (28th Sept 2013) “​​​​​​​The UK Media needs to stop referring to refugees as 'illegal immigrants,” in New Statesman Blog.

Briant, Emma L. (2007) “The Struggle for Public Opinion within the Media and Information War on Terror,” in Edited Volume - NATO Teaching Series: Media a Terrorist’s Battlefield: IOS Press.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Glasgow, 2011

Diploma, Literature & Creative Writing, Open University, 2010

M.Sc., Sociology, University of Glasgow, 2007 

M.Res., Business and Public Management Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, 2004 

B.A., International Relations & Politics, Coventry University, 2003