Portrait of Dr Mercy Ette Dr Mercy Ette

m.ette@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478443


Mercy Ette holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Leeds, a Masters in Journalism Studies from the University of Wales College of Cardiff, and a BA (Hons) in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar in Nigeria.

Mercy worked as a journalist in various positions for several years in Nigeria and in the UK. She was Children’s Editor of The Punch, one of Nigeria’s national newspapers, the founding editor of NewsAfrica, a London-based international news magazine with special interest in Africa and the African Diaspora.

In 2003 she served as a Media Consultant for the Permanent Delegation of Nigeria to UNESCO. She was a weekly columnist for The Punch newspaper from March 2008-Decmber 2011.

Mercy joined the University of Huddersfield in 2003. Her research interest centres on the intersection of the press and politics, especially politics of democratization, the media-politics connection and on the education of journalists. Her PhD was on the role of the Nigerian press during the country’s transition to democracy programmes. Her research in these areas have been published and presented at conferences.

She teaches theory and practical modules at foundation and intermediate levels

In her spare time she enjoys walking, hill climbing and tending plants in pots.

Research and Scholarship

As a journalist I have always been interested in the sociological role of the media and my research has focused on the interactive relationship between theory and practice in the media-politics connection. I am interested in exploring the power of the media to shape political discourse and issues. For my PhD, I started out initially to chronicle the role of the press in the promotion of democratisation in Nigeria. I intended to provide evidence to prove that the press was not only committed to the restoration of democracy in the country but that it was also a strong supporter and defender of democratic values. However, a close examination of the coverage of transition programmes indicated that the press was not as supportive of democracy as I had assumed. I came to the conclusion that the press could actually impair the democratic process.

This view has led to a new research interest – the education of journalists.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Ette, M (2017) ‘Where are the women? Evaluating visibility of Nigerian female politicians in news media spaceGender, Place and Culture . ISSN 0966-369X)


Ette, M (2016) ‘Condensational symbols in British press coverage of Boko HaramInternational Communication Gazette . ISSN 1748-0485


Ette, M. and Stoker, R. (2015) ‘Exploring experiential learning through bloggingJournalism Education , 3 (2), pp. 91-103.


Ette, M (2014) Book Review: Gender, War, and Conflict by Laura Sjoberg. Polity Press. 9780745660028 Available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/10/07/book-review-gender-war-and-conflict-by-laura-sjoberg/

Ette, M (2014) Book Review: Waging Gendered Wars: U.S. Military Women in Afghanistan and Iraq by Paige Whaley Eager. Ashgate Available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/07/24/book-review-waging-gendered-wars-u-s-military-women-in-afghanistan-and-iraq-by-paige-whaley-eager/


Ette, M (2013) ‘Gendered Frontlines: British Press Coverage of Servicewomen Killed in IraqMedia, War & Conflict , 6 (3), pp. 249-262. ISSN 1750-6352

Ette, M (2013) ‘The press and democratic consolidation in Nigeria’. In: Media/Democracy. Newcastle upon tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 103-123. ISBN 9781443848398


Ette, M (2012) ‘'Nigeria as a country of interest in terrorism': Newspaper framing of Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomberJournal of African Media Studies , 4 (1), pp. 45-59. ISSN 2040-199X


Ette, M (2009) ‘How Nigeria can win the ICT race in AfricaNewswatch magazine .


Ette, M (2008) ‘Shifted focus: newspaper coverage of female military personnel as casualties of warEstudos em Comunicação (3), pp. 195-214. ISSN 1646-4974


Ette, M (2007) ‘Empowerment’. In: The impact of feminism on political concepts and debates. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 146-160. ISBN 9780719075117

Ette, M (2007) ‘Marriage of the spoken and written wordNewswatch magazine .


Ette, M (2000) ‘Agent of Change or Stability?: The Nigerian Press Undermines DemocracyThe Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics , 5 (3), pp. 67-86. ISSN 1081180X

Research Degree Supervision

The media and politics

Critics of the media and politicians routinely accuse journalists of framing politics in ways that breed cynicism and apathy. Many see the rise of ‘infotainment’ and celebrity-focused journalism as being detrimental to politics and argue that it breeds sensationalism. However, in spite of these misgivings, the media are still conceptualised as being at the heart of the political process and responsible for vital responsibilities. The media-politics connection provides opportunities for research.

Democratisation and the media

Although the press is recognized as a vital feature of democracy, very little work has been carried out on its role during a democratisation period. Most studies of transition politics are from a political perspective and some omit entirely the role of the media. Democratisation and the media is therefore an exciting are of study.

Journalism education

Finding a balance between practice and theory in journalism education has occupied the attention of scholars and journalists for a long time. One of the key questions that underpin this issue is, should journalism be taught as an academic discipline or as a vocational subject? To some academics, journalism education is too practical but to journalists it is too academic and steeped in ‘meaningless’ theories. Finding an acceptable meeting point remains a challenge for many

Research students:

I am supervising and co-supervising three PhD students working in media and politics, media and stigmatization and citizen journalism

Administrative Responsibilities

I am the Course leader for BA Journalism

Teaching and Professional Activities

Module leader for:

Journalism: principles and practice

Journalism: writing techniques and skills

Writing for magazines

I also co-supervise PhD research