Michael Starks

Michael Starks is the author of Switching to Digital Television, published in 2007 by Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press. While the book is principally about the relationship between public policy and the market in the UK, it includes international comparative study, the research for which was funded by a grant from the British Academy. Michael Starks is now also the editor of a new International Journal of Digital Television due to be launched towards the end of 2009 and to publish three issues annually from 2010.

As a leading expert on the public policy of switching entire nations to digital TV, Michael Starks has been an academic visitor to the University of Melbourne and has lectured at the Communications University of China in Beijing and at the Central European University in Hungary, as well as various UK universities. In 2008 he became a Visiting Fellow at the University of Westminster’s China Media Centre. He has also advised the New Zealand government and the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica on digital switchover policy. In 2006, with Damian Tambini and Maria Trinidad Garcia Leiva, he published an overview of switchover policy in Europe, the United States and Japan in the communications journal, Info. In 2007 he published Digital Switchover: Learning from the Pioneers in the Journal of the Institute of International Communications. He is a member of the Senior Common Room of Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford.

From 2002 to 2004, Michael Starks managed the UK Digital TV Project, working for the UK Government to plan the UK’s digital switchover strategy. Before that he directed the BBC’s initial feasibility study of digital television, became the founder Chairman of the industry-wide UK Digital TV Group, and then led the BBC’s Free-to-View Digital TV Project, which culminated in the launch of Freeview. His earlier career was in broadcasting management and Current Affairs television production, principally for the BBC. He is a History graduate of Cambridge University and studied Political Science as a post-graduate at the University of Pennsylvania as a Thouron scholar.

Andrea Millwood-Hargrave

Andrea Millwood-Hargrave was Research Director of the Broadcasting Standards Commission, now part of Ofcom. She joined the BSC in February 1991. The Commission’s role was to produce codes of practice, consider audience complaints and to conduct research and monitoring on standards and fairness in broadcasting. She commissioned a varied programme of broadcasting research looking at areas within the remit. In addition she oversaw the Independent Television Commission’s audience attitudinal research programme (conducted jointly with the BSC) and consulte for the Radio Authority in this area. She serves as an expert on the Council of Europe Committee looking at on line democracy issues, having previously served on a Committee considering universal access and harmful and illegal content on the Internet. Before joining the Commission, Andrea was Director of Planning (Marketing) for the first satellite broadcasting outfit in the UK and was also in at the start of cable television in the UK. She began her working career in the media for one of the commercial television companies.

Stefaan Verhulst

Stefaan Verhulst was the co-founder and Head of PCMLP from the programme’s inception in December 1996 – May 2002, as well as senior research fellow at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies. In addition, he was the Unesco Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy for the UK. Before his move to Oxford in 1996, he had been a lecturer on communications law and policy issues in Belgium and founder and co-director of the International Media and info-comms Policy and Law studies (IMPS) at the School of Law, University of Glasgow. Mr. Verhulst has served as consultant to various international and national organizations including the Council of Europe, European Commission, Unesco, UNDP, USAID and DFID. Mr Verhulst is currently the Chief of Research at the Markle Foundation.

Mercedes Muñoz Saldaña

Visiting Researcher

Mercedes Muñoz Saldaña is a Professor at the School of Communication, University of Navarra and Director of the Public Communication Department. Her area of research focuses on audiovisual and advertising regulation, particularly on issues such as: the redefinition of the audiovisual public service; the legal configuration of public television; the nature and powers of audiovisual councils; and the implementation of regulatory instruments in Spain. During her stay she will continue research on her current project, ‘The role of self-regulation and co-regulation in the new digital audiovisual market’.

Gabriela Martinez Sainz

Visiting Researcher

Gabriela Martinez Sainz joins us from the University of Cambridge, where she is a PhD candidate currently researching human rights education in Mexico, with a view to integrating theory and practices and applying gained knowledge to the development of training programmes for human rights educators.

Prior to Cambridge, Gabriela worked as Academic Coordinator of the ‘Open University’ Department at the Panamerican University and was responsible for the academic and administrative coordination of the department, including the review of academic curricula and programmes. She has also co-authored secondary-school textbooks on civics and ethics education.  She is currently conducting research with Dr Iginio Gagliardone on hate speech.

Wang Jufang

Visiting Researcher

Wang Jufang is Vice Director of China Radio International (CRI) Online News. She holds a MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Masters in International Relations from Peking University, Beijing. Her research interests include internet regulation and cybersecurity. During her stay she will continue work on her current project, China’s new internet regulating strategies and its impact on online public discourse.

Blessed Ngwenya

DPhil Student

Blessed Ngwenya is currently a DPhil student.  He completed his BA in 2004 and his BA Honours in 2005 with English and Media as majors at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He obtained his MA with distinction from the same University where he investigated ‘The Sustainability of Community Radio as a distinct form of Broadcasting’. He acquired management experience prior to joining UNISA. He has managed the Witwatersrand campus radio station “Voice of Wits” from April 2004-December 2005. Apart from managing the Voice of Wits Blessed has also played a pivotal role in establishing t he University of South Africa radio station (U-FM) as the project coordinator. He has worked in Moments Production House as a researcher and has presented a number of conference papers on community radio . He has also conducted research on Representation of Genocide in the Media in Rwanda and Zimbabwe and a radio documentary on the dialectic of South African and American hip-Hop music. Blessed comes from the UNISA Department of Communication Science where he has been a lecturer for two years. He is currently in the CSLS at Oxford University and his research paper is entitled: “ The fragmented public in the SABC: Implications for policy and regulation”.

Research interests

International communication, broadcasting policy and regulation, influences of globalisation and internationalisation on broadcasting and information and communication technology (ICT).

Richard Danbury

Richard Danbury qualified as a barrister (trial advocate) and practiced briefly at 9-12 Bell Yard in criminal law. (He no longer practises, so is not able to exercise any rights as a barrister, and is not subject to the rules that practising barristers have to obey.)  He then spent a decade or so as a broadcast journalist at the BBC, working on programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama, and in 2010 was the Deputy Editor of the BBC’s Prime Ministerial Debate programme. He completed his doctoral thesis at Oxford on special treatment of institutional journalism in English law, having been supervised by Dr Alison Young. He is a media law trainer for the BBC, and is the mentor on Channel 4’s Investigative Journalism Training Scheme.

Richard is currently working on Ranking Digital Rights, a project to develop a methodology to rank the world’s major information and communications technology companies on policies and practices related to free expression and privacy.  More information can be found here: http://rankingdigitalrights.org

Deeksha Sharma

Middle East Mooting Co-ordinator

Deeksha Sharma recently completed her DPhil at Exeter College, Oxford where she also read for the BCL in 2010. Deeksha has been an avid mooter and participated in the 49th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC in 2008. She judged the UK National Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2010 and 2012 and has also judged the preliminary rounds of the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition twice in the past. Deeksha is also the Junior Dean at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Alecia Johns

Oxford Mooting Co-ordinator

Alecia Johns coordinated the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition for several years and helped to launch rounds in Asia and America.  She recently completed her DPhil in law at Balliol College, Oxford and her thesis focuses on the rights of dual citizens to political representation in Jamaica, with comparative insights from Australia and the Commonwealth Caribbean. Alecia was also a member of the Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP) executive committee where she assists in the preparation of research briefs concerning important issues of public interest law. Her most recent OPBP project involved a submission to the UK Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights regarding the use of classified evidence in U.S. courts.